Zurich Romances Kansas City

July 18 - In the chocolate market, as in life, you never know what you are going to get—as evidenced by the announcement of Zurich-based Lindt & Sprüngli that it will acquire Russell Stover. The acquisition will firmly establish Lindt as the number # 3 chocolate candy manufacturer in the U.S. market—still well behind Hershey and Mars, but now firmly ahead of Swiss rival and global food leader Nestlé.  This development has far-reaching implications for premium chocolate in the U.S. market, particularly in the seasonal and gift-box market segments.

The deal will combine one of the U.S. market’s best-known gift chocolate companies with a global player that has been working hard to grow its presence in the U.S. market, including through the acquisition of Ghirardelli. With the purchase of Russell Stover (which also owns the Whitman's and Pangburn's brand lines), Lindt will strike a new balance between Swiss import and made-in-the-USA—with Lindt pointedly stressing its commitment to maintaining Russell Stover’s headquarters in Kansas City and domestic manufacturing plants. 

Coffee companies go green to make green with eco-friendly maneuverings

July 16 - An increasing number of U.S. businesses are concerned with managing their ecological footprint, and in recent years this dedication to going green has trickled down to the U.S. coffee market.  In particular, to have a competitive foodservice coffee platform, being environmentally and socially responsible is increasingly important, according to Coffee and Ready-to-Drink Coffee in the U.S.: Retail and Foodservice, 8th Edition, a recent report by Packaged Facts. 

But beyond efforts swirling around the foodservice coffee segment, Packaged Facts predicts in Single-Cup Brew Beverage Products in the U.S.: Coffee Pods and Beyond that improved recyclability and sustainability will become ever more important to the success of the single-cup brew market—if not a cost of entry—as the business matures. 

Restaurants tap innovation in culinary development and marketing to drive protein on menus

July 9 - Consumers are looking for foods that provide health and wellness benefits and contain ingredients that address illness mitigation. Packaged Facts data from a January-February 2014 survey notes that 57% of consumers are looking for foods with nutrients that address health concerns. Among the nutrients consumers are keying in on is protein. Protein provides many benefits, including its support of weight management and proper growth, immune, heart and respiratory function.

Beyond the kale: American foodies seek exotic, elaborate, and upscale packaged salads

Foodies seek unique and exotic salads and fruit produce products.

June 25 - Consumers’ eagerness to experiment with new foods, flavors, and world cuisines — nearly half of consumers surveyed by Packaged Facts enjoy trying out new international foods — have led to increasingly exotic, elaborate, and upscale packaged salads from a number of different marketers.

Among the more unusual ingredients contained in new products are nutty quinoa, buckwheat soba noodles, black chia seeds, zesty crunchy pumpkin seed mix, wasabi arugula, and citrus herbs.

Pet industry gets bigger by getting smaller

Dog owners have increasingly opted for smaller dogs

June 2 – Small seems to be the way to go in the pet industry. It’s happening in a number of ways.

Looking ahead, these "small" trends are having a big impact on the pet industry and will be among the factors most significantly driving growth in 2014 and beyond, according to Packaged Facts’ U.S. Pet Market Outlook, 2014-2015

Bottled water goes DIY

Water enhancers have the potential to make a significant impact on sales of bottled water.

March 20 - The market for bottled water has a promising future.  As consumers continue to reject carbonated soft drinks and embrace bottled water, many beverage industry analysts and marketers are convinced that the category will soon become the dominant non-alcoholic beverage.  Health and wellness concerns, the fitness fad and the perennial struggle of many consumers with overweight and obesity have combined to make bottled water the zero-calorie/ultra-low calorie beverage of choice for growing millions of Americans.

However, as seen in Packaged Facts May 2014 report Bottled Water in the U.S., the market for bottled water is being roiled by a number of disruptive forces, even in the midst of this generally upbeat view of the bottled water category. 

Innovation reinvigorating and reinventing our daily cup of joe

 tInnovations in coffee beans and flavors are changinghe beverage retail and foodservice landscape.

May 14 - Our hat is off to coffee innovation, which continues to help a very mature market grow new usage occasions and higher price points. Threading this needle translates to continuing to push the variety envelope while leveraging hot coffee’s dominant position. In the end, it’s largely about raising the price of coffee—or at least getting more money per ounce.

For commercial payment cards, globalization is good business—but competition is increasing

All of the largest five U.S. banks by assets are aggressively pushing abroad, following corporate clients that increasingly demand global commercial card solutions.

May 2 - Globalization is occurring at a rapid pace, requiring increased simplification and control over employer payments and expenses across multiple countries. Among payment providers (networks and card issuers alike), this has undoubtedly caused growing pains, as they struggle to craft solutions sophisticated and robust enough to meet global challenges of many stripes—regulatory and operational hurdles among them.

But in plain English, it also means payments expansion—following the arc of global growth and growing products and solutions accordingly. By building relationships, executing on now highly-advanced commercial card product and services, and delivering on promises of efficiency, simplicity, cost-savings and control, commercial card solution providers are reaping increasing rewards.

In limited-service, foodservice operators take winning strategies to up their breakfast game

Old news: Breakfast is a big opportunity for foodservice

The real scoop: Breakfast consumer decisions are fluid and the space is highly competitive, so act now

April 25 - The quick-service breakfast game is getting a lot of conversation in the media currently. There is  renewed interest in capturing business during a very rushed part of the day.

Breakfast as a business has untapped opportunities. While 10% of consumers were reported...

U.S. pet market drivers to be discussed by Packaged Facts David Sprinkle at PIJAC Top2Top conference in April

April 21 - Combining Packaged Facts’ extensive monitoring of the pet products market with new proprietary Pet Owner Survey data for 2014, Packaged Facts research director David Sprinkle will present on current trends and future directions for pet product marketing and retailing, along with consumer patterns across the full spectrum of the market, including pet food and nonfood pet supplies.

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