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In Beyond Meat news, the California-based manufacturer of plant-based meat substitutes announced it signed deals with McDonald’s and Yum Brands to provide flagship menu offerings with the fast-food giants in the future. “It is my strong belief,” CEO Ethan Brown told investors, “that partnerships of this nature with partners of this caliber are required to accelerate our flywheel of availability and scale-driven cost reduction.” Taking a step back, there are equal reasons to be excited about Beyond Meat’s future, as there are to be pessimistic.

Why the Beyond Meat news should excite the packaged food industry

In simplest terms, deals with McDonald’s and Yum Brands! all but guarantee a steady stream…


Last week Nestlé, the world’s largest packaged food company, posted solid earnings as consumers continued to pivot towards grocery stores amid the pandemic. Overall, the company saw organic growth rise by 3.6%, putting it in between rivals Kraft Heinz (6.3%) and Unilever (1.9%). Much of this growth is due to smart acquisitions and divestitures, recently headlined by its $4.3 billion sale of its North American bottled water business to private equity firm One Rock Capital Partners.


The Q2 2021 Clorox earnings call revealed more good news for the Oakland based consumer packaged goods company. Overall, organic sales increased by 26%, fueled primarily by 42% growth in the company’s health and wellness division, which includes the namesake cleaning brand. “We’re continuing to see increases in household penetration and repeat rates among existing and new users,” Lisah Burhan, VP of Investor Relations told the group. According to Clorox, COVID and strategic investments were the primary drivers.

Clorox is a deceptively big company with a smart strategy. The company boasts annual revenues of over $6 billion, which puts them…


For nearly a decade, CPG and e-commerce was a strategic priority for most firms. For years managers investigated the possibility of an entirely new channel-one with potentially higher margins than traditional brick-and-mortar retail. There were plenty of unknowns: How would this impact our main distribution channels? What about pack counts? How can you stimulate impulse purchases? How do you drive conversion without paying an arm and a leg for customer acquisition?

Consumer packaged goods companies invested millions of dollars on theoretical scenarios. Then overnight, things changed. CPG e-commerce was no longer a mythical goal; it was a revolution in real-time…


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With its 4Q earnings report, Kimberly-Clark showed that brands still matter-even in categories with intense private label pressure. The Texas-based personal care company, which manufactures various paper products, saw organic sales increase 6 percent for the full fiscal year. “Overall, our results were strong,” CEO Michael Hsu told investors, “and I’m encouraged by the way we executed in 2020.”


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Despite a decrease in Trade spending, Proctor and Gamble saw another successful quarter fueled primarily by COVID-19 related buying patterns. Organic sales increased 8 percent, with all top 10 global categories seeing growth.


Photo by Raphael Nogueira on Unsplash

Constellation Brands is one of the more interesting major food and beverage companies operating in America. It was started 75 years ago in upstate New York, where it acted as a wholesaler for the Finger Lakes Region’s many wineries. In the last twenty years Constellation underwent a series of rapid acquisitions, and today it owns a variety of brands across the wine, beer and liquor industry.

The 3Q 2021 financial results were a victory lap. The Wine and Spirits business saw revenue rise 10 percent. Beer, led by brands Corona and Modello, saw a 28% increase. The company is making…


One of the big issues facing CPG manufacturers, retailers, and e-commerce companies is the last-mile delivery cost. Most FMCG direct-to-consumer companies fail because it often costs more to deliver the item to consumers than the item itself. However, the daunting economics doesn’t stop people from wanting the convenience of grocery delivery.

Enter Instacart and Postmates. Both offer grocery delivery by partnering with local retailers to create an individual delivery network. I’m incredibly skeptical of the long-term viability of either Instacart or Postmates. Part of this is history. America is littered with failed grocery delivery companies. Webvan lost over $800 million…


Dollar General, one of the few major bright spots in all of retail, is looking to move up the wheel of retail. Earliest this week it announced popshelf, a new adjacent store offering targeted at middle income households.

From the Wall Street Journal

The company plans to open a new brand of stores called Popshelf that mostly sells things shoppers don’t need but might want, such as party supplies, home decor or beauty products. Stores will be in the suburbs of larger cities, with two planned for the Nashville, Tenn., area in the next few weeks and 30 by the…


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Early in her newest book, Break ’Em Up, Zephyr Teachout retells the story of an Amazon air hockey seller. The seller, whose air hockey table was one of the top-3 search results until Amazon introduced sponsored ads. Coincidentally, despite years of sales and popular reviews, the product dropped off the search charts with their arrival. They even disappeared from the free organic results. Potential buyers in the America’s largest online market could no longer find the product. In a desperate act to regain volume, the seller decided to spend $5,000-$10,000 a month on Amazon sponsored advertisements. …

Eric Gardner

I write about the intersection of politics, technology and retail. Join my email list to keep updated. https://mailchi.mp/858da2860502/egardner

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