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Period: July 1, 2017 to September 1, 2017
Comment & Opinion or Companies, Organizations or Consumers or Controversies & Disputes or Deals, M&A, JVs, Licensing or Earnings Release or Finance, Economics, Tax or Innovation & New Ideas or Legal, Legislation, Regulation, Policy or Market News or Marketing & Advertising or Other or People & Personalities or Press Release or Products & Brands or Research, Studies, Advice or Supply Chain or Trends

Hangzhou Wahaha Group Buys Smart Beverage Vending Machines From DeepBlue

China’s largest beverage vendor is taking a step beyond FMCG toward automated retail with the signing of a 10-year contract with DeepBlue Technology to buy a million TakeGo smart vending machines. The machines use DeepBlue’s quiXmart payment system, as well as machine vision, biometric identification, and deep learning. The machines automatically assign items picked up by customers to a digital shopping cart. Customers are charged using Alipay when they exit.

"Wahaha Group eyes next-generation vending machines", People's Daily Online, June 27, 2017

Coke’s Summer Ads Feature Youth-Oriented Labels

Coca-Cola’s new summer “Share a Coke” ad campaign in China features bottles designed to attract the country's youth. Decorated with symbols and phrases used routinely by young people, the bottles are known as “code bottles.” Campaign unveils 37 distinct labels that show emoticons, numbers, characters and graphics. One code is the number 521, used by Chinese youth to say “I Love You.” Two films featuring the special bottles will be shown on social media platforms and TV. One stars celebrity Lu Han, who has 32 million social media followers.

"The Coca-Cola Co lines up "Share a Coke" push in China", just-drinks global news, June 30, 2017

Companies, Organizations  

Uni-President Plans To Enter Premium Instant Noodles In China

Taiwan-based food conglomerate Uni-President Enterprises Corp. president Alex Lo told financial reporters recently that the company hopes to carve out a niche selling high-priced instant noodles, including Expert of Soup and Man Han Feast, in China. The company already sells instant noodles and beverages in China through a Hong Kong subsidiary. Instant noodle sales account for 30 percent of the company’s total sales, while beverages account for 60 percent. Expert of Soup sells for about five yuan ($0.75) and Man Han Feast sells for 18 yuan. Low-priced instant noodles sell for about 2.5 yuan in the Chinese market.

"Uni-President to Focus on Pricey Noodles in China", Taipei Times, August 12, 2017

Ingredients in Bread: Fresh Recipes for a Stale Industry

Euromonitor International, August 21, 2017

Navigating the Future of FMCG in Asia

Kantar World Panel, August 24, 2017


Growth Returns To Asian FMCG Market

FMCG growth in Asia is accelerating, according to researcher Kantar Worldpanel, with the personal care care segment leading the way. The overall pace of growth reached 3.4 percent in the first quarter, up from 3.3 percent in 2016, due largely to the strong health & wellness and convenience sectors. Value growth in food was up about 0.8 percent over last year.  But beverage growth was flat, indicating that consumers are “rationalizing their spending.” Dairy growth was healthy (4,2 percent), as was homecare (3.2 percent), but both were slower than a year ago. Personal care grew 9.6 percent, a major spurt over a year ago. “Self-pampering and indulgence remained important to consumers,” the company said.

"Asia Consumer Insights Q1 2017", Report, Kantar Worldpanel, July 27, 2017

Deals, M&A, JVs, Licensing  

Starbucks Spends $1.3B To Buy Out All Chinese Joint Ventures

Starbucks says it is demonstrating its commitment to the Chinese market by unifying all stores in the country under a “full company-operated structure.” The company is spending $1.3 billion to buy out all its joint ventures – 1,300 in eastern China, including Shanghai, Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces, the fastest-growing market in terms of store count outside the U.S.

"Starbucks Buys Out All Joint Ventures in China for US$1.3bn", Marketing Interactive, July 28, 2017

Market News  

High Temps In China Trigger Free Sprites From Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola China’s promotional partnership with the weather app MojiWeather as already paid off handsomely for the company, which provides free Sprites to consumers who retrieve QR codes from the app when the temperature hits 35ºC (95ºF). The company has already handed out more than 10 million cups of the beverage in the campaign. More than two million thirsty Chinese have stopped by McDonald's for a free Sprite, driving up single-serve sales in July by 23 percent compared to a year ago.

"The Coca-Cola Co Hot Weather Promotion Adds Shine to China’s Sprite Sales", Just-Drinks, August 09, 2017

Press Release  

Celsius Waters Company Partners With China-Based Distributor

Celsius Holdings, Inc. (Boca Raton, Fla.) has partnered with Beijing-based Qifeng Food Technology to distribute the fitness drink Celsius via the Qifeng network of 500 beverage distributors in all provinces in China. Qifeng was founded by former Pepsi, Nestle and Red Bull executives. The Celsius original product line comprises seven sparkling and non-carbonated flavors in 12 oz cans, and single-serve powdered packets. A new natural line is available in six flavors, three sparkling and three non-carbonated versions, caffeinated and naturally sweetened.

"Celsius Holdings, Inc. Partners with Qifeng Food for Entry into the China Market and Nationwide Distribution of Celsius Brands", News release, Celsius Holdings, July 31, 2017

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