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Period: October 1, 2020 to May 1, 2021
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
Companies, Organizations  

Swire Coca-Cola Builds Bottling Infrastructure To Keep Pace With China’s Growth

Despite continuing uncertainties surrounding the pandemic, the Hong Kong-based Coke bottler is investing heavily in advanced production capabilities, digital supply chains, and ecommerce channels in China. Swire executives say China's resilient economy and stable social environment – not to mention its effective control of COVID-19 – have ensured a strong domestic consumption market, while supporting a global supply chain. Swire’s sales revenue surged 34 percent year-on-year in the first two months of this year, after it saw sales increase by two percent in 2020.

"Coca-Cola bottler seeing robust growth in China's recovery", China Daily, March 16, 2021

Stockholders Push Danone To Divest Stake In Chinese Dairy

According to reports, disgruntled Danone shareholders have pushed the company to sell its $2 billion stake in Mengniu dairy later this year to fund stock buybacks and boost shareholder returns. The announcement came hours before Danone’s board met to discuss its response to calls from investors such as Artisan Partners Asset Management for management changes. Danone Chairman Emmanuel Faber’s suggestion that he shed his CEO role was later approved by the board of directors. Danone first took a stake in Mengniu in 2013. Its 9.8 percent holding is held indirectly in a venture with COFCO Corp., Mengniu’s biggest shareholder. Danone said that China will remain highly strategic for the company following the sale. 

"Danone Plans to Sell China Dairy Stake to Appease Shareholders", Bloomberg, March 01, 2021

Innovation & New Ideas  

Siemens, Squire Coke China Launch Digitalization Initiative

The Munich, Germany-based technology company, centered on manufacturing, infrastructure, and transportation, will work with Swire Coca-Cola on digitalization of Swire’s plant construction, supply chain intelligent management, and training of digital talent. They will also jointly build digital plant benchmarks in the beverage industry to promote digital transformation of Swire Coca-Cola in China and around the world. The manufacturing information system (MIS) customized by Siemens for Swire Coca-Cola was applied to its digital production line in Hangzhou. Swire expects that the new initiative will result in an annual production capacity of 550 million cans of Coca-Cola.

"Siemens, Swire Coca-Cola partner on digitalization", TradeArabia News Service, April 13, 2021


Danone’s New Honest To Goodness Non-Dairy Creamer Brand Targets Younger Market

As more consumers brew coffee at home, the company hopes its new line of plant-based creamers will appeal to younger coffee drinkers looking for sustainable and transparent sourcing. Gen Z coffee drinkers, who consume about 28 billion cups of coffee a year, are looking for transparency in product sourcing, while Millennials are committed to sustainability: 75 percent shop with the environment in mind. In the 52 weeks ended Feb. 20, sales of non-dairy coffee creamers are up 32 percent from the same period a year ago, according to Nielsen data. Danone’s Honest to Goodness brand is partnering with environmental organization EarthDay.org, in an effort to promote sustainability by planting trees in Madagascar.

"Danone looks to grab more coffee creamer sales with launch of plant-based Honest to Goodness brand", CNBC, March 15, 2021

Products & Brands  

Eat Real Tries Again To Enter Chinese Market

The U.K.-based maker of healthy snacks – hummus and lentil chips, quinoa puffs, etc. – has been successful at distributing globally. But it ran into a snag when it tried marketing in China two years ago. The company was working with three different distributors, and sold its products via online channels such as Tmall. But the Chinese distributors sold the snacks under three different names, confusing consumers and sparking a price war. The company eventually abandoned the market last year. Now, after reorganizing its business strategy and brand positioning for China, the firm expects to enter the country within the next months. It will bring in only six SKUs, instead of 20, and work with a single distribution partner.

"Rebrand and reintroduce: U.K.’s Eat Real outlines second attempt to enter China with clean and healthy snacks", Food Navigator ASIA, April 12, 2021

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