CHECKOUT COUNTER: Cheers (for now), George
A weekly round up of the hottest international retail and consumer news.
1. Cheers (for now), George
Nespresso will be shifting its advertising focus from a premium or exclusivity theme to one of sustainability and provenance. This means George Clooney will take a back seat to the real faces of the 70,000 or so farmers who supply the coffee group. The move aims to highlight Nespresso’s investment in local coffee-growing communities as environmental groups raise alarm over coffee-pod waste.
2. Unilever to buy Brazilian organic food firm
Unilever has agreed to buy Brazilian organic food business Mãe Terra for an undisclosed sum. Globally, the healthy foods trend is gaining relevance fast. Earlier this year Unilever’s venture capital and private equity arm led a US$9.2m funding round for Sun Basket, an organic meal-kit start-up.
3. Ikea’s green fingers
Space10, the innovation lab of Swedish-founded, Netherlands-headquartered retailer Ikea, has designed a prototype of a mini-farm that can grow greens and herbs indoors. Called Lokal, it uses a hydroponic farming system, which allows crops to grow on trays under LED lights in a climate-controlled box.
4. Kellogg goes after protein-bar maker
Kellogg will acquire protein-bar maker RXBAR for $600m, to bulk up its noncereal portfolio and attract clean-eating millennial consumers. RXBAR is owned by Chicago Bar Company, which was founded five years ago and is expected to have net sales of about $120m this year. Like other processed-food makers, Kellogg has been battling a fall in growth amid a growing preference for healthier foods.