A weekly round up of the hottest international retail and consumer news.

1. Mars buys into Kind

M&M’s and Snickers maker Mars bought a minority stake in snack bar company Kind. The move gives privately held Mars a foothold in the booming natural snacks market. Mars did not disclose the size of the investment. According to Euromonitor, Kind has been one of the fastest-growing players in the snack field, with 2017 sales having risen to US$718.9m.

2. Nestlé’s noodle fine

An Indian court this week slapped a 4.5m rupee fine on Nestlé India for a 2015 case in which it was found to be selling substandard noodles. A lab test found high ash content in its Maggi brand. The FMCG group said it would appeal. “We strongly reiterate that at no stage of the manufacturing process, ash is added to Maggi noodles,” a Nestlé India spokesman said.

3. Hipster airline to launch

Joon, the latest aviation brainchild of Air France-KLM Group pitched at millennials, will start operating this week. It represents the group’s bid to slash costs. Passengers will be able to stream movies and TV shows on their own devices. On-board dining includes baobab juice and quinoa salad, and cabin crew will don electric-blue polo shirts and white, Adidas-like trainers.

4. Nespresso invests in post-conflict Colombian coffee

Nespresso has announced a $50m coffee cultivation investment in Colombia. The brand said the pledge builds on its long-term commitment to Colombian coffee and its efforts to improve production in regions previously affected by the conflict, including reviving the industry in areas where production was lost.

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