Conagra Brands is transforming the way it operates to fulfill what consumers want in a smart, simple way. With approximately 17,000 employees and $11 billion in annual revenue, Conagra Brands is modernizing its iconic food brands, leveraging fresh opportunities and adapting to a changing landscape. In the spring of 2016, Conagra experienced greater demand for increased product attribution. This demand was coming from three different needs for the company.
As the summer sun finally triumphed over the clouds that plagued the Midwest all spring, the FDA released a timely proposal that may change regulations on a summertime necessity: sunscreen. In 1978, the FDA began instituting guidelines designed to keep up with the ever-changing research on sunscreen efficacy and safety. At that time, the ceiling for recommended SPF labeling value was set at 15, a world away from the sky-high numbers we see today. The FDA believes that these excessively high advertised SPF values are misleading to consumers because, against conventional wisdom, SPF 100 does not protect twice as well as SPF 50. Consequently, one of the main points of the new proposed rule is to cap SPF labeling at 60+, although the sale of products prepared with SPF values up to 80 will still be permitted as to not stifle beneficial research and innovative formulations.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is globally recognized as being at the forefront of food composition analysis for decades. This week they launched their latest compositional analysis tool - FoodData Central - bringing the USDA and the research community closer toward unlocking data unification at the federal level with reference to food and beverage composition databases.
Four out of five global respondents said that it is “extremely” or “very” important that companies implement programs to improve the environment. And 30% of consumers are willing to pay a premium for products that deliver on social responsibility claims.* Sustainability has a myriad of meanings to consumers. And there’s a broad spectrum of practices that encompass what it means to be sustainable in their eyes.
“Did you know that ketchup has more sugar than ice cream?” You may have heard claims like this thrown around, but they aren’t entirely true. Yes, most often, if you eat a spoonful of ketchup and a spoonful of ice cream, you’d be getting more sugar from the ketchup, but who eats a spoonful of ketchup? It’s a questionable comparison. Luckily, the FDA has standard sizes for different types of foods called Reference Amounts Customarily Consumed (RACCs).
We start this week with an interesting article that points to how search can directly influence how products are conceived (and category management). Yet another example of how we need to look to how changing consumer behavior will disrupt the industry. Following that, we include some articles about changes in the retailer space, and then we finish with some self promotion with an announcement of our product development with Topco, and how we're hoping to move the industry forward. As always, we hope this helps you kick start your week. The Amazon algorithm spawned a skin care line called Belei - vox.com A moisturizer isn’t just a moisturizer anymore. People have become a lot savvier, thanks to forums like Reddit’s /r/SkincareAddiction and Instagram, and robust media coverage of the intricacies of skin care. Affordable brands like Deciem’s the Ordinary have helped democratize skin care and increase ingredient awareness. As a result, shoppers are looking for hyaluronic acid, retinol, vitamin C, and peptides now — they expect brands to talk to them about ingredients. Product descriptions often include these keywords and tout the benefits. (curated by @joe100books)
This week we've got a bit of a deep dive video. Titled: "Tomorrow's Category Management Today, The Future of Online Category Management", the video makes the argument that most growth in the foreseable future is going to come from online channels and that this is going to change the way we think about Category Management. “e-commerce is shopped one item at a time; every product detail page must stand on its own" – Danny Silverman, Clavis Insight The video is a deep dive, lasting 45 minutes, but is worth the time if you have any interest in the future of grocery, and in particular if you are in the category management function. Of particular interest, I found the way the video discusses the difference in customer needs between the "Push" of Brick and Mortar versus the "Pull" of e-commerce, and also how Brick and Mortar is more of a compromise for customers who take the brand that is available on the shelf, whereas e-commerce becomes a more discerning environment. If any of this is true, the demand for transparency and experiences that support better decision making is only going to increase. Hope you get out of it as much as i did. Have a good weekend.
Sometimes, the ingredient declaration is just not enough to answer the long asked consumer question, “what’s in our food?”. Now, more and more people want to know what ingredients are and why they are being used in addition to the statement of their presence. However, it can be difficult for them to find reliable information. When searching for an ingredient, there can be an overwhelming amount of results, some of which are not reliable, but may appear above other more reliable resources. Obviously, this information is too much to print on a package, so it can be difficult for brands to provide this information in a manner that is easy for customers to find.
The news this week starts off with 3 more acquisition announcements that our team found particularly interesting in the news this week. The acquisitions point to the disruption that is taking place across the industry, representing activity by a retailer (walmart), a CPG Brand (Unilever), and a 3rd party solution provider (Syndigo). Following from the acquisition news the team found news articles related to non traditional foods interesting and they found and shared posts around pickle chips and meatless hamburgers - for some reason. Lastly the list of curated news ended up with an informative article about the challenges of large retailers making the change to support e-commerce. In this case it was a fairly detailed exploration of Kroger's challenges. Definitely worth a read. Hope you had a great Easter weekend. Have a great week ahead. Walmart acquires ad-tech startup Polymorph to capture more brand dollars - marketingdive.com Walmart has acquired Polymorph Labs, which offers a cloud-based ad serving platform, in a deal whose terms were not disclosed, according to a blog post by the retailer. Polymorph's founders, product developers and engineers will join Walmart Media Group and Walmart Labs. (curated by @davebyman)
We wrap up this week with a video that discusses the evolution of Category Management practice over the last 3 decades, and explores whether Category Management is working presently. “If all you have is a hammer, then everything starts to look like a nail" – Marc Childs, principal of Childs Davidson Limited The high level coverage of the evolution of Category Management is very helpful context for those that may not be aware of how we got to where we are. The second part of the video discusses Category Strategy, and how this, in differentiation from category management, can help to move retailers and brands forward more productively by giving category management some focus and guidelines, therefore aligning category captains and insights within a framework. It seems clear that to get to the future of grocery retail, there needs to be significant further evolution of the category management practice. It's fascinating to watch this space to see those changes coming. I hope this helped give you a slightly new perspective. Have a good weekend.