Brand New: Coca-Cola, Danone, General Mills, Carlsberg and Nestle are some of the big brand names featured in our round-up

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A consortium of industry big names, including General Mills, Coca-Cola, and Danone, has joined the China Food Tech Hub. ©Bits x Bites
A consortium of industry big names, including General Mills, Coca-Cola, and Danone, has joined the China Food Tech Hub. ©Bits x Bites

Related tags: Brand, Coca-cola, Pepsico, Danone, China

Coca-Cola, Danone, General Mills, Carlsberg and Nestle are some of the big brand names featured in this edition of Brand New.

Industry big names General Mills, Coca-Cola, Danone seek to work with start-ups to meet Chinese market demands

A consortium of industry big names, including General Mills, Coca-Cola, and Danone, has joined the China Food Tech Hub​ – a project aimed at partnering outstanding start-ups with major industry players to meet the ever-changing consumer demands in China.

Organised by Chinese food tech venture capitalist Bits x Bites, China Food Tech Hub is backed by seven other key industry players at present, namely Givaudan, Griffith Foods, Louis Dreyfus Company, Novozymes, Nutreco, PepsiCo Greater China, and Puratos.

Officially launched in Shanghai last week, the China Food Tech Hub will service as a neutral platform for these companies to cooperate with start-ups and each other in tackling business challenges and creating growth opportunities.

Malaysia sugar tax: Carlsberg promises no price hikes for beers and ‘minimal’ impact on other brands

Carlsberg Malaysia has pledged not to increase the prices of any of its beers for the rest of this year,​ as the company prepares for the country’s impending sugar tax this July.

Carlsberg Malaysia Managing Director Lars Lehmann told FoodNavigator-Asia​ that: “We do not have any plan to adjust product prices to distributors and retailers this year, after the last adjustment that took effect on April 1st​.

“The upcoming sugar tax will only impact our Nutrimalt and Jolly Shandy brands, which is relatively minimal.”

He added that ‘barring any unforeseen regulatory or macroeconomic factors’​, any future price adjustments would be ‘kept at a minimum’​ to ensure product affordability and competitiveness.

Coca-Cola-Fonterra alliance: New Nutriboost dairy products launched in Vietnam

Beverage giant Coca-Cola and New Zealand dairy major Fonterra have partnered in what has been deemed a Strategic Alliance in South East Asia​, with the first range of products from this having just been launched in Vietnam under the Nutriboost brand.

According to Coca-Cola/Fonterra Strategic Alliance General Manager Steve Bonz, the new Nutriboost products have been developed for various different functionality needs, for example beauty, growth and development and energy.

“We’re trying to cover as many demographics as we can,”​ he said to FoodNavigator-Asia.

PepsiCo’s potato row: Indian dispute rages on despite company’s withdrawal of lawsuit

Furore over PepsiCo India’s lawsuit against four Indian farmers​ over the latter’s alleged planting of a patented potato variety has yet to die down, despite the firm’s willingness to withdraw the lawsuit and ‘amicably’ settle.

After continued pressure from both the Indian government and community including a full-blown protest, PepsiCo has backed down and agreed to withdraw the lawsuit against the four farmers.

“After discussions with the [Indian] government, the company has agreed to withdraw cases against farmers,”​ said a PepsiCo India representative to CNN​.

The legal row initially saw PepsiCo demanding some US$216,000 (INR 15mn) in damages from each of the farmers in the Indian state of Gujarat for allegedly cultivating its registered FC5 potato variety illegally. The FC5 potatoes are used to make PepsiCo’s Lay’s potato chips in India.

“[PepsiCo] was compelled to take the judicial recourse as a last resort to safeguard the larger interest of thousands of farmers that are engaged with [our] collaborative potato farming programme,” ​a PepsiCo spokesman had told FoodNavigator-Asia​ in an official statement.

New product priorities: Nestlé China unveils plans to launch 170 new goods to market this year

Nestlé China is harbouring two highly ambitious goals ​– it wants to cut down the speed to market of new products and brands from 18-24 months to six to eight months and aims to launch 170 new products for this year.

Nini Chiang, the Chief Marketing Officer of Nestlé (Greater China), revealed the plans and strategies to do so when speaking at the Food and Beverage Innovation Forum (FBIF) 2019, a three-day event held in Hangzhou.

During her presentation, she revealed that the firm had struggled to meet the demands of Chinese consumers two years ago, and a breakthrough was urgently needed.

“In 2017, we realised that we have met some challenges. Why is it so? This is because our launch of new products was too slow and was unable to meet the demands of the Chinese consumers,” ​she said.

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