Big names, big stories: The top 10 most read food and beverage brands stories of 2019

By Guan Yu Lim

- Last updated on GMT

The top 10 most read food and beverage brands stories of 2019 ©Getty Images
The top 10 most read food and beverage brands stories of 2019 ©Getty Images

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We reveal the top 10 most viewed brands stories from the food and beverage industry in 2019, featuring Nestle, Coca-Cola, Fonterra and more.
Halal chocolate: All Ferrero factories to be Muslim-friendly within next few years

Chocolate and confectionary company Ferrero will make all of its factories worldwide halal​ within the next few years, said a company representative.

Moutaz Abdullat, Ferrero Gulf Countries General Legal Counsel told the International Halal Industry Forum that: “Our halal journey began in 2009 with two plants being certified. By 2016-17, the number reached 14 and by 2019-20, 19 plants are expected to be halal-certified. In 2009, only four products were halal-certified. In 2018, 33 have the certification.”

Speaking to Salaam Gateway​, he added that: “We have only few factories that are not certified. In two or three years all our factories will be halal.”

Zero alcohol in India: AB InBev to launch Budweiser and Hoegaarden non-alcoholic beers in the country

Global brewing giant AB InBev will be launching non-alcoholic beers in India across the next three months​ under two major brands: Budweiser and Hoegaarden.

Capitalising on the growing interest in the non-alcoholic beer category in Asia​, AB InBev looks to offer its consumers ‘choice’ when it comes to consumption in this category.

“The launch of non-alcoholic beers in India is in line with our global goal to offer low and non-alcoholic beverages to consumers [in line with] our Global Smart Drinking Goals,”​ AB InBev South Asia President Ben Verhaert told FoodNavigator-Asia.

Zero halal: Heineken clarifies its zero-alcohol beer is for non-Muslims only

Heineken’s recent launch of its zero-alcohol beer in Malaysia​ has hit its first snag less than a month in, with a government minister accusing non-alcoholic beers as being ‘confusing’ for Muslims.

Speaking after a religious event, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Dr Mujahid Yusof said that: “Using an alcohol brand name without the alcohol is very confusing because the process of manufacturing the beverage, including distillation, falls under the system of producing alcoholic products.”

"We know that [these drinks] are made by alcohol companies, so even if it is said to not contain alcohol, this can cause confusion and make Muslims think that they can consume it.”

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.

Heads of Qatar’s largest dairy firm named in lawsuit amid jihadist funding allegations

The Chairman and CEO of Qatar’s largest dairy firm Baladna have been named in papers​ filed in the British High Court, which alleges they helped fund the al-Qaeda affiliated al-Nusra Front, a Syrian jihadist organisation.

According to the court documents seen by FoodNavigator-Asia​, Moutaz Al-Khayyat and Ramez Al-Khayyat were listed as the first and second defendants in a claim made by eight Syrian citizens via the High Court of Justice, Queen’s Bench Division in London.

The Syrian claim they lost homes and businesses, and suffered physical and mental harm, because of Al-Nusra’s activities.

PepsiCo responds with 'disappointment' at Indofood's withdrawal from RSPO over disputed audit decision

PepsiCo has voiced its 'disappointment'​ in Indonesian food giant Indofood's decision to withdraw from the Roundtable of Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certification scheme ‘with immediate effect’. Indofood had cited ‘extreme disappointment’ in the process and outcome of the RSPO audits conducted on the firm as a reason.

After conducting an ‘independent verification visit’​ in June 2018 to PT Perusahaan Perkebunan London Sumatra Indonesia Tbk (Lonsum), owned by Indofood plantation arm Indo Agri, the RSPO complaints panel issued a final decision letter to the company on November 2 2018.

In the letter, the panel detailed a list of Lonsum’s supposed breaches of the RSPO Principles and Criteria (P&C), as well as ordered it to take a series of corrective actions.

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.

Healthier Milo: Nestlé Thailand invests US$6.6m in world-first 'no added sugar' beverage version

Nestlé Thailand has invested THB200m (US$6.6m) in its world-first no-sucrose version of Milo​, in response to the country's sugar reduction policy.

Milo UHT No Sucrose contains no added sugar, and all energy derived from the chocolate drink will come from its milk and malt components.

“Nestle Thailand is introducing new products [with more] healthier and tastier choices [to] let consumers choose the amount of sugar they want,”​Nestle Thailand Business Executive Officer (Dairy & Adult Nutrition) Chaiyong Sakulborrirug told FoodNavigator-Asia​.

The mojo behind MOJO: Coca-Cola’s recently acquired kombucha brand shares secrets of success

Australian firm MOJO Kombucha’s pledge to authenticity and no artificial sweeteners are what have helped it grow from a small family business to becoming a major name in the country, and recently being acquired by beverage giant Coca-Cola​, according to a top company official.

Speaking at the recent Naturally Good Business Summit 2019 in Sydney, Andrew Buttery, Director of Sales and Marketing at Organic and Raw Trading Co. which owns the MOJO brand, said that the company was a pioneer in the country’s kombucha category, and had evolved from ‘very humble beginnings’​.

“[MOJO co-founder and CEO] Anthony Crabb started the company out of a shed in his backyard, and worked with microbiologists to scale up development and maintain the kombucha consistency from one batch to another,”​ said Buttery.

‘Stress-free’ investment: Coca-Cola Japan to enter local ‘relaxation drink’ market hemp-venture

Coca-Cola Japan has set its sights on the local ‘relaxation drink’ market​ with a recent investment in newly-established beverage company Endian and its unique hemp-containing drink Chill Out.

Chill Out was originally developed by Japanese beauty technology company I-ne, but Endian will be taking over the product as an independent company during the upcoming fall season in Japan, backed by both Coca-Cola Japan and I-ne.

“This [initiative] is purely focused on the Japanese market.”​ a Coca-Cola Japan spokeswoman told FoodNavigator-Asia.

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