Brand New: Nestle, Unilever, Coca-Cola and other big brand names feature in our round-up

By Pearly Neo

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Nestle, Unilever, Coca-Cola and other big brand names feature in this edition of Brand New. ©Getty Images
Nestle, Unilever, Coca-Cola and other big brand names feature in this edition of Brand New. ©Getty Images

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Nestle, Unilever, Coca-Cola and other big brand names feature in this edition of Brand New.

Health star ratings: Nestle and Unilever come out top in India, but scores are low

Products from Nestle and Unilever in India​ have emerged at the top of a list of firms improving the nutritional quality of foods in the country based on criteria from the Health Star Rating (HSR) system used in Australia and New Zealand – but the highest overall score was less than seven out of 10.

The HSR labelling system is not used in India, but was utilised by researchers from the Access to Nutrition Initiative (ATNI) to develop its latest Access to Nutrition India Spotlight Index 2020, highlighting ‘positive change’​ in the local F&B industry surrounding diet, nutrition and health.

According to ATNI, the HSR system was selected as it is ‘applicable in any market’​, and that India is also seeing a shift to more modern, ‘Westernised’ food habits too.

Coca-Cola faces tighter supply of sucralose from China as COVID-19 hits supply chain

Beverage giant Coca-Cola has experienced some delays in its artificial sweetener supply​ chain from China as a result of the novel coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19).

This could affect production of its diet and no-sugar drinks, which include brands like Coca-Cola, Sprite, Fanta, Aquarius, and Minute Maid.

While the company did not reveal which sweeteners were affected, its 10-K annual report filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission in the US, revealed sucralose as a ‘critical raw material’ sourced from China.

The company purchases non-nutritive sweeteners, such as sucralose from suppliers in the United States and China. Other non-nutritive sweeteners used in its business include aspartame, acesulfame potassium, saccharin, cyclamate and steviol glycosides.

PODCAST: Whole Kids’ Monica Meldrum on starting a business with family and running a B Corp

In this episode of our Food and Beverage Trailblazers podcast, we speak to Monica Meldrum, the CEO and Co-founder of Australia’s largest organic children’s snacks brand Whole Kids​, about how she manages personal and professional challenges in running a family business, and what it means to run a firm certified as a B Corporation.

Whole Kids is the first food Australian food business to be certified as a B Corporation, and Monica has also gotten a number of awards under her belt including, most recently, the 2019 Australian Organic Business of the Year.

Meldrum told FoodNavigator-Asia​ that she started Whole Kids together with her husband James after seeing a gap in the market for healthy snacks specifically targeted for children in Australia.

Coca-Cola Amatil MD exclusive: Key markets, reformulation and sustainability priorities revealed

Coca-Cola Amatil​ will renew its focus in the areas of healthier product reformulation and sustainability in its key markets of Australia, Indonesia and New Zealand.

The firm announced its FY2019 full year financial results on Thursday February 20, where Group Managing Director Alison Watkins reported total revenue growth of 6.7 year-on-year to hit some A$5.01bn (US$3.4bn), and full-year net profits of A$374.4mn, a 34.2% year-on-year growth.

“We’ve been getting good results from our Australian Accelerated Growth Plan and the Indonesian Accelerate to Transform Plan. The former has particularly helped us to better position ourselves with smaller customers in the country, whereas the latter helped us better understand local consumers at a deeper level and connect with them,”​ Watkins told FoodNavigator-Asia​ in an interview after the results were announced.

‘First-of-its-kind’: Agthia produces Middle East’s first plant-based packaging

UAE F&B manufacturer Agthia has produced the region’s first plant-based packaging​ for its bottled water product under the Al Ain brand.

The bioplastic material is polylactic acid (PLA) and is said to be obtained from 100% plant sources - The bottle itself is derived from corn sugars, and the cap from fermented sugar cane.

In an interview with FoodNavigator-Asia​, Tariq Ahmed Al Wahedi, Chief Executive Officer at Agthia Group P.J.S.C. said: “It does not contain any petroleum or its by-products, and when composted, it returns to the environment (as soil) within 80 days​.”

This means that the packaging is also 100% biodegradable.

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