FoodBev Media’s Melissa Bradshaw rounds up this week’s food and beverage news, including:
Ahold Delhaize USA to sell FreshDirect to Getir
Ahold Delhaize USA has announced that it will sell its FreshDirect business to Getir, an ultra-fast grocery delivery company operating in five countries.
In a statement, Ahold Delhaize said the deal will allow it to focus on investments in its omnichannel businesses.
Headquartered in the Bronx and serving the greater New York tri-state area, FreshDirect has 3,200 employees and was founded in 2002, acquired by Ahold Delhaize in January 2021.
Getir said the acquisition will lead to significant synergies with FreshDirect, and will emphasise its strategic ambitions to grow in the US.
FreshDirect will leverage Getir’s technology and operational footprint to offer faster services to its customer base, which will also benefit from easy access to Getir’s quick convenience service.
FreshDirect customers will continue to be served by their local delivery teams and no changes will be made to DeliveryPass subscriptions or other services.
The deal, expected to close this month, will see FreshDirect retain its brand name and continue to operate out of its current New York facility.
Complaint filed against F&B giants for ‘misleading’ recycling claims
Environmental and consumer rights organisations have filed a legal complaint against Coca-Cola, Nestlé and Danone for the use of misleading claims on plastic water bottles sold across Europe.
The EU consumer protection organisation BEUC, supported by ClientEarth and the Environmental Coalition on Standards, has raised an external alert to the European Commission and the Consumer Protection Cooperation Network against the three food and beverage giants for “suspected widespread infringement of consumer protection law”.
UK environmental charity ClientEarth says that the claims commonly found on plastic water bottles are often factually incorrect, with the group arguing that the terms “100% recycled” or “100% recyclable” – suggest that bottles can simply be recycled in an infinite, circular loop.
Lawyers say these statements, often reinforced by ‘green’ imagery and generic environmental catchphrases, may mislead consumers into viewing single-use bottles as a sustainable choice. They insist the bottles are never made wholly of recycled materials, and the ability to recycle them depends on a number of factors, including the available infrastructure.
In support of BEUC’s complaint, ClientEarth has asked for companies to stop using misleading claims that could deter consumers from making good environmental choices – such as using a refillable water bottle – and encourage food and drink giants to move away from the harmful single-use plastic business model and ‘deplastify’.
If the European Commission agrees with the complaint, it can organise a coordinated response among national consumer authorities. This could involve asking the companies to rectify the situation, or imposing fines within their own borders.
Post Holdings’ president and CEO to take medical leave of absence
Post Holdings has announced that its president and chief executive officer, Robert Vitale, will be taking an unexpected medical leave of absence.
In a statement, the company said that it is currently too soon to know the course of treatment and timing of recovery.
Post’s board of directors has named Jeff Zadoks, currently Post’s executive vice president and chief operating officer, as interim CEO while Vitale is on leave.
Zadoks has a “long history” with Post and has served in various roles at the company since 2011. Before his role as EVP and COO, Zadoks served for eight years as Post’s EVP and chief financial officer.
Nissin Foods to build $228m US facility
Nissin Foods USA has invested $228 million to construct its third manufacturing facility in Greenville County, South Carolina, US.
The investment will enhance the company’s manufacturing capabilities and boost its innovation pipeline, better aligning with consumer demand for its products. The company currently has two manufacturing facilities in the US, located in Gardena, California, and Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
The facility, which spans more than 640,000 square feet, is said to bring hundreds of new jobs to the Greenville community. It will manufacture various products from Nissin Foods’ brand lineup, such as Top Ramen, Cup Noodles, Hot & Spicy Fire Wok and others, with capacity for further expansion as needed.
In addition, the plant will include solar panels, EV charging stations and electric forklifts, supporting Nissin Foods’ goal to reduce CO2 emissions by 30% by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
According to the company, to meet the rising demand for Nissin Foods’ products, the Greenville facility is part of its broader business strategy, which includes a recent multi-million dollar investment in its Lancaster plant, resulting in a 15% increase in overall capacity.
In this week’s product round-up, a number of big-name brands have launched innovative new offerings.
Heinz has launched a pickle-flavoured ketchup, combining its classic tomato ketchup with natural dill flavouring and onion powder for a tangy, savoury pickle taste.
Another flavour innovation comes from Bel UK’s Boursin brand, which has added a truffle-infused product to its cheese portfolio, aiming to bring a touch of luxury to consumers at home.
And in the frozen aisle, liquor-infused ice cream company LiQ has teamed up with Diageo-owned alcohol brand Baileys to launch ice cream pralines. The bite-sized treats feature flavours of vanilla ice cream infused with Baileys, coated in Belgian milk chocolate and an Irish cream centre.
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