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The Coca-Cola Company announced that Jennifer Mann will become president of the company’s North America operating unit effective Jan. 1, 2023. Mann succeeds Alfredo Rivera, who will step down Dec. 31. Rivera, who has led a successful restructuring of the North America operating unit, will remain with the company as a senior advisor through March 2023.

Mann, 49, currently serves as corporate senior vice president and president of Global Ventures. Her team is responsible for globally scaling acquisitions and brands, including Costa Coffee and Coca-Cola’s investment in Monster Beverage Corp. A new leader for Global Ventures will be named at a later date.

Rivera, 61, has led the North America operating unit since August 2020.

About Jennifer Mann
Mann joined Coca-Cola in 1997 and went on to hold a number of roles of increasing responsibility. She became president of Global Ventures in 2019.
Prior to her role with Global Ventures, Mann served as chief people officer for the company and as chief of staff for Quincey. From 2012 to 2015, she was vice president and general manager of Coca-Cola Freestyle, where she accelerated the global expansion of Freestyle and led its development across the Coca-Cola system.
Mann’s first role with the company was as a manager in the National Customer Support division of North America. She went on to hold various customer and operational roles, including director, McDonald’s Customer & Consumer Operations; director, Good Answer; and vice president, Foodservice & On-Premise Strategy and Marketing for Coca-Cola Refreshments.
Mann is a member of the board of directors of Coca-Cola Consolidated. Mann holds a degree in accounting from Georgia State University.

HONEST Kids to remain in company’s portfolio, with HONEST teas product line to be phased out

The Coca-Cola Company is challenging itself to think differently about how its brands help accelerate business transformation, reflect consumer choice and promote growth as a company. This means rationalising its lineup of drinks and prioritising fewer, bigger brands with the greatest potential for scale and profitable growth.

While the HONEST Kids portfolio is quickly growing and will remain a successful part of the business, the HONEST teas product line will be phased out of The Coca-Cola Company’s beverage portfolio at the end of 2022.

Gold Peak, a national brand, and the regional Peace Tea offering will now anchor the company’s ready-to-drink tea (RTD) strategy in North America.

“Shifting from a three-brand tea portfolio to a prioritised two-brand tea lineup will free up investment resources and supply chain capacity to better meet consumer needs and capture share in the category,” said Sabrina Tandon, group director, RTD Tea, Coca-Cola North America Operating Unit. “We believe Gold Peak and Peace Tea are best positioned to meet consumer preferences for high-quality brewed teas with different levels of sweetness and flavour.”

The Coca-Cola system will continue to produce and distribute the HONEST Kids line of organic juice drinks and explore licensing ventures and innovation opportunities for the HONEST brand in other categories. “We are phasing out the HONEST teas product line, but are not selling the HONEST brand,” Tandon clarified.

Gold Peak launched in 2006 and became a billion-dollar brand in 2015. The brand transitioned to a real-brewed formula in 2018, appealing to “tea truists” who value tea-forward taste profiles and high-quality ingredients.

Peace Tea has built a loyal, Gen Z following in the Midwest, Northeast and Southeast with fruit-forward flavours offered in colourful, 23-oz. cans and a fun, free-spirited personality.

Mainstream brands like Gold Peak and Peace Tea are driving growth of the RTD tea category. Sales of both Gold Peak and Peace Tea have increased during the COVID-19 pandemic as shoppers gravitate both to beverages with immune-boosting properties and multi-serve packaging options for at-home consumption. HONEST teas, which are primarily offered in single-serve bottles with a strong concentration in the Northeast and along the West Coast, have been negatively impacted by a drop in immediate consumption sales and limited glass supplies.

“Ongoing supply chain challenges mean we are having to prioritise production and distribution of certain product SKUs, and that we’ve been unable to meet consumer demand for Gold Peak,” Tandon added. “This, among other factors, helped drive this very difficult decision.”

Tandon also cited some overlap among Gold Peak and HONEST tea consumers, adding, “We see endless runway with Gold Peak and are excited to expand the trademark with new product and packaging innovations that will appeal to the HONEST Tea consumer.”

The HONEST brand was founded in 1998 by Seth Goldman and Barry Nalebuff. In 2008, The Coca-Cola Company took a 40 % investment stake in HONEST before fully acquiring the brand in 2011.

Tandon credits HONEST tea with helping the company create a new route to market into the natural foods channel, where brands like Simply, Topo Chico, vitaminwater and smartwater remain.

PepsiCo, Inc. announced the establishment of the company’s first two Digital Hubs in North America and Europe, with plans to expand to more locations in the future. These Hubs, located in Dallas and Barcelona, are expected to create more than 500 new, high-caliber data and digital jobs over the next three years, bringing additional opportunity to the regions. By creating state-of-the-art spaces designed for real-time collaboration, the talent and capabilities housed in these Digital Hubs will drive PepsiCo’s digitalization agenda and create a strong, global digital delivery network.

As one of the first major consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies to establish a robust Digital Hub in North America, the Dallas-based Hub will support the development of global solutions with a primary focus on meeting the needs of the company’s North America-based businesses: PepsiCo Foods North America and PepsiCo Beverages North America. The Hub in Barcelona will serve as a Center of Excellence for PepsiCo Global Digitalization priority programs. Together, the Hubs will accelerate the way PepsiCo develops, centralizes and deploys critical digital capabilities, such as near instant, holistic, predictive analytics and ecosystem engagement across our global operations.

“Our Digital Hubs will support PepsiCo’s efforts to be an even Faster, Stronger and Better Company,” said Athina Kanioura, Chief Strategy & Transformation Officer, PepsiCo. “By creating an agile and dedicated environment where innovation will thrive, our talent will have the opportunity to lead work that will reach global scale and have a significant impact for PepsiCo for many years to come.”

These capabilities move the company closer to a future vision where customers will have improved access to real-time sales and inventory data; consumers will benefit from consistent product availability at the right place, right time and right price; and employees will utilize predictive decision-making tools, giving them the ability to manage more complexity with enhanced efficiency.

From leveraging AI to ensure perfectly consistent Cheetos every time to optimizing water consumption and preventing leaks in manufacturing facilities, PepsiCo has been at the forefront of digital innovation across its global operations. PepsiCo’s Digital Hubs will greatly influence the way the organization reinvents planning, making, moving, selling and delivering products.

Kanioura added, “We strategically chose Barcelona and Dallas because they are truly innovative cities with topnotch talent, world-class education systems and fully-developed regional infrastructures. Coming into PepsiCo one year ago, I was extremely impressed with the caliber of existing data and digital talent within a CPG, and I’m excited to harness that power to grow our teams in North America and Europe.”

GNT, manufacturer of EXBERRY® Coloring Foods, has announced an initial investment of $30 million to expand its operation in North America. Centrally located in Gaston County, just outside of Charlotte, the 49-acre facility now takes the company’s operations to new heights and will provide significant advantages for its customers throughout the US, Canada, and Mexico.

Hendrik Hoeck, CEO at GNT Group B.V., said: “As the global leader of coloring food we see consistent demand for our colors as the consumption of products that are formulated with EXBERRY® continues to grow. Part of our Strategic Growth Plan is a multiple phase expansion in North America. I am happy to announce the completion of the initial phase with our warehouse commissioning on October 15, 2021. This will bring increased capacity, supply-chain efficiency and improved control of inventory.”

“Our strategy to create awareness of coloring food in the US in the last quarter century has been well executed by our marketing and sales team. As a result, today you will find ‘Fruit and vegetable juice for color’ on the label of many supermarkets’ products and also in food service items,” says Frederik Hoeck, Managing Director at GNT Group B.V..

As a family-owned business, throughout their forty-five year history, the goal at GNT is to continuously invest in innovation and this new facility will deliver on this fundamental objective. “Our globally aligned innovation focus fields are a big part of our investment strategy to offer new coloring food solutions. The expected completion of the next phase will bring finished good production even closer to our North American customers by the end of 2022. This will increase the speed of bringing innovation to market,” says Hendrik Hoeck.

A Technical and Culinary Experience Center, scheduled to open August 2022, will provide visitors and culinary teams with an unprecedented opportunity to experiment, create, and innovate together. Per Frederik Hoeck, “We look forward hosting workshops which will enable customers to meet teams of R&D scientists in person to collaborate on color matching, pilot plant trials, and more.”

Tate & Lyle PLC, a leading global provider of food and beverage solutions and ingredients, announced the appointment of William Magee as President, North America, Food & Beverage Solutions, and as a member of Tate & Lyle’s Executive Committee, with effect from 1 October 2021.

William Magee joined Tate & Lyle in April 2018 as Commercial Vice President, North America, Food & Beverage Solutions, before being promoted to Senior Vice President and General Manager, North America, Food & Beverage Solutions later that year. In these positions, he has been instrumental in leading the Company’s growth transformation in the region over the last three years. Prior to joining Tate & Lyle, Bill held senior leadership roles with Rohm & Haas, H.B Fuller and Michelman.

Nestlé S.A. announced that it has reached an agreement to sell its regional spring water brands, purified water business and beverage delivery service in the U.S. and Canada to One Rock Capital Partners in partnership with Metropoulos & Co. for USD 4.3 billion. The Company’s international premium brands including Perrier®, S.Pellegrino® and Acqua Panna® are not a part of the deal. The transaction is expected to close following the completion of customary closing conditions.

The sale includes the following brands in the U.S. and Canada, which had sales of around CHF 3.4 billion in 2019: Poland Spring® Brand 100 % Natural Spring Water, Deer Park® Brand 100 % Natural Spring Water, Ozarka® Brand 100 % Natural Spring Water, Ice Mountain® Brand 100 % Natural Spring Water, Zephyrhills® Brand 100 % Natural Spring Water, Arrowhead® Brand Mountain Spring Water, Pure Life® and Splash. It also comprises the U.S. direct-to-consumer and office beverage delivery service ReadyRefresh®.

The agreement follows Nestlé’s announcement last year that it would conduct a strategic review of parts of the North American waters division and sharpen the focus of its global water portfolio.

Commenting on the transaction, Mark Schneider, Nestlé CEO, said: “We continue to transform our global waters business to best position it for long-term profitable growth. This sale enables us to create a more focused business around our international premium brands, local natural mineral waters and high-quality healthy hydration products. We will also boost our innovation and business development efforts to capture emerging consumer trends, such as functional water.”

Nestlé reiterated its commitment to make its entire water portfolio carbon neutral by 2025. In 2020, Nestlé announced renewed sustainability commitments which build on existing efforts to enhance water stewardship and tackle plastic waste.

Easy-Peeler Orri Jaffa expected to see 70 % sales growth in North American Markets

The Plant Production and Marketing Board of Israel predicts that 2019 will see significant increase in exports of the Orri Jaffa mandarin to the US and Canada. The organization set goals for expanding export of its leading, easy-to-peel mandarin in response to the increased demand for high-quality, easy-peelers.

The Jaffa Orri is a mandarin developed by scientists at the Israeli Volcani Research Center. This easy-to-peel mandarin retains an excellent, fresh, sweet flavor with a fleshy texture, and mouthful juiciness, while bearing virtually no seeds. It also carries a particularly long shelf life and appears later in the season compared to other easy peelers – from January into May.

The American citrus market has been growing significantly in recent years and is composed largely of imports. The mandarin sub-category is the largest in the citrus category, accounting for some 40 % of the citrus market. More than 230 thousand tons of easy-to-peel mandarins are shipped into the US annually, at a total value of more than $1 billion. This is in addition the 1 million tons produced locally.

Data from studies conducted in recent years confirm a doubling of per-capita consumption of easy-to-peel mandarins in the past two decades. This coincides to a significant increase in the intake of easy-peelers in the American market, mainly in place of traditional oranges. In recent years, this phenomenon has led to a sharp upsurge in the import of easy-peelers to America, leading to the establishment of new groves.

“The US market for easy-to-peel mandarins is substantial and holds promise as a developing target market for Israeli citrus exports,” says Tal Amit, Director of the Citrus Division in the Plant Production and Marketing Board of Israel. “The success of easy-peeler mandarins in particular can be easily credited to the fruit’s great flavor and unbeatable convenience.”

Over the past five seasons, citrus exports from Israel to North America have increased from 3,000 tons to 9,000 tons last season, of which about 5,300 tons are easy-to-peel mandarins. This season, export of Orri Jaffa mandarin alone is expected to reach 9,000 tons, constituting a potential 70 % growth.

In spite of this significant rise in consumption of the mandarins in the US, consumption per capita is among the lowest in the world, about 2.5 kg per year. But based on the rapidly increasing demand, that figure is forecast to double. In Canada that figure is almost doubled exceeding 4.6 Kg per capita.

Orri Jaffa mandarin currently is exported to 45 countries worldwide. Most of the yield is exported to Europe (78%). The most prominent outlets in Europe of the popular fruit are: France (39 %), the Netherlands, Scandinavia and Russia (7 % each). About 18 % of the fruit is shipped to North America, and 4 % to Asia Pacific.

The Plant Production and Marketing Board of Israel was established in 2004 to assist farmers in advancing their agricultural missions. The board promotes the Jaffa brand and other registered citrus industry brands. It helps kick-start pioneering R&D projects, executes centralized crop protection initiatives, assists organizations in meeting phytosanitary standards and insures growers against weather-related losses.

Bibliography: CIRAD report Agriculture Research for development, Fruitrop, November 2017

Louis Dreyfus Company B.V. (LDC) announced the following changes in its senior management, which go into effect immediately.

Adrian Isman has accepted the role of Senior Head of Grains and Value Chain Platforms, replacing David Ohayon, who has resigned. Mr. Isman will also retain his existing responsibilities as Head of North America.

Murilo Parada has been named Head of the Juice Platform at a global level, in addition to his current role as Head of the North Latin America Region.

The changes announced are part of ongoing organizational plans for LDC’s platforms, based on its long-term strategy, and will further reinforce the company’s efforts as it progresses effectively towards its ambitious goals.