This week in FMCG
It has been another jam-packed week of news in the FMCG sector with everything from the continuing strawberry scandal to Coke’s acquisition of an Aussie kombucha company. Here we take a look back at the stories that grabbed the headlines this week.
New Zealand’s much-loved Whittaker’s Chocolate hit Coles’ supermarket shelves this week with a range of different flavours. The product range can be found at over 447 selected Coles retail outlets across Australia and includes: 5 Roll Refined Creamy Milk (250g), Dark Ghana (250g), Coconut (250g), Marlborough Sea Salt and Caramel Brittle and West Coast Buttermilk. Whittaker’s chief sales officer Matt Whittaker said customers on social media are always asking for more flavours and more availability in Australia. “We’re delighted to have this opportunity to deliver this through our partnership with Coles, alongside our existing retail stockists and distributors,” he said.
The Queensland government announced a $1 million funding boost for the strawberry industry following a spate of food contamination incidents in recent weeks. The funding is intended to help growers for the remainder of the season and boost consumer confidence through the promotion of quality Queensland strawberries. It will also help with investigations on how to further improve traceability and integrity in the supply chain.
Global soft drinks giant Coca-Cola is said to be toying with the idea of a cannabis-infused beverage. Canada’s BNN Bloomberg reported that Coke is currently in “serious talks” with Aurora Cannabis about possibly producing a marijuana-infused beverage with the purpose of helping to relieve pain. Although no deal has been finalised yet, one of the media company’s sources said: “They’re pretty advanced down the path” of doing a deal. A statement on Coke’s website said: “We have no interest in marijuana or cannabis. Along with many others in the beverage industry, we are closely watching the growth of non-psychoactive [Cannabidiol] as an ingredient in functional wellness beverages around the world. The space is evolving quickly. No decisions have been made at this time.
Deliveroo introduced a winning concept in partnership with Arnott’s Shapes and fried chicken restaurants across the country. Shapes Original Barbeque crumbed Fried Chicken is available to customers based in NSW, VIC and QLD. The food scientists from Deliveroo and Arnott’s have spent weeks perfecting the ultimate fried chicken formula, marinating tender chicken drumsticks before rolling and coating in finely crushed Original Barbeque Shapes. The exclusive Deliveroo menu item will be available at participating restaurants until October 7.
The supermarket giants have added 10c per litre to home-branded milk which is to be passed on to dairy farmers gripped by drought. Coles increased the price of its 3-litre branded milk from $3 to $3.30 until the end of the year. Woolworths will do the same until mid-October, when it introduces a temporary range of milk at $1.10 per litre in Queensland, NSW, ACT and Victoria, with funds going to farmers in those states. Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said he’d been assured all of the money would get to the farm gate. “I’m going to hold them to account, don’t worry,” Littleproud told ABC radio.
Coca-Cola added its first line of kombucha through the acquisition of Organic & Raw Trading Co. The Australian-based business makes the MOJO brand of organic kombucha drinks. Kombucha is made from fermented tea and is the fastest-growing beverage category in Australia. This is the first time Coca-Cola has acquired full ownership of a brand in the category. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. President of Coca-Cola Australia, Vamsi Mohan said this is a “strong opportunity” for the soft drinks giant. “Across Australia, we now have more than 165 products and 25 brands. The addition of MOJO kombucha fits perfectly with the growing popularity of organic, probiotic drinks,” Mohan said.