Concerns that bottled water is a bad choice for the environment have cooled sales of the hot-selling product. But Nestlé, the world's biggest bottled-water producer, is trying to persuade consumers they should worry more about another drink: soda.
Some years ago, I hosted a blind tasting beer party where everyone voted for their favorite and least favorite beers from a collection of microbrews and mainstream brands. Although there was no clear winner, there was definitely an outright loser. I was thinking about that party when I read about Coke’s decision to kill its White Coke can before the scheduled end of its holiday season run. This was primarily a story about customer confusion -- there was not enough difference between the White Coke can and the Diet Coke can and people were getting confused and buying the wrong one. But there was a side-story that some people thought that the Coke from the white can did not taste the same/as good as the Coke from the red can. Ridiculous, you might say. Not that surprising, I thought, based on my own experience from that beer-tasting party.
Nestlé is a worldwide brand probably known best as a maker of chocolate, not exactly a health food. But the brand is making a serious push to become a global power in the emerging industry of foods that are not just healthy, but that offer specific medical and health benefits.
The capitalist system is under siege. In recent years business increasingly has been viewed as a major cause of social, environmental, and economic problems. Companies are widely perceived to be prospering at the expense of the broader community. Even worse, the more business has begun to embrace corporate responsibility, the more it has been blamed for society’s failures. The legitimacy of business has fallen to levels not seen in recent history. This diminished trust in business leads political leaders to set policies that undermine competitiveness and sap economic growth. Business is caught in a vicious circle.
Most companies are barely prepared to deal with unhappy customers who use social media to air their gripes. Now they must be ready to respond when organized entities, such as Greenpeace, wage massive campaigns against their brands using social media channels.
In this idyllic town on the north slope of Mount Hood, an autopsy on three dead rainbow trout may play a role in Nestlé SA's efforts to reverse a deep slide in its bottled-water business. Bottled water, which for years delivered double-digit growth for Nestlé, is under fire from environmentalists. They decry the energy used to transport it and the use of billions of plastic bottles, and oppose efforts to use new springs, citing concerns about water scarcity.
In the age of social networks, content evolves hand-in-hand with the mode of dissemination. What matters is pass-along potential, and nothing gets passed along like humor, particularly sarcasm or the thrill of the 'gotcha' moment. Sound bites have always been part of political communication, but decisions about which bites to air used to be in the hands of at least half-way responsible and accountable editors. Now everybody has a say in deciding what gets disseminated, and everybody seems to like passing along the put-down more than the uplift. My interest, as a marketing professor, is in the way this shift is playing out in the world of brands.
If you haven't seen it by now, the Nestle brand* has run into a bit of a brand crisis on Facebook thanks to a combination of a coordinated attack from Greenpeace and missteps from the brand in communicating with consumers through the social media environment. The negativity is piling on at the moment and the brand is likely getting advice from many different places about what to do next and how to react. Along with this, their following on Facebook is exploding and is now close to 100,000 fans. In my mind, this is another great example of the type of crisis that we have seen in many companies that ultimately helps to awaken their entire teams to the power of social media and how it may require a different type of thinking.
Last week, Nestle got itself into a bit of a situation on its Facebook page. Following accusations by Greenpeace that the confectionery company was using palm oil sourced from deforested areas in Indonesia, the company's Facebook page was overrun by disgruntled campaigners urging a boycott of its products, and the firm was forced to put out a statement on its corporate website.
In case you haven’t been watching, Nestle’s Facebook Fan page has been overrun by critics of their sustainability issues around palm olive and deforestation. While this isn’t the place to have a discussion sustainability, let’s look at the ramifications this has to society, brands, fans, and Facebook.
Kraft Foods might have moved a step closer to acquiring Cadbury, raising dough for a bid by selling its thriving frozen-pizza business to Nestle for $3.7 billion. But the move raises a prickly question: Why does Kraft want to trade pizza for chocolate?
Board members at Cadbury PLC, resisting a hostile takeover bid by Kraft Foods Inc., have held talks with directors at Hershey Co. to encourage a rival offer, several people familiar with the matter said. The Cadbury board members have told the Hershey directors that they would support a bid by the Pennsylvania company, and they have provided some guidance on the kind of price that would draw board support, these people said. In these talks, Hershey has sought direction from Cadbury and disclosed financial terms and the structure of a possible offer. Hershey has also inquired whether Cadbury would be open to selling certain assets, these people said. In response, Cadbury has provided "reasonable guidance without specifics," said one of the people.
Investor Warren Buffett waded into the rancorous battle for Cadbury PLC, issuing a rebuke of Kraft Foods Inc.'s just-sweetened, nearly $17 billion takeover offer for the British confectionary company. As Kraft's largest shareholder—with a 9.4% stake—Mr. Buffett's holding company, Berkshire Hathaway Inc., said it wouldn't support the issuance of new shares to pay for a Cadbury deal.
Kraft Foods Inc. sweetened its hostile takeover offer for Cadbury PLC on Tuesday, offering to tweak the cash-and-share mix of its $16 billion bid, but Cadbury and some of its investors quickly dismissed the new bid as still too low. The new offer follows an agreement Kraft reached to sell its U.S. and Canadian frozen pizza business to Nestlé SA, the Swiss consumer giant, for $3.7 billion. Kraft said it would use net proceeds from the deal, which it estimates at 60 pence (97 U.S. cents) per Cadbury share, to give Cadbury shareholders a "partial cash alternative" to its existing offer, which had been made up of 60% Kraft stock and 40% cash.
Novartis AG aims to get full ownership of Alcon Inc. through the purchase of a 52% stake in the U.S. eyecare company from Nestlé SA and by buying out minority shareholders, in a deal that will bring the Swiss drug maker much closer to its goal of becoming a global health-care conglomerate. Getting a strong foothold in the market for eyecare products is part of Novartis's strategy of branching out into fast-growing areas of health care to make up for slowing sales of branded prescription drugs. The Swiss group is also investing heavily to build its generic drugs and vaccines businesses, two sectors with double-digit annual sales growth.
Swiss food giant Nestlé SA announced plans to use fair-trade chocolate in its KitKat bars in the U.K., as part of its continuing effort to polish its image as a socially responsible corporation. The world's largest food manufacturer said Monday that starting in January it would begin using fair-trade chocolate to make KitKats in the U.K., where the chocolate biscuit was originally born. Under fair trade terms, farmers receive a guaranteed minimum price as well as extra support for social and environmentally friendly projects.
Cadbury is up for grabs, and as we have been following, it looks like like Hershey and Kraft Foods are hungry for a takeover. Kraft has been at the center of the multi-billion struggle with no signs of giving up, though Nestlé is considering placing a rival bid for the chocolate company, which may incite a hostile reaction from Kraft. Regardless, Cadbury knows who the true power-players are.
In a February 2009 ranking of Swiss brands by Interbrand, the top five brands were, in order of brand value, Nescafé, UBS, Nestlé, Credit Suisse and Zurich. Other globally recognized brands in the top 20 included Rolex, Omega, Lindt, Swatch and Longines. How did a tiny country largely known for keeping to itself become such a branding powerhouse? It starts with Switzerland’s view of its own brand.
One evening earlier this week 14 guests arrived at Diana Burroughs' condo in Manhattan's West Village; seven of them were dogs. After sniffing one another and joining in a dog-and-owner look-alike contest, the pooches happily feasted on filet-mignon- and potato-flavored kibbles from Chef Michael's Canine Creations. Nestle Purina in recent weeks has spent $150,000 sponsoring 1,000 home gatherings like this three-hour party to market its newest line of dog food.
Creativity reports that JWT Japan and Kit Kat have won the Media Grand Prix in Cannes with a product/marketing concept called Kit Kat Mail. JWT was struck by the Japanese translation of Kit Kat—Kitto Katso means “surely win”—and the tradition of sending students good luck wishes before tough higher education entrance exams.
Paul Polman is the only senior executive to have worked at each of the three biggest consumer-product marketers on Earth in the past five years -- Procter & Gamble Co., Nestlé and Unilever. As such, he's seen a variety of takes on how to run global marketing, and his unique perspective is this: No single solution will work universally, even within the same company.
Advertisers in India can't rely on TV, radio or even newspapers to reach the country's 700 million rural consumers. So they use Sandeep Sharma. On dirt roads across the subcontinent, the former wedding singer cracks jokes, gives demonstrations and stages game shows to spread global consumerism, one village at a time.
Like every other category, the beverage market has been pounded by the recession, with 2008 marking its first volume decline on record as consumers buy fewer bottled beverages. Still, thousands of products continue to launch each year, making it one of the most competitive categories around. Backed by smart marketing strategies, some drink brands are breaking away from the crowd and amassing loyal consumer bases.
After years of double-digit increases, bottled water sales have stopped rising. Industry analysts say the economy is driving the change, but they also say environmentalists may be having an effect.
As supermarket brands pummel its business, the food industry is increasingly picking and choosing among its brands for the one to back.
Is your dog a Fifi or a Fido? Fallon's first work for Alpo takes puppy love back to basics with an online and outdoor campaign that implores owners: "Quick, Get that dog some Alpo."
The current recession may be most serious since the 1930s, but these are boom times at Nespresso — the seemingly omnipresent brand of coffee and coffee makers owned by the Swiss food giant Nestlé.
Who needs a design firm? Apparently not Nestlé Confections and Snacks. The candy maker is asking consumers to pick the latest packaging for its Goobers, Sno-Caps and Oh Henry! brands.
Elizabeth Royte’s book, Bottlemania: How Water Went on Sale and Why We Bought It, is causing waves.