Land O'Lakes offset the loss of its foodservice business in 2020 with the pandemic-related surge in retail sales that spurred a 29% increase in annual earnings last year. The company reported the at-home baking trend that started during lockdowns helped butter sales grow 27%.
Conagra Brands is responding to increasing consumer interest in the keto diet and plant-based foods with zero-sugar varieties for its Reddi-wip and Healthy Choice brands, as well as chicken nuggets and chili for its plant-based Gardein brand, said CEO Sean Connolly. Increasing demand for meal solutions will be met from the Birds Eye brand with sheet pan meals and other offerings, added Connolly.
L'Oreal is extending its ModiFace virtual try-on technology to its Essie nail brand, which aims to re-create the nail salon experience at home. The technology also supports in-store purchases with QR-enabled try-on capabilities.
Coca-Cola will enter the mood-boosting beverage category with an extension of its smartwater line. The smartwater+ set will debut at retail March 1 with three functional varieties: Tranquility, Renew and Clarity.
Wtrmln Wtr's new functional line includes four varieties featuring ingredients such as turmeric, cayenne, hibiscus and ginger juice. The Hydration variety optimizes the fact watermelon juice is 92% water, said Luis Solis, CEO of the brand's parent company Caribe Juice.
Clif Bar is planning to broaden its reach beyond its core fitness market with a new marketing campaign and better-for-you snacks, such as Clif Thins and Pop'n Crunch snack clusters. CEO Sally Grimes said the company's goal is to double sales to $2 billion with an increased emphasis on agile product development and advanced analytics.
Indoor farming company Kalera will acquire non-GMO plant breeding firm Vindara, which specializes in developing seeds specifically for vertical farms. Kalera operates two indoor farms in Florida with plans to enter several new markets this year.
Brandon Hunnicutt and his family have used precision farming techniques on their Nebraska farm for two decades, and they continue to add new innovations to operate more efficiently and save on costs. A recent study on precision agriculture found the tech tools raised productivity by 4% with the possibility to grow by 6% more, reduced herbicide use by 9% and also decreased water and fossil fuel use.
Solectrac has reduced the amount of the deposit customers need to put down to reserve one of the company's in-demand all-electric tractors, from half of the purchase price to $1,000. Customers can now reserve the machines, which can be charged using either the traditional electric grid or renewable power sources.
Sustainable Futures is Mondelez's first investing platform focused on social and environmental causes. It will initially seek projects that support a sustainable raw material supply chain and fund women-led initiatives aimed at upcycling plastic in India and entrepreneurs engaged in "climate-smart" food production in South Africa.
- Page 1