Brand new: The need-to-know developments from big-name food and beverage brands across APAC

By Gary Scattergood contact

- Last updated on GMT

Coca-Cola FEMSA is to sell back its 51% stake in Coca-Cola Philippines. ©Getty Images
Coca-Cola FEMSA is to sell back its 51% stake in Coca-Cola Philippines. ©Getty Images

Related tags: Nestle, Coca-cola, Mondelez, Food

In the first of our new monthly round-ups of the biggest brand developments in the region's food and beverage industries, we shine the spotlight on Nestlé, Coca-Cola, Heinz, San Miguel and Mondelēz.

Nestlé 

Nestlé Philippines has responded to criticisms over packaging waste​ made by environmental campaigners after ‘plastic waves’ hit Manila, with the firm issuing reassurances that steps are in place to ‘reduce its environmental footprint’.

Tropical Storm Yagi (local name: Karding) hit Manila earlier this month, and its aftermath saw enormous waves of plastic waste crashing into the shores.

“At Nestlé Philippines, we are committed to play our part. We continuously find ways to reduce our environmental footprint,”​ said Nestle Philippines in an official response to queries from FoodNavigator-Asia​.

All of Nestlé’s factory sites have achieved zero waste to landfill. […] We continue to go beyond our factories, work with experts here and around the world to explore sustainable recycle options and packaging solutions that are safe, affordable and accessible to Filipino consumers,”​ it added.

Staying with Nestle, in India the firm turned to Walmart-owned e-commerce company Flipkart to launch its new Maggi Special Masala Noodles.

They were available solely via e-commerce for one week before being rolled out to stores.

Nestle’s focus on NPD for its instant noodle category comes as no surprise, given that statistics show 107.7 billion packets of instant noodles were consumed globally in 2017. Although China topped the charts here at 38.97 billion packets, India came in at fourth place with 5.42 billion packets.

San Miguel

San Miguel Food and Beverage (SMFB) revealed it will  plough resources into building new company-owned production facilities in the Philippines in an effort to tramp-up production and help boost exports.

SMFB is the new food and beverage arm of San Miguel Corp. (SMC), following SMC’s consolidation of all its food and beverage businesses​ last year.

The company’s plans were announced earlier this month via documents that were provided to investors, as well as the Securities and Exchange Commission as part of a company updates report.

Heinz

Heinz was fined US$1.64 million (A$2.25 million)​ in Australia for claiming that its toddler-targeted snack, Little Kids Shreds, was healthy and nutritious for young children, which then sparked calls for action in New Zealand too.

In a strongly-worded statement, prosecuting counsel Tom Duggan deemed Heinz’s actions as ‘egregious’​, ‘willfully blind’​ and ‘reckless’​ as it involved the health of young children.

The original amount called for by the prosecution was US$7.31 million (​AU$ 10 million). The hefty amount was imposed in the hope of deterring the company and other food firms from further misconduct.

Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola FEMSA is to sell back its 51% stake in Coca-Cola Philippines​, after a tough period marked by labour unrest and the introduction of a sugar tax.

FEMSA is the world’s biggest franchise bottler of Coca-Cola trademark drinks.

It only bought the stake in 2013, but the terms of the deal included a buy back option.

Parent business the Coca-Cola Company has stated that its Bottling Investments Group (BIG) will now take over the operation, subject to regulatory approvals.

In addition, Coca-Cola Amatil has started a strategic review into growth options for SPC, an Australian processor of packaged fruit and vegetables, with a change in ownership, alliances or mergers on the cards.

Coca-Cola acquired SPC in 2005, and has invested around $250m AUD ($184m USD) of capital in the business since then.

The  strategic review coincides with the completion of a four-year $100m AUD ($74m USD) co-investment in SPC with the Victorian government (of which Coca-Cola contributed $78m and the government $22m), which came to its end in June.

Mondelez

Food and beverage MNC Mondelez has opened its first sites in Bangladesh​, hot on the heels of celebrating its 70th anniversary of operations in India.

The firm is best known in Bangladesh for its imported powdered beverage brand Tang, which has been a market leader in Bangladesh since 1995.

However, it now wants to introduce more of its global portfolio to cash into growing demand for snacking and on-the-go products.

Kallappa Pattanashetti, who was previously with Mondelez in India, will lead the Bangladesh operation.

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