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Period: September 1, 2017 to October 15, 2017
Comment & Opinion or Companies, Organizations or Consumers or Controversies & Disputes or Deals, M&A, JVs, Licensing or Earnings Release or Finance, Economics, Tax or Innovation & New Ideas or Legal, Legislation, Regulation, Policy or Market News or Marketing & Advertising or Other or People & Personalities or Press Release or Products & Brands or Research, Studies, Advice or Supply Chain or Trends

Carrefour Brasil Introduces Online Shopping Service In Sao Paul

Grupo Carrefour Brasil, the French retailer's unit in Brazil, plans to launch an online grocery shopping and rewards platform in Sao Paulo. After raising $1.6 billion in an IPO in July 2017, the company will launch the services through the Meu Carrefour mobile app. According to the company, which has 4 million registered online users, it plans to issue about 100 million coupons each month through the mobile app.

"Carrefour Brasil opens online grocery shopping in Sao Paulo", Reuters, October 10, 2017

Costco Introduces Online Shopping Services

Membership-only warehouse club Costco Wholesale introduced two online shopping services, as part of efforts to expand its online retail presence. Available at present at 376 stores in the US, Costco's partnership with Instacart will be expanded to include more locations across the country. Launched on October 1, 2017, the company's CostcoGrocery online shopping service include about 500 nonperishable dry grocery products delivered free to Costco customers who make orders worth at least $75.

"Costco Launches Online Grocery Offering", Supermarket News, October 06, 2017

Amazon Seeks To Expand Own Delivery Capabilities

Online retailer Inc. is expanding its in-house delivery capabilities in order to increase the number of products available for free two-day delivery and decrease warehouse overcrowding. Dubbed by the company as Seller Flex, the proposed service first began in India. Amazon began testing the service in West Coast states in 2017 and plans to launch the service across the country in 2018.

"Amazon Is Testing Its Own Delivery Service to Rival FedEx and UPS", Bloomberg, October 05, 2017

Amazon Talks Logistics Collaboration With French Retailer Leclerc

Online retailer Amazon has discussed possible logistics partnerships with Leclerc, according to the French retailer's chief executive Michel-Edouard Leclerc. French newspaper Le Monde earlier reported that Amazon has approached local supermarket companies regarding the possibility of establishing distribution deals or acquiring retail company in the country.

"French retailer Leclerc approached by Amazon over logistics partnership", Reuters, October 04, 2017

Wal-Mart Buys NYC-based Last-Mile Delivery Service Parcel

Wal-Mart said it has acquired Parcel, a technology-enabled, last-mile delivery service company specializing in perishable and non-perishable products in New York City. Operating 24/7, Parcel relies on technology, a fleet of leased vehicles, and employee-based workforce to rapidly sort, load, and deliver products to customers. Wal-Mart said it plans to use Parcel to deliver packages to customers in New York City.

"Walmart Announces the Acquisition of Parcel, a Technology-Based, Same-Day and Last-Mile Delivery Company", Walmart, October 03, 2017

Whole Foods Says Customer Card Payment Information Hacked By Cyberthieves

Retailer Whole Foods has warned customers that hackers gained access to payment card information at several stores. Acquired by online retailer Amazon for $13.7 billion in June 2017, Whole Foods said the cyberattack affected the company's taprooms and restaurants and not the main checkout lines of its stores. Whole Foods operates 449 stores in the US, with more than 40 branches selling beer on tap.

"Whole Foods hit by credit card hack at several stores", CNET, September 29, 2017

Wal-Mart Aims For High-End Market With

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is repositioning its Jet ecommerce unit toward the high-end market, as part of the retailer's efforts to compete with online rival Amazon. Acquired by Wal-Mart for $3.3 billion in 2016, Jet plans to sell apparel from online retailers bought by the retail giant in the previous year. Also, Jet plans to introduce a new line of private-label food and grocery items.

"Wal-Mart Tries to Take Upscale", The Wall Street Journal, September 28, 2017

CeraVe Achieves Cult Status On Social Media

L’Oréal’s CeraVe is the drugstore skincare brand that is followed closely on Reddit’s huge Skincare Addiction thread patronized by dermatologists, experts, and full-blown skin care lovers. It has turned CeraVe into a “legit cult-favorite and desert-island necessity.” Launched in 2005 with a cleanser, moisturizing lotion, and moisturizing cream, the brand has expanded to include a full line of moisturizers, cleansers, body washes, and SPFs. Visitors to the Skincare Addiction thread on Reddit focus on CeraVe’s ability to get rid of stubborn breakouts and moisturize oily skin without aggravation. A key to the success is CeraVe’s low-cost, easy-to-find products that work with all skin types. [ Image credit: © Wikimedia  ]

"How CeraVe Became the Internet’s Cult-Favorite Drugstore Brand", stylecaster, August 05, 2017

Comment & Opinion  

Amazon Angers India’s Big Retailers With Unapproved Gift Coupon Scheme

Big retail chains in India are crying foul over what they feel was a sneaky tactic by Amazon to steal their customers using gift coupons distributed via ITC, Nestlé, and Coca-Cola products. The tactic – dubbed “below the belt” and “ambush marketing” – infuriated Big Bazaar, Hyper-City, Star Bazaar, Walmart-owned Best Price Modern Wholesale, and others. The brands involved in the Amazon campaign include ITC’s Yippee Noodles, Nestlé’s KitKat chocolate, and Coca-Cola’s Sprite and Fanta soft drinks. The stores have since removed products carrying the coupons. A D-Mart executive criticized the brands for not talking to his company first. Amazon downplayed the ruckus, calling the campaign a normal promotional activity.

"Big Retailers like ITC, Nestle & Coca-Cola Cry Foul over Amazon’s ‘Ambush’", The Economic Times, October 09, 2017

Companies, Organizations  

Big Data Is Helping Companies Transform The Customer Experience

Using tools like advanced digital technologies and the cloud, marketers of food and beverages are mining both public and proprietary data to enhance data analytics, improve efficiency, and drive sales while personalizing the customer experience. One beverage industry example is Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, whose sales staff has exchanged its bulky data binders for iPads packed with crucial marketing, distribution, and customer metrics. The platform the company uses applies app-based machine learning and business intel analytics. Staff use the app to gather recommendations, check operational scorecards, gauge performance against projections, and gain insights on how to adjust tactics to meet goals.

"How to shape your customer experience with big data", The Drum Network, October 09, 2017

Innovation & New Ideas  

New Beverage Dispensing Technology Being Tested In U.K.

Coca-Cola European Partners is testing its Coke Freestyle fountain dispensers among students and staff at the University of Reading in the U.K. The machines work with refillable containers sold by the school that have RFID technology and microchips that interact with Validfill dispensing software. Customers choose from more than 100 brands, including Coca-Cola Classic, Diet Coke, and Fanta, as well as low- and zero-calorie varieties, caffeine-free and still drinks. The technology ensures payment, keeps track of refills, and ranks drinks on popularity.

"Coca-Cola European Partners to track refillable bottles on UK university campus",, October 09, 2017

Wal-Mart To Roll Out Facebook’s Workplace Networking Tool

The Wall Street Journal, September 26, 2017

Market News  

Nestle: Detailed Knowledge Of Consumers Makes Digital Marketing Very Precise

Nestlé CEO Mark Schneider told investors recently that digital marketing isn’t a one-size-fits-all proposition. In fact, it involves developing and using region- or even country-specific Internet marketing tools. As an example, the company’s cross-matching of its own Nescafe customer data with China’s Alibaba consumer data – a 460 million-record database – has made targeting in that country “three times more effective.” The personalization encompasses ad banners on computer screens and delivery of free nutritional product samples. As the “push” model of marketing fades, Schneider said, all you need now is a consumer's phone number or e-mail address to “really target specifically to the needs of that person.”

"Nestle taking country-specific digital approach", Foods Business News, September 28, 2017

Costco Launches Online Grocery Offering

Supermarket News, October 06, 2017

Marketing & Advertising  

Coca-Cola Is Accumulating Mountains Of Data, And It’s Using All Of It

Coca-Cola recognized as early as 2012 that it had amassed a goldmine of data from social media, mobile apps, cloud computing and e-commerce that could be used to support strategic decision-making. Since then, the company has been applying artificial intelligence (AI) to squeeze insights from its big data. For example, Coke applied AI in the development and launch of the new flavor Cherry Sprite. The decision was based on monitoring data collected from new generation self-service soft drink fountains, where customers mix their own drinks. The company saw which flavor combinations were the most popular and created a ready-made, canned beverage to fit the profile. Big data analysis is also being used to modernize vending machines, customize marketing messages, and develop healthful drink options, such as orange juice varieties.

"The Amazing Ways Coca Cola Uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) And Big Data To Drive Success",, September 18, 2017

Top 10 CPG Brands in China

L2 Inc., October 11, 2017

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