03 March 2023

Our February Roundup: reformulating Unilever’s ice cream, physical vs virtual grocery and innovative upcycling

In this month's CPG news, we discover Unilever's plan to reformulate ice cream to withstand higher temperatures, the disruption to the traditional grocery store model presented by Addie's, innovative upcycling efforts, the decline of BeReal for marketers and the snacks consumers are craving.

Christina Carè

Sevendots, London

4 minute read

Welcome back to another instalment of our CPG news roundup! Here is everything you missed over the month of February.

Unilever Tries Reformulating Its Ice Cream to Survive Warmer Freezers

From the Wall Street Journal

As part of its efforts to pursue green goals, Unilever has announced it wants to warm its freezers that house its ice cream products. The energy used to cool accounts for ‘around 10% of Unilever’s greenhouse gas footprint’ and it has been determined that being able to keep the ice cream at 10 degrees – as opposed to zero – will reduce emission by 20-30% per freezer. To achieve this, Unilever must reformulate products to withstand higher temperatures without melting.

In the words of Sevendots Partner Mauro Piloni:

“In a world in continuous mutation, innovation has to follow the trends. This is an interesting approach from Unilever, demonstrating a drive to reformulate ice cream recipes in order to stay on top of trends in freezer technology, while also making an active effort towards environmental progress.”

Mauro Piloni

It’s a long-term play that is complex in scope, but forms a part of the company’s wider efforts towards ensuring its brands have social and environmental credentials.

Amazon CEO still wants to ‘go big’ on retail grocery: report

From Supermarket News

Amazon CEO has reiterated intentions to roll out a wide scale physical grocery format. Sevendots Partner Miriam Mostarda had this to say:

“Unlocking new trade models is the big task for the coming years. Amazon’s distribution model requires some tweaking, but the Amazon CEO still wants to go big on the physical side, to capture those that – in the face of the metaverse and everything that is virtual – desire human connections and physical spaces in our post pandemic world.”

Miriam Mostarda

While this piece speaks to the need for physical stores in a virtual world, our next piece speaks back…

Addie’s Debuts as the East Coast’s First Drive-up Grocer, with Rapid Expansion to Follow

From PR News Wire

In this article, Addie’s has received $10.1 million in seed funding for its drive-up grocery experience: a pick-up only store that is designed for “stocking, storing, and bagging groceries without the need for a shopper ever to step foot in the store itself.” Sevendots Partner Miriam Mostarda adds:

“While Amazon sets out to address the needs of consumers who crave a physical experience, Addies has set out to optimize an entirely new delivery model. In this case the pandemic is the accelerator of the consumer need for a more seamless and optimized experience when not buying in store, a need that Addies believes has not yet been delivered.”

Miriam Mostarda

New models of grocery – be it in the physical or digital or both – are clear issues to be addressed. Addie’s contribution aims to save time, money and resources for the retailer while offering higher starting wages for workers and maintaining competitive pricing while using a quarter of the energy of a regular supermarket. It’s a unique approach demonstrating that even the “100-year-old grocery business is not immune to disruption” as CEO Matt Christensen has said.

Scotland: Edinburgh makes vegan menu mandatory in govt institutions; 1st European capital to do so

From Firstpost

Edinburgh becomes the first European city to make vegan menus mandatory in government institutions such as schools, hospitals and nursing homes.

Condemned as ‘anti-farming’, the move makes Edinburgh the second UK location after Haywards Heath Council in West Sussex to ratify the “plant-based pact”. Regardless of criticism, the move aims to lower greenhouse gas emissions and demonstrates legislative interest in supporting these efforts.

Upcycled food helps brands, consumers combat waste

From SmartBrief

The Upcycled Food Association has helped launch a certification program to identify products that are upcycled. The symbol creates transparency and credibility for consumers, with certified product sales growing by 21% from 2021-2022.

Rather than fixating on packaging, more companies are examining their supply chain to find ways to reduce waste. Blue Stripes Urban Cacao presents an interesting solution on this front. Our Moment10 partner Monica Spinola had this to say:

“Blue Stripes is doing something very interesting to concretely act on food waste: they are not only upcycling the whole cacao fruit, shell and beans, but they have positioned these ‘leftovers’ as a super fruit with related benefits; they have introduced a cacao water (rich in Vitamins and anti-oxidants), and other cacao-based products (with minerals, anti-oxidants, etc) to maximise their offer. This could represent a real better for me/better for the planet challenge, easily understandable by consumers”.

Monica Spinola

BeReal still has potential for advertisers, but its hype period is well and truly over

From Digiday

While BeReal made quite a splash, marketers and creators are already losing interest. The app didn’t provide marketers with the kind of features that hold them to a new platform, and as a consequence:

The only brands that appear to remain on the platform right now, are those that pride themselves on having a strong tone of voice across social media, not just an advertising presence. Other marketers have put BeReal on the back burner.

The BeReal team hasn’t prioritised working with brands, and despite being cited as tapping into Gen Z’s yearning for authenticity, has failed to keep delivering new features or any other means of engaging its users. As other apps have adopted the BeReal USP, the platform will have to work harder to regain popularity.

What snacks and brands are consumers craving?

From Progressive Grocer

In a new report of over 300,000 social discussions over six months, it was found that consumers are looking for more healthy options from a variety of snack brands. Taste remains a key driver, and consumers reach for comfort-food salty snacks.

67% of consumers choose salty snacks while relaxing and to satisfy cravings, though 43% said price was the most important attribute while 40% reported flavor and brand familiarity are the main reasons driving a particular choice.


That’s it for another month! Keep in touch with us and continue the conversation on LinkedIn.

Related Articles

04 March 2022

Our February Roundup: What should companies do in a crisis? Plus, sustainability innovation, rebuilding trust and the power of brand partnerships

With the situation in Ukraine unfolding, we ask what companies can do now. Also, we offer up our monthly selection of news in sustainability innovation, the connection between trust and agriculture, and the growth power of brand partnerships.

Christina Carè

Sevendots, London

05 December 2023

Our November Roundup: greedflation, a free non-exclusive license from Unilever and the end of categories.

In this roundup, we discuss the end of categories, the possible impacts of Unilever's free non-exclusive license for 12 of its reformulation patents, Hotel Chocolat's new bar with 100% of sales to growers, and 'greedflation'.