07 January 2022

Our December Roundup: Livestream shopping, sustainability action from Walmart and more

In December, we saw Walmart take action on sustainability in its supply chain, experimentation from PepsiCo's Lay's brand into a whole new category, and discussion around whole new ways to offer purchases digitally through livestreamed shopping events.

Christina Carè

Sevendots, London

6 minute read

Catch up on news from across the CPG industry from over the month of December 2021.

Nestle USA CMO talks ‘doubling down’ on plant-based, snacking, and coffee

From Beverage Daily

Insight into Nestle’s approach to ‘doubling down’ on plant-based products, taking a multi-pronged approach and thinking about what it means to offer plant-based alternatives in a “portfolio way”, Nestle USA CMO Alicia Enciso says. This includes reviewing ingredients as well as offering new products in different segments – including chicken alternatives, creamer alternatives, the ‘at home’ and ‘away-from home’ coffee segments, and snacking.

The changing nature of eating occasions and growing spending power of Gen Z consumers impacts these decisions, as well as a strengthening interest in health and wellness alongside permissible indulgence.

In short: Nestle USA’s approach to offering plant-based alternatives starts at the ingredient level and moves through a variety of categories. With new products across segments, Nestle USA looks to grow its leadership position in this sector. 

Regenerative Agriculture must scale or die

From Forbes

Russ Conser observes the differences between ‘sustainable’ agriculture and ‘regenerative’ agriculture. He says:

“Sustainable” may offer survival, but “regenerative” invokes hope, and thus inspires a more positive vision.

Conser talks through the benefits of regenerative practices, before bringing up his central concern: can regenerative agriculture actually scale? In particular, this concern is one that revolves around the difficulty farmers face in connecting regenerative principles to markets.

He argues that regenerative agriculture is where renewable energy was 25 years ago; entrepreneurs are now needed to help the sector extend its reach beyond its proven value at a small scale.

In short:

“Only scale can bring down costs and increase reach to the point that regenerative food becomes everyday food connecting more mouths to more acres in a food system that actually creates positive impact as a whole.”

L’Oréal calls out lack of female representation in NFT space

From Marketing Dive

L’Oreal Paris USA has commissioned five female artists to create NFT artworks “inspired by the six shades of red in its new Reds of Worth by Colour Riche lipstick line.” The move aims to call attention to a lack of female representation in the growing trend towards the creation and sale of NFT collectibles.

Citing research from ArtTactic, only 16% of NFT artists are women, accounting for only 5% of NFT sales. ArtTactic draws attention to the way in which brands are working to improve and emphasize diversity and inclusion in their more traditional marketing efforts, which has not translated into the NFT space so far, despite an increasing number of brands getting on board. Maude Brunschwig, Senior Vice President of Marketing at L’Oreal Paris USA says:

“Through this program, we want to bring attention to the gender disparity in the NFT space and hope that we can shine a light on the women already working within the sector while attracting more women artists and buyers.”

In short: Thanks to research into the demographic break down of NFT artmaking and sales so far, L’Oreal Paris USA has decided to commission five female artists in an effort to improve the gender disparity in the sector.

Walmart Seeks More Sustainability Action from Suppliers

From Winsight Grocery Business

Retail giant Walmart is pushing forward the sustainability conversation, expanding a supply-chain finance program called Project Gigaton that encourages suppliers to “set and meet science-backed sustainability targets”. The hope is to encourage smaller suppliers to invest into sustainability initiatives and grow their businesses in the process.

“Since 2017, more than 3,100 suppliers have signed on to Project Gigaton, according to Walmart. The pace of signup accelerated after Walmart’s launch of the sustainable supply-chain finance program in 2019, the retailer noted, and in 2020, suppliers reported more than 186 million metric tons of carbon-dioxide emissions avoided—for a total of more than 416 million metric tons avoided since Project Gigaton debuted.”

The aim here is to help smaller suppliers who may not otherwise have the funding to move towards measurable sustainability goals.

In short: Walmart’s supplier sustainability financing program demonstrates a real commitment to helping improve outcomes down the supply chain, with over 3100 suppliers signing on since 2017.

From Machine Learning to Sensor Systems, Food Tech Is Leading the Fight Against Food Waste

From The Spoon

In this in-depth analysis, Camille Bond explains the ways in which food technologies lead the battle to minimize food waste, and its climate impacts. With a real emphasis on the collection and use of data and machine learning to aid decision making at each stage of the food production, processing and sale stages, there are a lot of exciting ideas offered here that could help reduce the wastage associated with our food.

In short: This is an excellent summary of a whole host of efforts being made in the food technology sector to minimize the impacts of food wastage. A key part of the fight against climate change, there are some exciting ideas on offer already.

TikTok dethrones Google as most-visited website

From Marketing Dive

In marketing-adjacent news, TikTok became the most visited website of 2021, according to cloud services company Cloudflare. Overtaking Google for the first time, the social video app hit 1 billion users in September and is forecast to reach 1.5 billion active monthly users by the end of 2022.

TikTok made a big push towards brands this year by focusing on privacy, ad measurement and commerce tools. As the most popular social media site, brand marketers have already been paying attention to the ways they might reach younger consumers on the platform.

In short: TikTok’s now the most visited website and the most popular social media platform, with an anticipated 1.5 billion active monthly users by the end of 2022. Brand marketers worth their salt have already been working to tap into the demand for video content, particularly in the aim of reaching Gen Z consumers.  

Clif Bar joins human brands entering pet food market

From PetFoodIndustry.com

Clif Bar becomes the latest of human consumables companies to get in on the pet food and treat space, speaking to the trend of blurring the lines between human and pet food products. Sevendots Partner Andrea Bielli had this to say about the development:

It is fascinating to see how a brand territory can expand through the redefinition of its ambition. The idea of providing snacks to humans and pets at the same time links to the growing need for pet parents to increase the sharing occasions with their flurry friends and allows for higher level solutions for the consumers.

In short: Clif Bar’s entry into the pet food market speaks to the trends we’ve observed around the growing role of pets in our lives broadly. With the number of pet parents increasing, the desire to share important moments with pets is also increasing – a unique opportunity for the expansion of a brand’s existing territory.

Lay’s dives into a tipple

From Bakery and Snacks

PepsiCo brand Lay’s has always been known for potato chips, but has now debuted in a whole new category, offering a vodka create in collaboration with Eastside Distilling. Sevendots Partner Colin McAllister had this to say about the development:

“In recent years category boundaries have been increasingly blurring as brands have been edging into adjacencies to leverage their equity and loyal buyer base  – but this initiative is going one step further. The idea of transporting the branding of a mainstream chip product into the premium vodka arena is bold, to say the least, and will be interesting to watch as it unfolds.”

In short: Potato chip brand Lay’s has debuted a ‘perfect pairing’ product – transforming proprietary potatoes into vodka.

Can livestream shopping in the US catch up to China’s soaring growth?

From Marketing Dive

Following the demand for online retail experiences, livestream shopping is an area pegged for growth in the US this coming year. Shoppers in China have surged, proving the worth of this approach, with live commerce sales in China set to more than double to $423 billion next year, up from an estimated $171 billion in 2020. However, the impact these types of events may have in the US is up for debate:

“Only 25% of shoppers said they had attended a virtual livestream shopping event, according to a survey by fintech company Klarna. However, 60% of those shoppers who had tried livestream shopping said it had improved their shopping experience, and 47% preferred it to visiting a store.”

Livestreamed shopping events mix the demand for content with an element of “immediacy and excitement”, enabling brands to tell more complex brand stories with the aid of a capable host. There is also the opportunity to respond directly to consumer questions.

TalkShopLive is one platform facilitating these events, and Walmart has already announced plans to partner with them. The company has already created live shopping events with publishers such as Hearst, Meredith and Condé Nast.

In short: Livestreamed shopping events are an area of interest in the next year, with results in China already proving the value of experimentation with this idea.

That’s it for another month – we hope this helped to keep you feeling in the know. If you’d like to receive more interesting content from us, check out our most curated knowledge with our latest Growth Series report on Big vs Small brands.

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