Our Foods with Integrity investing theme is expanding to include more of our loved ones. That’s right it’s moving past family and friends to include our pets as the food with feed them goes all-natural, grain free and includes vegetables and fruits. Just like with people, these good for Rover products are growing faster than mainstream products;
“Just like people spend more money on their own good nutrition, they also want to do this for their pets,” Nestlé Chief Executive Mark Schneider said in February.Pet owners in developed markets are cultivating stronger emotional bonds with their dogs and cats, motivated by later marriages, smaller families and elevated divorce rates, according to Euromonitor.
In 2016, the U.S.’s 84.6 million pet-owning households spent $28.2 billion on pet food, up 23% from a year earlier, according to the American Pet Products Association. That translates into $333 spent per household last year.
Source: Beef Stroganoff for Your Dog? Pet Food Goes Upscale – WSJ
We’ve seen this trick more than a few times by food and other consumer product companies – shrink the package size and keep prices unchanged. A shifty version of a price increase if you ask us. Why do these companies embark on such a move? Largely because costs are rising, perhaps to the Scare Resource nature of certain commodities or the impact of currency shifts, and their pricing power is limited. We’ve seen this time and time gain at companies like JM Smucker and a bag of coffee that is no longer a pound in size to cereal from General Mills in tiny boxes. This stealth price increase means buying more to get amounts one might need – good for company sales and profits, but another thorn in the side of the Cash-strapped Consumer.
Mars has cut down the size of the bags of M&M and Maltesers in the U.K., while PepsiCo (PEP) decided to shrink packages of Doritos chips and other products.”We have been absorbing rising raw material and operational costs for some time, but the growing pressures mean that we can’t keep things as they are,” a spokesperson for Mars said Thursday.
A sharp decline in the value of the pound following Britain’s vote to leave the EU has pushed up prices of many imported goods, from food to electronics.
The pound has dropped 17% against the dollar since the referendum last June.
Commodities including cocoa are priced in dollars, so British producers are paying more for them. And factory costs have also gone up significantly in recent years.
Mondelez International (MDLZ) sparked outrage late last year after it changed the shape of its popular Toblerone bar. By adding space between the triangles, the company was able to keep the bar’s original packaging and length, but reduce the amount of chocolate.
Mondelez blamed rising ingredient prices for the change.
Source: M&Ms and Doritos get smaller in U.K. as Brexit bites prices – Apr. 6, 2017
The only thing we like more than talking about one thematic tailwind is doing so when two or more come together for an even more powerful tailwind. In this case, it’s Food with Integrity meets Connected Society and Cashless Consumption as food that is good for you meets smart vending machines. As we enter 2017 looking to follow our own advice to eat better, we hope to see more of these vending machines than the ones stocked with candy and chips from Hershey, M&M Mars and PepsiCo.
A San Rafael-based startup called Byte Foods has raised $5.5 million in seed funding to popularize its smart vending machines and delivery service stocking them with nutritious food and drinks from local vendors.
If the idea of the internet-connected vending machine sounds a bit familiar, it has been around for more than a decade, actually. But according to market research by Berg Insight, only 1.5 million of the world’s 17 million vending machines are actually internet-connected today.
Byte Foods is poised to grow as the IoT share of this market does as well. Berg predicts by 2020, the world will have at least 3.6 million internet-connected vending machines in circulation.
Source: Byte Foods raises $5.5 million for smart vending machines that serve local fare | TechCrunch