MONSTER CREATES ‘STREET TEAM.’ Monster Beverage has hired a chief field execution officer to lead a new “street team” as the company looks to fend off energy category share gains by Red Bull, CEO Rodney Sacks said during a Nov. 5 earnings conference call. The team will be operational within a month or two, he said. “That will address a lot of the independent channel where we think that we perhaps have fallen a little behind,” Sacks said, adding that Red Bull had an advantage during the COVID-19 crisis because it owns its route to market. Monster is distributed in the US by Coca-Cola bottlers. On a broader basis, Monster reported a +9.9% increase in net sales during the third quarter, with Monster Energy (including Reign) growing +9.6%. International sales grew +17%. Monster executives did not provide an update on possible plans for the launch of a hard seltzer (BD 8/12/20) or other large-scale innovation.
SUSTAINABILITY. Coca-Cola’s global procurement group for its bottlers has given Loop Industries notice that it will terminate a multiyear master agreement signed two years ago to provide 100% recycled PET plastic. In its notice, Coca-Cola said Loop failed to meet its first production milestone set for July from a plant that was to be opened in Spartanburg, South Carolina, according a Loop regulatory filing. Loop said in the filing that the facility project has been affected by COVID-19 quarantines. Loop said Coke is open to exploring a new framework agreement in North America and Europe. The news follows an October report from a short-seller raising questions about Loop, which denied the accusations. PLUS. New Jersey will prohibit single-use plastic bags and polystyrene (such as Styrofoam) food containers starting in May 2022 under a new law signed last week by Gov. Phil Murphy ... On Nov. 13, Coca-Cola will host a webcast for investors detailing the company’s approach to sustainability, diversity and inclusion.
TECHNOLOGY. PepsiCo has opened an automated “micro-fulfillment center” in suburban Chicago to support retail customers with e-commerce operations. The center will allow PepsiCo to get products to customers faster and reduce delivery costs, the company said. PepsiCo partnered with automation supplier Dematic for the e-commerce warehouse pilot project, which can service 7.5 times more units in an hour than a traditional facility, according to PepsiCo. PLUS. Walmart ended a contract with Bossa Nova Robotics to automate on-shelf inventory at its stores, saying increasing numbers of workers picking click-and-collect orders were able to help track inventory more effectively.
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