News Briefs


NielsenIQ and GfK SE Merging, Doubling Down on Consumer Insight Tech

Shopping cart on top of consumer data

NielsenIQ and GfK SE plan to combine to provide a comprehensive view of shopper spending through total store visibility. 

CfK has a presence across 67 countries while NielsenIQ provides services in 90 countries — both companies are looking to expand both geographically and vertically. With the combined operations and tech base, the merger will allow the companies to bring new products to market faster and scale them to a broader set of markets and industries. 

The combined technology will provide a unified view of consumer purchasing behavior across channels and categories, allowing for real-time decision making. 

[Read more: Modern Approach to Revenue Growth Management]

“Over the past year, NielsenIQ has been investing both organically and inorganically in the most comprehensive coverage, advanced technologies, and predictive analytics to enable our clients to have a complete understanding of their consumers,” said Jim Peck, executive chairman and chief executive officer of NielsenIQ. 

“Combining our market-leading capabilities will allow us to further accelerate innovation that best serves our expanded client base and deliver significant value for all our stakeholders,” he added. “Together with GfK, we have the opportunity to influence the future of global retail and consumer measurement — one that is fast, nimble and connected.”

“GfK has successfully navigated a digital transformation to profitable and sustainable growth over the last years. Joining forces with NielsenIQ is now the logical next step for us and will support the next stage of our company’s development,” said Lars Nordmark, interim chief executive officer and chief financial officer of GfK. 

Nordmark added that the combination with NielsenIQ will accelerate the company’s journey into the next chapter of innovation. “This will allow us to tap into significant new growth opportunities.”

The terms of the agreement were not disclosed.


Eagle Foods Snags Two Brands From General Mills

Concept of acquisition with puzzle pieces

General Mills’ Helper and Suddenly Salad side businesses are now owned by Eagle Foods. The acquisition creates three diversified food platforms at Eagle Food: snacks, baking, and meals and sides. 

"Our investment in these two iconic brands signals an exciting and important next step in the continued growth of Eagle Foods," said Bernard Kreilmann, chief executive officer of Eagle Foods.

"We plan to drive growth in convenient meal solutions by investing in the category and brands, providing more tasty, easy-to-prepare, and affordable meal options for families."

"Eagle Foods has been successful in driving brand and category growth by investing in R&D, innovations, marketing, and strong supply chain efficiencies," Kreilmann added.

"As the leader in the sweetened condensed milk category, we consistently drive sales and share growth by bringing new households into the category. We expect to do more of the same with Helper and Suddenly Salad."


Moët Hennessy Expands Wine Portfolio With New Acquisition

2018 Insignia wine from Joseph Phelps Vineyards

Moët Hennessy, the luxury wines and spirits division of LVMH, has added on to its wine portfolio, acquiring Joseph Phelps Vineyards.

Following the closing, the entire Joseph Phelps collection of Napa Valley and Sonoma Coast wines will be available to Moët Hennessy consumers. The company plans to maintain Joseph Phelps’ legacy of quality, craftsmanship, entrepreneurship, and sustainability. 

Joseph Phelps Vineyards was founded in 1973 by its namesake and began producing Insignia — the red blend in the exclusive Bordeaux style of California — just a year later. Insignia is critically acclaimed, a four-time winner of the Robert Parker Wine Advocate's perfect 100-point scores for the 1991, 1997, 2002, and 2007 vintages.

Joseph Phelps Vineyards consists of 200 hectares of its own vines spread over eleven vineyards in the Napa Valley and 30 hectares spread over two vineyards in Sonoma Valley. 

[More acquisition news: Keurig Dr Pepper Expands RTD Portfolio With Atypique Addition]

Philippe Schaus, chairman and CEO of Moët Hennessy stated the company will continue the journey initiated by the founder of Joseph Phelps Vineyards, respecting his heritage and vision and supporting the brand’s growth with Moët Hennessy’s global distribution organization and unique experience with premium, family-owned brands. 

"We are delighted and very proud to welcome Joseph Phelps Vineyards to our portfolio of luxury wines and spirits,” Schaus added.

"Our father founded Joseph Phelps Vineyards in 1973 with a passion for innovation, an unwavering commitment to quality, and joie de vivre. Nearly 50 years later, we're proud to have grown from a 600-acre cattle ranch and early pioneer of the Napa Valley to a critically acclaimed and internationally known producer of iconic wines,” said The Phelps Family. “As we plan for the next 50 years, we believe that passing the care of this crown jewel of the Napa Valley and Sonoma Coast to Moët Hennessy will build on our family's legacy well into the future.”

“During our discussions with Moët Hennessy, it was abundantly clear that they value and embrace all of our brilliant and dedicated team members and, most importantly, are committed to ensuring that our founding mission and values remain at the heart of Joseph Phelps Vineyards," they added. 


Conagra’s New Automated Vegetable Processing Plant to Bolster Efforts, Strengthen Sustainability

Automation across the supply chain

Conagra Brands, Inc. is looking to increase efficiency across its supply chain, opening a new facility that will maximize automation and enhance food safety for vegetable processing. 

The new 245,000-square-foot processing plant is located in Waseca, Minnesota, and will process fresh vegetables to support its frozen meals business and Birds Eye brand. 

Conagra is using tech in this space to monitor plants’ nutrients, syncing real-time data with the facility’s production schedule to pick and process vegetables at peak ripeness. 

[Read more: ‘There Is No Hierarchy’: Inside Conagra Brands’ IT Integration Playbook]

This new processing plant replaces Waseca’s 92-year-old facility, expanding capacity by an estimated 20%. Annually, the company expects to process and produce more than 120 million points of cut and cob corn, 45 million pounds of peas, and more than 20 million pounds of rice. 

Additionally, the company is looking toward sustainable practices, sourcing its peas and corn — which will be processed in this facility — from a network of local growers who are helping in the climate change fight by implementing water saving strategies, supporting biodiversity, and improving soil health. 

Conagra anticipates the new facility will use approximately 25% less water per pound of product produced than the company's previous facility.

"The significant investment in our new facility in Waseca is indicative of the strong opportunity we see in our frozen foods business," said Sean Connolly, president and chief executive officer, Conagra Brands. "Conagra is committed to investing in innovation across the company, including our supply chain. We are also pleased to make the investment in Waseca where Birds Eye has a long history."

Ale Eboli, executive vice president and chief supply chain officer at Conagra Brands, said the company looked at every aspect of the facility to identify automation opportunities that could improve productivity and modernize food safety practices throughout its operations.

"The state-of-the-art design and uniquely designed equipment featured in the facility process fresh vegetables in the most efficient and responsible way possible," he added.



PVH Leans Into Low Code to Streamline Planning


PVH Europe is leveraging low code to improve to ability to manage and track a range of enterprise applications, including marketing budgets, project calendars, customer service, and workforce management.

The company, which includes the Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein brands, has tapped Siemens-owned Mendix and Mendix partner MxBlue to make budgets more transparent and provide clear spending insights to optimize planning in a more visually appealing way. The Global Unified Budget Information (GUBI) app is also designed to provide more timely and accurate information.

The organization leverages the platform to create a suite of applications to more efficiently manage and track marketing budgets, chargeback, on- and off-board temporary and external employees, manage project calendars and streamline customer service.

[See also: For PVH, Driving Innovation Means Ditching the Playbook]

The Recertification Third Party Accounts (RTPA)) app, meanwhile, is designed to help HR work more closely with freelancers and contractors, while providing a streamlined on- and off-boarding process directly within the app to create more engagement with external workers. It also enables accounts and certificates to be renewed using the app.

Finally, the Chargeback app, which was built in just four months, manages chargebacks to wholesale partners and streamlines end-of-season returns and markdowns automatically, improving customer satisfaction. PVH Europe integrated the new solutions with SAP system of record, such as the Sample Sale app, an internal app to streamline invitations, registration, and crowd control for sample sales which integrates SAP with the Mendix platform.

Leveraging the experience with the Mendix platform, the PVH Europe development team was able to build and launch two additional apps, according to Mendix, and within six weeks they launched Prop Shop, an internal webshop for stores to order in-store promotional materials.


Reckitt Developing Central Hub for Consumer Insights

reckitt vanish

Reckitt is investing in its consumer research and insights management capabilities so it can more quickly access and act upon them.   

The No. 28 consumer goods company has tapped enterprise insights platform provider Stravito with the goal of creating a central hub for its market and consumer insights. The ultimate goal of the partnership is to simplify internal research discovery, increase engagement, and boost productivity.

The technology leverages artificial intelligence within personalized search to help Reckitt marketing users identify the exact pieces of research they need by highlighting relevant sentences and paragraphs. Doing so is expected to help the company uncover and use critical information for such things as customer behaviors and preferences across multiple verticals and markets.

[See also: Reckitt Establishes Improved Data Infrastructure, Optimizes Cloud and Analytics]

Machine learning auto-categorizes files with Reckitt's own taxonomy on upload to prevent the need for manual storage, while users are pushed personalized content on the home page via notifications and in search results. The platform also enables data visualization tools and third-party research firms to be directly integrated so users can search for content across multiple sources in a single view.

Stravito also works with such consumer goods brands as Danone, Electrolux, Danone and Carlsberg.