News Briefs


E. & J. Gallo Winery Picks Up Bev Brand


E. & J. Gallo Winery (Gallo) has acquired canned wine and spritzer manufacturer Bev after holding exclusive U.S. distribution rights for the brand for the last two years. 

Bev, a California-based woman-led beverage brand that promotes empowerment and inclusivity, got its start in 2017.  

"I founded Bev out of a passion for changing not only the drinks in our hands, but the culture surrounding drinking," said Alix Peabody, Bev CEO, in a statement. "For us, breaking the glass is about empowering communities and inspiring people to celebrate themselves and own their fun. When I met [Gallo CMO] Stephanie Gallo, it became immediately clear that Gallo's values and commitment to women and diversity in the industry is exemplary of the exact change we aim to create. We could not be more excited for this partnership and can't wait to expand the reach of our products and our community."

"At Gallo, we are on a mission to serve joy as we win new friends for wine, which means ensuring consumers have access to products that make them feel welcome,” said Gallo. “As an industry, we are adapting and evolving to remain relevant to the next generation of alcohol beverage consumers. I see the Bev portfolio as a welcome addition to Gallo's product family that will allow us to continue to offer our consumers beverage options to celebrate any occasion."

Terms of the dead weren’t disclosed. Peabody will continue to be involved in the vision, expansion and development of the brand, according to a press release. 


Kimberly-Clark Elevates Product Content Management Across Its Amazon Listings


Kimberly-Clark is bolstering its e-commerce presence on Amazon, elevating content syndication efforts to ensure all of its online listings showcase high-quality product data, images, and video. 

The company, which manufactures brands like Huggies, DryNites, Kleenex, and Cottonelle,  is working with Productsup to create custom web content and have it seamlessly integrate to its listings. 

[Read more: Keurig Dr Pepper, 3M, Coca-Cola, P&G, and More Double Down on Digital Investments]

According to Sophie van Logtestijn, customer business manager, e-commerce at Kimberly-Clark, businesses all have their own online content needs, and having a strong foundation to build on is imperative. 

"Our goal is to continuously improve our online shelf presentation,” she said in a statement, adding that the technology being implemented offers a fully automated content platform and the necessary support to make it happen.

Consistency can be the biggest challenge, according to Koen Looijmans, EVP of retail at Productsup — particularly ensuring that online web visitors are presented with accurate product content in the appropriate language. 

"Since working with Kimberly-Clark, we've been able to ensure that all of its product content is always optimized and published correctly, enabling the company to reach more consumers around the world and provide them with a positive experience,” he added.


TBInternational Revs Up Supply Chain Planning Digitalization

tb international

Fashion and textile producer TBInternational is accelerating the digital transformation of its supply chain planning systems.

TBInternational will partner with supply chain software solution provider o9 to spearhead the effort, which the company says will enable more data-driven demand planning within a centralized, enterprise-wide platform. This platform will also optimize decision-making on stock building and the buy-plan creation within a single system. 

See Also: Hershey Strengthens Supply Chain Resiliency With Manufacturing Acquisitions

The fashion group and textile producer is based in Germany but has locations in the U.S. and Australia. Globally, more than 15,000 retailers and 100 online e-commerce channels sell the company’s brands and products, which include clothing and accessories. The company has built its business model around fast turnaround times and using limited resources, making effective, foolproof supply chain planning all the more important. 

“Our greatest competitive advantage is the depth of our value creation,” said Johannes Rudenko, managing director logistics and IT at TBInternational, adding that the partnership would hopefully enable the company to continue offering a variety of different styles while providing better data-driven visibility into supply chain operations. 



Coca-Cola Taps Into Snapchat’s AR Ecosystem With New Vending Machine Tech


Snap, the company that owns social media platform Snapchat, is continuing to innovate with augmented reality, and Coca-Cola is the latest brand to partner with them. 

Coca-Cola is the first brand to install a prototype AR-enabled vending machine which works as a portal to AR experiences and rewards. Consumers who engage with the machine can use different hand gestures to control what happens within the experience. 

According to Snap, the company shares a long-term vision with Coca-Cola to “build an AR ecosystem that evolves the way people engage with the Coke brand across their vending machines, app, and website.”

Per Snap’s “Future of Shopping + Snapchat Community 3.0 Research,” brands that create innovative experiences, such as with AR, are 82% more likely to be recommended to others. 

Snap’s ecosystem of AR also includes a shopping suite through which retail and CPG partners can leverage AI tech like 3D Viewer — interactive product visualization that allows shoppers to review every angle and detail of an item — AR Try-On, and Fit Finder, which provides personalized fit and size recommendations based on consumers’ body shape and preferences.

Additionally, brands like Nike have also utilized Snap’s technology within its store experiences, leveraging AR Mirrors through which shoppers can virtually try on products and create and share content.


PepsiCo Opens Center To Potentially Triple Packaging Testing

pepsico R&D

PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay and Quaker brands have opened a greenhouse learning center at their R&D headquarters that may triple the company's packaging certification timeline. 

Part of PepsiCo’s Pep+ initiative, the facility will be used to field test, measure, and analyze compostable packaging with the goal of accelerating innovation and enabling packaging products to move from testing to certification-ready at least two to three times faster. 

The R&D packaging team will test the biodegradation properties of compostable packages in different environments, as well as validate lab results through simultaneous, real-time experiments to improve packaging formulations and iterate packaging solutions quicker, said the company. 

"Our sustainable packaging vision is to build a world where packaging need never becomes waste," said Denise Lefebvre, SVP of R&D for PepsiCo, in a statement. "We're actively changing our own compostable snack packaging technologies. By sharing these technologies, we're inviting the industry to make these changes as well. We are prioritizing, investing in and expediting projects to build a more circular, inclusive economy."

The facility is the first of its kind for the company and is located next to and complements the existing prototyping lab where compostable packaging is born. It will also educate partners and stakeholders on the benefits of transitioning to compostable packaging, demonstrate circularity with biodegradable materials, and provide training to co-ops and visitors.


Levi’s Taps AI for Body-Inclusive Avatars


Levi Strauss & Co is now leveraging artificial intelligence to create virtual body-inclusive avatars that will supplement the company’s human models to increase diversity and elevate the consumer experience. 

Amy Gershkoff Bolles, global head of digital and emerging technology strategy at Levi Strauss & Co., said the tech allows Levi’s to create “hyper-realistic models of every body type, age, size, and skin tone.”

Levi’s is working with, an AI-powered digital fashion studio, to expand its model availability. Right now, the company’s e-commerce site and app typically showcases one model per product. The company hopes to increase the number of models to unlock a future “where we can enable more customers to see our products on more models that look like themselves, creating a more personal and inclusive shopping experience.”

“While AI will likely never fully replace human models for us, we are excited for the potential capabilities this may afford us for the consumer experience,” said Gershkoff Bolles. “We see fashion and technology as both an art and a science.” 

Levi’s said it will continue focusing on its digital transformation journey, balancing digital fundamentals while investing emerging tech that will improve the customer experience.