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Consumer Goods Newsletter - November 19 to November 23, 2012

India Infoline News Service | Mumbai |

Consumer products maker Unilever has opened a technology support and innovation center in Bangalore to provide IT services for its global operations as well as explore innovative ways of using technology to improve its business, according to reports.

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Nestle ties up with Chinese firms for local flavor: reports


Nestle has formed alliances with three Chinese food and beverage producers in the past three years and has set up research centers to improve local comestibles such as peanut milk, spicy Sichuan sauces, and congee, according to reports.


Reports stated that the company also come with new offerings to win over consumers deep into the hinterland.


Nestle also plans to build R&D centers at facilities owned by Hsu Fu Chi and Yinlu, where researchers will focus on ready-to- drink beverages and baked goods, says report.


Unilever opens technology center in Bangalore: reports


Consumer products maker Unilever has opened a technology support and innovation center in Bangalore to provide IT services for its global operations as well as explore innovative ways of using technology to improve its business, according to reports.


Reports stated that the 220,000 sq ft center in the outskirts of Bangalore, which currently houses 1400 staff, will be its largest technology center.


Unilever is expecting emerging markets to contribute 75% of revenues by the end of this decade, Paul Polman, CEO reportedly said.


COO Harish Manwani also reported that the company has the widest footprint amongst its peers in developing markets.




7 out of 10 buyers know exact brand and model they want to buy: study


A pan India offline study conducted by Nielsen on behalf of Google India, to understand the influence of Internet on technology product purchases by buyers in the stores revealed a dynamic shift in the shopping behavior of Indians. The report revealed that Internet influences behavior of buyers across all type of cities and town with 40% respondents saying they took help of online information for purchase decisions for technology products. Interestingly, 7 out of 10 of these buyers know the exact brand and model they want to buy with the help of online research before entering the store. This shift in consumers’ behavior was attributed to easy access to Information on the Internet – which has given rise to research online and shop offline consumer behavior.

The impact was highest for tier 1 & tier 2 city consumers with 83% respondents saying that they know exactly the brand that they want to buy before they go to the store which highlights the growing reach of Internet which was perceived to be limited to users in metros.

The report also revealed that Internet is now second only to TV to create awareness for tech products - for metro & tier 1 audience. The study was conducted across 12 cities in India covering top 4 metros, 4 tier 1 cities and 4 tier 2 cities, to understand the buying behavior of shoppers for technology and consumer electronic products. 3677 respondents were interviewed outside 200 multi-brand and single-brand stores across these cities. Another interesting aspect was the use of mobile phones for online research, with 46% respondents saying that they used mobile internet for research and 22% of tier-2 consumers used mobile as the sole device for accessing internet for research. Read more…


Domestic News


Fitch downgrades Panasonic to 'BB' from 'BBB-'; Outlook negative


Fitch Ratings has downgraded Panasonic Corporation's (Panasonic) Long-Term Foreign- and Local-Currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDR) and local currency senior unsecured ratings to 'BB' from 'BBB-'. The Outlook on the Long-Term IDRs is Negative. Simultaneously, its Short-Term Foreign- and Local-Currency IDRs have been downgraded to 'B' from 'F3'.


The downgrade reflects Panasonic's weakened competitiveness in its core businesses, particularly in TVs and panels, as well as weak cash generation from operations (CFO). It also reflects the agency's view that the company's financial profile is not likely to show a material improvement in the short- to medium-term. Fitch acknowledges that the company is in the right direction in its restructuring efforts which could potentially lead to margin recovery over the long-term. However, the company's turnaround programme remains exposed to execution risk.


Fitch believes that Panasonic will continue to suffer from frail economic conditions in both Japan and overseas and resultant weak demand for its products, as well as continuing price competition from overseas companies not hampered by the high value of the yen. In particular, the company's market position in its core business suffered from strong competition from Korean manufacturers, which led to a subsequent downsizing of the business. Fitch, therefore, forecasts that the company's CFO will remain weak and any significant reduction in gross debt is unlikely in the short- to medium-term. Read more…


P&G recognized for Turning Green to Gold at Duquesne University Symposium Featuring McDonough and Winston


Procter & Gamble was recognized for sustainable business practices at Duquesne University’s November 2012 sustainability symposium. Through collaboration with Green to Gold authors Daniel Esty and Andrew Winston, the School of Business honors an American company that achieves commercial success through social and environmental responsibility.


Jack McAneny, associate director of global sustainability, accepted the award for P&G and spoke about the company’s long-term commitment to using 100% renewable energy and making products and packaging entirely from recycled materials.


Hosted by Duquesne University, which offers an MBA emphasizing sustainability, the symposium brought together 160 executives, academics, policy makers and MBA students to examine the challenges and opportunities facing today’s business leaders. Keynote speakers were Winston and William McDonough, co-author of Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things. Read more…


CCD challenge winners celebrate with Ashmit Patel!


India’s largest café brand, Café Coffee Day (CCD) and the leading youth entertainment brand - bindass tied-up to host a fun-filled evening for its young patrons today. Winners of CCD’s innovative ‘Frappe Bottoms Up’ challenge held at select cafes in Mumbai were treated to an enjoyable interactive session with Ashmit Patel, the dashing host of the channel’s popular reality show ‘Superdude’. This celebration was organized at the CCD’s Girgaum Chowpatty café at Charni Road in Mumbai.  


CCD’s Frappe Bottoms Up Challenge is a fun, coffee drinking game which dared youngsters at the café to drink five Frappes in 60 seconds. Winners were not only rewarded with a cool Hydro-Coach – an intelligent water sipper by bindass, but also got the opportunity to meet and interact with the Dudeguru himself, Ashmit Patel. Each of the winners got their moment to meet and take pictures with the mentor of the show who even engaged them with a few fun and insightful tips on what it takes to be a Superdude. Read more…


Zippo introduces stylish men’s fragrance range in India


The iconic lighter brand Zippo has launched a men’s fragrance range in India. ‘The Original’ is the first in the Zippo fragrance line and the scent draws on the brand’s masculine and rugged values.

The Original fragrance features a design in unmistakable Zippo style. The bottle is enclosed in a metal casing with the same shape and opening system as the Zippo lighter. Even the famous Zippo “click” is kept when the perfume is opened.

The 100 ml eau de toilette is made up of two 50 ml bottles with a refill system similar to the one used for Zippo lighters.

The Original is available in several vibrant, bright colours including blue turquoise, bright pink, silver and acid green.

Also available in India, is the complete Zippo line of men’s care products including Deodorant Spray Dry Effect, After Shave Balm and Body & Hair Wash. The line has superior technical qualities such as the new bagon valve dispensing for the After Shave Balm which keeps it bacteriologically protected. The products all have enriched formulas and come in stylish metal containers.

Zippo’s men’s care product and fragrance range are available in leading retail outlets and are ranged between Rs. 2,150 and Rs. 3,150.


Blossom Kochhar Aroma Magic unveils new Corporate Identity


M/s Blossom Kochhar Beauty Products Pvt. Ltd (BKBP) manufacturers of India’s leading Aromatherapy based cosmetic brand “Blossom Kochhar Aroma Magic” announced the launch of its new corporate identity today.  This change is in line with the new market positioning and corporate philosophy. The rebranding will be rolled out across the entire product portfolio over the next 18 months. The objective of the redesigned logo is to connote the brand’s warmth and expertise. The logo imbues Aroma Magic with the enhanced formulations.


A pioneer in aromatherapy in India, Blossom Kochhar Aroma Magic has been one of the dominant leaders in the industry today. It reflects the changing expectations and aspirations of today’s contemporary Indian population. The brand focuses on consumer needs and offers reliable beauty solutions based on Green Science: a rare synergy of aromatherapy and terratherapy.  The new tagline “Earth to Bottle” signifies the corporate philosophy and the new enhanced formulations used in the products. It brings forth the core belief of offering products that produce honest, reliable and measurable results. Read more…


LG Electronics earned 10 prestigious 2013 International CES Innovations Awards


Heralded for its heritage as an innovation and design leader, LG Electronics earned 10 prestigious 2013 International CES Innovations Awards, including the “Best of Innovations” honor in the Video Display category for its new 84-inch class Ultra-High-Definition TV with four times the resolution of today’s LED HDTVs.


LG home entertainment products, mobile phones and home appliances were recognized with awards in six highly-competitive categories: Video Displays, Portable Media Players and Accessories, Integrated Home Systems and Multi-Room Audio/Video, Home Theater Speakers, Home Appliances and Wireless Handsets.


We are honored that CEA has awarded LG the ‘Best of Innovations’ award for the fifth year in a row,” said Soon Kwon, President South West Asia region & MD, LG Electronics India. “From energy-efficient home appliances to quad-core smart phones and stylish smart electronics, LG will be bringing to market a diverse portfolio of products that are designed to improve consumers’ lives.” Read more…


International News


VLCC acquires Wyann International


VLCC, a leading player in the Wellness domain in South Asia and the Middle East, has announced today the major acquisition of leading Malaysian-owned slimming and beauty operation, Wyann International (M) Sdn. Bhd (Wyann International). VLCC, which already has direct company managed operations in 9 countries across South Asia and the Middle East, has acquired a majority stake in Wyann International for an undisclosed amount.

Kuala Lumpur based Wyann International owns and operates a chain of 22 slimming and beauty outlets across Malaysia offering specialist services and innovative products through its established Bizzy BodyTM, Facial FirstTM and MASCULINETM brands.

Beyond adding new service offerings in the existing outlets, VLCC also has aggressive plans for further expansion in Malaysia, that includes adding new Bizzy Body and Facial First centres in addition to a premium chain of complete wellness centres, exclusive slimming services for men, vocational education institutes in beauty and nutrition as well as launching of the VLCC Personal Care line of natural/herbal skin, hair and body-care products. Read more…


Harpic and Save the Children launches hygiene initiative programme


Harpic, a household name from the wide range of Reckitt Benckiser brands, announced a hygiene and sanitation programme in association with Save the Children, a leading NGO working for child rights.


The programme is a long lasting initiative to improve the hygiene and sanitation facilities for the most marginalised urban and rural families in India for over four years by increasing access to clean and hygienic sanitation facilities and the knowledge to keep families, particularly girls, healthy.  


The activities will contribute to an improved quality way of life for families and their children, and provide them with the dignity and privacy they deserve. The programme will include converting existing toilet complexes to start functioning as community managed toilets, and repair toilet complexes and associated sanitation facilities (drains and dustbins) in urban slums and schools in Delhi, Bihar, Jharkhand & West Bengal. Read more…




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