Supplier Spotlights: NCR, PepsiCo & Perrier
NATIONAL REPORT — While it's important for convenience store retailers to market themselves, new products, services, promotions and other initiatives by c-store suppliers are a major part of capturing consumer interest. Convenience Store News will regularly highlight such efforts in this roundup.
Here are the latest supplier spotlights:
NCR Corp. acquired U.K.-based Zynstra, a provider of edge virtualization technology. The companies previously worked together for several years, reflected in the launch of NCR Software Defined Store introduced in January 2019. The unique, subscription-based virtualization solution is one of the critical pillars of NCR's next-generation store architecture for the retail and hospitality industries, the company said.
"This acquisition is another demonstration of our strategy to acquire new companies to enhance product capabilities and extend our leadership in the vertical industries we serve," said NCR President and CEO Michael D. Hayford. "The addition of Zynstra's virtualization technology to our software stack gives NCR even more solutions to help our customers run their store or restaurant end-to-end."
Zynstra CEO Nick East added: "At Zynstra, we've built a world-class capability that we know can make a significant difference for our clients. When we started to work with NCR, we realized that our combined strengths made for an unmatched service, with a global reach. I am personally very excited about what it means for our customers and our team and am looking forward to leading the acceleration of our vision for the market."
Nielsen Holdings plc will spin off the company's Global Connect business to create two independent, publicly traded companies: the Global Media business and the Global Connect business. Each will have sharper strategic focus and greater opportunity to leverage its unique competitive advantages, according to the company.
"Nielsen has two strong and global franchises — Global Media and Global Connect. Following an extensive review process, which included an in-depth analysis of our businesses, strategies and market opportunities, the board concluded that separating into two independent, publicly traded companies is the best path to position each business for long term success and maximize value creation," said James Attwood, chairman of Nielsen's board of directors, who led the strategic review.
"As independent companies, both Nielsen — the Global Media business — and the new company consisting of Global Connect will enjoy added flexibility and further strengthen their paths toward a new phase of growth, productivity and industry leadership," he added.
According to Nielsen, creating two separate and independent publicly traded companies will enable each business to:
- Drive results with a singular focus and an independent structure that allows faster decision-making;
- Implement distinct, fit-for-purpose capital structures and allocation strategies aligned with growth plans;
- Benefit from strategic flexibility to invest in growth opportunities; and
- Create compelling pure-play investment opportunities for investors by driving accelerated growth and profits over time.
PepsiCo Inc. came out on top in Kantar's US PoweRanking report, marking the fourth year in a row it was listed as No. 1. The company was also ranked first in all nine metrics measured by the study for the second year. Kantar recognized PepsiCo for its transparency, ability to collaborate and a demonstrated willingness to partner with retailers for mutual growth.
PoweRanking is the industry's leading assessment of best-in-class manufacturers and retailers. Chosen by their trading partners — retailers score brands, while brands score retailers — the ranking identifies which companies are the most productive partners. Leaders are ranked on a range of factors from strategic metrics to business fundamentals.
"Retailers and manufacturers today are dealing with a vastly different landscape from even five years ago," said Patrick Fellin, head of Consulting, Analytics and Shopper Solutions at Kantar. "Those who recognized and responded to the changing climate were able to capitalize on the balance of power shifting towards the shopper. PoweRanking leaders have leveraged this new reality, building a better, deeper relationship with their customers and seeing overall success as compared to their competitors."
Perrier Carbonated Natural Mineral Water released its Perrier ARTXTRA limited-edition artist packaging featuring the bold and colorful work of Los Angeles-based visual artist duo DABSMYLA. As the official ARTXTRA partners, DABSMYLA reimagined Perrier's iconic look with vibrant new packaging and design available at retailers this month.
"For over 150 years, Perrier has defined its iconic brand through creative collaborations with some of the world's most dynamic and influential artists and designers, including Andy Warhol and Salvador Dali," said Danit Eisdorfer, group manager, Perrier. "This year's Perrier ARTXTRA program builds upon this legacy through our extraordinary partnership with the artist duo DABSMYLA."
Perrier and DABSMYLA kicked off their collaboration earlier this year as part of the brand's ongoing Perrier ARTXTRA program, an initiative focused on supporting and celebrating the contemporary artist community.
Kings & Convicts Brewing
Kings & Convicts Brewing Co. signed an agreement with Constellation Brands Inc. to acquire the Ballast Point brand and a number of its associated production facilities and brewpubs, excluding Constellation's Craft & Specialty operations in Daleville, Va., with the transaction expected to close by the end of Constellation's fiscal 2020.
"We're excited to welcome the team at Ballast Point into the Kings & Convicts family," said Brendan Watters, CEO of Kings & Convicts. "We have long admired the quality and spirit of Ballast Point's brands and team. Ballast Point's best-in-class brewing standards will remain unchanged, delivering the same high-quality, award-winning products the company has become known for over the years. Our goal is to leverage Ballast Point's deep know-how, talented and passionate employee base, and outstanding operating team to grow both Ballast Point and Kings & Convicts together."
As part of the agreement, Kings & Convicts will retain all positions within Ballast Point's existing workforce, with plans to hire additional resources to support the future growth of the business.
"Trends in the U.S. craft beer segment have shifted dramatically since our acquisition of Ballast Point," said Bill Newlands, Constellation Brands president and CEO. "Ballast Point remains one of the most iconic craft beer brands in the country and we're pleased to transition the business to an owner that can devote the resources needed to fuel its future success. At the same time, this decision allows Constellation to focus more fully on maximizing growth for our high-performing import portfolio and upcoming new product introductions, including Corona Hard Seltzer, scheduled to launch this spring."
S&D Coffee & Tea
S&D Coffee & Tea released its 2019 Sustainability Report, Rooted in Impact, summarizing efforts and progress made throughout 2017 and 2018. As the effects of climate change become more tangible and consumer demand for sustainable beverages continues to grow, S&D is using its scale and global reach to build a supply chain that can help drive change and mitigate the challenges on the horizon, the company said.
Its key focus areas include:
- Sustainable Sourcing
- Environmental Conservation
- Workplace Responsibility
- Corporate Citizenship
"Over the last two years, we have made significant progress in improving the environmental, economic and social impact of our business," said Ron Hinson, president and CEO of S&D. "Embedding sustainability throughout all aspects of our business is critical, not only to our company's future, but the future of the entire industry. With the help of our employees, customers and our partners across the supply chain, we are committed to continuously strengthening our sustainable impact."
The report highlights measurable impacts made in 2017-2018, during which time S&D:
- Provided more than 4,600 smallholder farmers across six countries with the tools and resources they need to optimize their farms' productivity, reduce cost of production, enhance soil health, implement water management and build resilience to changes in the market and climate;
- Conserved 40,000 gallons of water by implementing a gray water recycling program at S&D facilities;
- Developed the Leadership Equity and Diversity Scholarship program with the Specialty Coffee Association. This two-year scholarship puts professional development resources in reach for people from underrepresented or marginalized communities around the world;
- Supported Elma C. Lomax Research and Education Farm with financial assistance, employee volunteering and repurposing spent coffee grounds as organic soil enrichment;
- Worked with Sustainable Solutions Corporation to build a road map to operational efficiency and natural resource conservation; and
- Targeted management of fleet trucks helped earned S&D the 2017 High Performer achievement award from SmartWay, a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency program.