Year in Review: Top Supplier News of 2020
NATIONAL REPORT — Supplier consolidation continued in 2020 as multiple companies made acquisitions to improve their competitive positions. Organizations also made changes to their corporate identities and approaches to growth and innovation.
These are the top 10 supplier headlines of the year, as reported by Convenience Store News Online:
1. Mars Inks Deal to Acquire KIND North America
As part of the agreement, KIND North America will join KIND International to create one organization operating across 35 countries, functioning as a distinct and separate business within the Mars Family of Cos. The acquisition signifies the next step in the companies' strategic partnership, which began three years ago.
2. Mondelēz International Unveils Multiyear Commitment to Advance Racial Equity
Mondelēz International Inc. is amping up its efforts centered on diversity and inclusion (D&I) through a new multiyear commitment. As part of the new dedication, the candy and snack manufacturer will elevate its existing D&I initiatives to make meaningful impacts in the area of racial equity economic empowerment around the world.
3. Swisher Unveils a New Corporate Identity & Platform for Trade Partners
Swisher International Inc. is taking the next steps in its effort to meet the evolving needs of adult consumers worldwide. Swisher International will change its corporate identity to Swisher, signifying the expansion of the company's vision, offerings and focus on adult consumer lifestyle.
4. PepsiCo Expands Energy Drink Portfolio With Rockstar Acquisition
PepsiCo Inc. purchased Rockstar Energy Beverages for $3.85 billion, giving it a larger stake in the energy drink market. The company previously had a distribution agreement with Rockstar in North America since 2009.
5. Molson Coors Beverage Co. Makes Good on Promise to Expand Beyond Beer
Molson Coors Beverage Co. is teaming with next-generation beverage company L.A. Libations to launch a new slate of non-alcoholic drinks as part of its efforts to expand beyond the beer aisle and reach more consumers in search of better-for-you beverages. The rollout is part of the company's intention to leverage the competitive strengths of its foundation in beer to grow in new spaces.
6. Convenience Valet Acquired by Lil' Drug Store Products
Drug Store Products acquired Mechanical Servants LLC, which does business as Convenience Valet, to combine the resources of two "point-of-need" consumer products companies. "By combining our strengths, we can better reach the millions of consumers who look for immediate solutions for health and well-being at the point of need when traveling," said Steve Jungmann, president and CEO of Convenience Valet.
7. Federal Trade Commission Challenging Altria's Stake in Juul
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) threw a flag on Altria Group Inc.'s investment in Juul Labs Inc. On April 1, the FTC filed an administrative complaint alleging that Altria and Juul entered into a series of agreements, including Altria's 35-percent stake in Juul, that eliminated competition in violation of federal antitrust laws.
8. Hershey Introduces Virtual Meeting Experience for Retailers
The Hershey Co. introduced Hershey Insights Network (HIN), a virtual experience to help its retail partners stay ahead of the retail landscape during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. HIN offers leading insights, analysis and expertise to provide solutions to engage shoppers with live set merchandising and enhanced shopping experiences broadcasted to retail partners in a unique and remote platform.
9. Coca-Cola Reorganizing, Streamlining Operating Units
The Coca-Cola Co. is building a networked global organization that is positioned to capture growth in a fast-changing market by combining the power of scale with the necessary knowledge to win locally. The reorganization includes the creation of nine new operating units focused on regional and local execution that will work closely with five marketing category leadership teams that span the globe to rapidly scale ideas.
10. Hostess Boosts New Product Investment With Innovation Lab
Amid evolving consumer taste preferences and an upward shift in snacking behaviors, Hostess Brands Inc. opened a new, world-class Innovation Lab. Located in Lenexa, Kan., the Hostess Innovation Lab opened June 15. It employs around 20 researchers, product testers and bakers whose mission is to create new snack cakes that resonate with consumers and bring moments of joy to daily life.