Bonnier Names SVP, Consumer Products
Release: Bonnier Corp. has hired Elise Contarsy as SVP Consumer Products. Contarsy will be responsible for developing Bonnier’s consumer products and brand licensing programs. She will be will be based in Bonnier Corp.’s NY office, and report to Bonnier CEO Eric Zinczenko. As VP brand licensing for Meredith Corp. from 2008 until March 2018, she led the trademark licenses of Better Homes & Gardens to Walmart and Realogy, and led the brand extension programs for EatingWell, Shape and Allrecipes into frozen foods, activewear and housewares, respectively. Earlier in her career, she served as VP, GMM of product development and branding at Bed Bath & Beyond; and as EVP of merchandising for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia from 1997 to 2004 (where she spearheaded the launch of Martha Stewart Everyday products offered at Kmart and Sears stores in the U.S., Canada and Seiyu in Japan). Prior to those positions, she was design director and sourcing manager at Calvin Klein Home.
GQ, Texas Monthly Launch More Podcasts
MediaPost; "GQ and Texas Monthly announced the launch of new podcast series, both covering the lives of influential people.Texas Monthly, partnering with Pineapple Street Media, produced a six-part narrative podcast called “Underdog” that chronicles the 2018 Texas political race for U.S. Senate between Beto O’Rourke and Ted Cruz.The race is one of the most contentious and talked about nationally. As O’Rourke fights to turn a red state blue, Texas Monthly editor Eric Benson is traveling with his campaign, giving listeners an intimate view of his campaign.The publication will also give voice to operatives, analysts and pollsters, while talking to Texas voters who will ultimately decide this pivotal race. The first episode was released on October 12 and a new episode will post every Friday. GQ launched “Mad Influence,” which features deep dive conversations with influencers and celebrities about critical points in their careers. The series in presented by sponsor Moet and Chandon in collaboration with At Will Media. Hosted by GQ’s editor-in-chief Jim Nelson, the inaugural series consists of eight episodes; the first features actor Ethan Hawke. He and Nelson will talk about Hawke’s nearly 30 year film career. The follow-up episode features Nelson in conversation with Academy Award-winning director Damien Chazelle.The series will also cover luminaries from music, food and more, with episodes featuring Debbie Harry and Chris Stein of Blondie and restaurateur David Chang.The first two episodes of the season are currently live."
Rumor: Conde Chief Business Officer Changing Roles or Leaving
NY Post: "Publishing sources told Page Six that Condé Nast chief business officer Kim Kelleher has resigned. But a Condé insider said the exec’s in talks for another role at the company... Meanwhile, there are rumors that there will be more layoffs at the company, sources [said]. An insider countered that the cuts are part of a 'sales reorganization'... [Condé Nast] reps did not comment."
Apple CEO Asks Bloomberg to Retract Story on Chinese Spy Chip
BuzzFeed: "Apple CEO Tim Cook, in an interview with BuzzFeed News, went on the record for the first time to deny allegations that his company was the victim of a hardware-based attack carried out by the Chinese government. And, in an unprecedented move for the company, he called for a retraction of the story that made this claim.Earlier this month Bloomberg Businessweek published an investigation alleging Chinese spies had compromised some 30 U.S. companies by implanting malicious chips into Silicon Valley–bound servers during their manufacture in China. The chips, Bloomberg reported, allowed the attackers to create 'a stealth doorway' into any network running on a server in which they were embedded. Apple was alleged to be among the companies attacked, and a focal point of the story. According to Bloomberg, the company discovered some sabotaged hardware in 2015, promptly cut ties with the vendor, Supermicro, that supplied it, and reported the incident to the FBI. Apple, however, has maintained that none of this is true--in a comment to Bloomberg, in a vociferous and detailed company statement, and in a letter to Congress signed by Apple’s vice president of information security, George Stathakopoulos. Meanwhile, Bloomberg has stood steadfastly by its story and even published a follow-up account that furthered the original’s claims.The result has been an impasse between some of the world’s most powerful corporations and a highly respected news organization, even in the face of questions from Congress. On Thursday evening, an indignant Cook further ratcheted up the tension in response to an inquiry from BuzzFeed News. 'There is no truth in their story about Apple,' Cook told BuzzFeed News in a phone interview. 'They need to do the right thing and retract it.' This is an extraordinary statement from Cook and Apple. The company has never previously publicly (though it may have done so privately) called for the retraction of a news story--even in cases where the stories have had major errors or were demonstratively false, such as a This American Life episode that was shown to be fabricated"...
Axios CEO: 4 Ways to Repair Trust in Media
Axios CEO Jim VandeHei offers "four fairly provocative ideas" for restoring trust in media: Politicians, he writes, should stop using the term "fake news." "The worst thing for a country is having people believe lies, or trust nothing. One day soon, something bad will happen, and it will take faith in information to fix it. You erode trust at our collective peril." News organizations should "ban their reporters from doing anything on social media--especially Twitter--beyond sharing stories. Snark, jokes and blatant opinion are showing your hand, and it always seems to be the left one. This makes it impossible to win back the skeptics." [Axios has such a policy, he says.] Social media companies need to "radically self-regulate, or allow government regulation to stanch, the flow of disinformation or made-up news. Maybe it takes a new FCC of social media to force the same standards as expected from TV stations and newspapers. One thing is for sure: The current self-policing isn't cutting it." Social media users should remember that "we all want to fault others, but each of us is very much to blame. Quit sharing stories without even reading them. Quit tweeting your every outrage. Quit clicking on garbage. Spend a few minutes to verify the trustworthiness of what you read... If your Facebook feed is filled with garbage, it means you were reading garbage in the first place. The algorithm simply gives you more of what you crave."
Opinion: Magazine Covers Getting More Creative?
Adweek article maintains that magazine covers seem to be getting more creative as a result of designers putting less emphasis on traditional newsstand concerns such as "including headlines for every single major story in an issue." Cites Time magazine's three "stormy" covers depicting Trump in turmoil (just chosen as best covers in Adweek's Hot List) as examples.
Traffic to News Org Sites Rose When Facebook Went Down for 45 Minutes in August
In Nieman Lab, Josh Schwartz is chief of product, engineering, and data science at Chartbeat, reports: "What would the world look like without Facebook? At Chartbeat, we got a glimpse into that on August 3, 2018, when Facebook went down for 45 minutes and traffic patterns across the web changed in an instant. What did people do? According to our data, they went directly to publishers’ mobile apps and sites (as well as to search engines) to get their information fix. This window into consumer behavior reflects broader changes we see taking hold this year around content discovery, particularly on mobile. This is good news for publishers. Despite volatility driven by algorithm shifts and intense news cycles, user demand for content (represented by traffic across the web) is quite stable. But the sources of that traffic are anything but static. In fact, we’ve seen a major reversal in the specific sources driving traffic to publisher sites in the past year. Key shifts: Mobile traffic has seen double-digit growth and surpassed desktop, which saw double-digit declines. On mobile, Facebook is down nearly 40 percent since January 2017, while Google search has seen a 2× growth in that same time period. That means increases in Google search referral traffic have more than offset any declines in Facebook referral traffic. Additionally--and of significant importance--mobile direct traffic to publishers is now greater than traffic sent by Facebook to publishers’ sites. This means consumers are now more likely to get their news by typing in a publisher URL or opening an app than by being referred through Facebook'...
OTHER NEWS OF NOTE:
Walmart Unveils Grocery 'Distribution Center of the Future' for 2020
PG: "Walmart is opening what it calls the "distribution center of the future" for perishables, in Shafter, Calif., where it will move 40% more groceries than a traditional distribution center while also greatly reducing damaged goods.The project, on which Walmart will break ground in the coming weeks, will be the mega-retailer's first high-tech distribution center for fresh and frozen groceries. It will feature forward-looking technology and engaging tech-focused jobs, the company noted. It will also use technology from Germany-based logistics company Witron to process perishables such as produce, eggs, dairy, flowers and frozen foods, all while resulting in 'fewer crushed strawberries.' 'The high-tech DC in Shafter will allow us to move product to stores and clubs faster so that we can better serve customers,' said Tim Cooper, SVP of supply chain for Walmart.The facility will accomplish this by letting the technology, rather than the associates, do the 'heavy lifting.' Every product, when it arrives, is measured and documented. An algorithm makes it possible to see all cases ordered for a given location and determine how to palletize all of them to maximize the space on a pallet or trailer. Among the things it considers is account density: what's crushable, and what isn't."Sort of like a game of Tetris, but with apples and ice cream," the retailer quipped on its website.And since the technology helps associates build a more flexible, dense pallet, more products will fit onto a truck, resulting in transportation cost reductions--savings passed on ultimately to the customer. Savings also come from fewer damages to products.
Publix Names Murphy President; Announces Other Promotions
SN: "Kevin Murphy has been promoted to president at Southeastern grocery chain Publix Super Markets Inc.Publix said Monday that Murphy, 48, now senior vice president of retail operations, is slated to take the reins as president on Jan. 1. With the move, current Publix President and CEO Todd Jones, 55, will relinquish the president’s title. Murphy has been with Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix since 1984... [he] has served in his current position as senior VP of retail operations since 2016.The promotion to president could put Murphy in line for succession to CEO. Jones succeeded the retiring Ed Crenshaw as CEO in May 2016 after having been promoted to president in 2008. Publix also announced a range of other executive promotions on Monday. The company said Laurie Douglas, SVP ad CIO, will take on the additional role of chief digital officer. Dale Myers, vice president of retail business development, is retiring after 44 years of service at the company. Publix said that, with Myers’ retirement, Miami Division president Bob Bechtel will be promoted to VP customer experience. Bechtel began his career at Publix in 1978 and has led the Miami division since 2016. Taking over from Bechtel as Miami division president will be John Goff, the division’s regional director... Also retiring will be VP distribution Casey Suarez, who has been with Publix for 40 years. The company has promoted Mike Lester, director of warehousing, to succeed Suarez"...
Uber Plans Food-Delivery Drones by 2021
Axios: "Ride-sharing giant Uber is hiring an operations executive to help roll out a commercially-viable fleet of food-delivery drones by 2021, reports the Wall Street Journal. A spokesman told the WSJ the program is 'still in very early days,' but Uber's push to take to the skies reflects its efforts to diversify beyond just ride-hailing. Last week, the company announced it would be adding a new tractor-trailer rental business as it gears up for a 2019 IPO that could reportedly be worth as much as $120B."
Online Grocery Buying Hitting Candy Category's Impulse Sales
Ad Age: "This is probably the hardest time to be in [the $35B candy] category that I've experienced in the last 20 years,' says Tom Schoenwaelder, principal at Deloitte, where he heads up the strategic growth transformation group, citing the rise of online shopping and interest in better eating. 30% of online grocery spending in the U.S. is now done through Amazon, according to [consultancy] Brick Meets Click... Amazon has about the same share of the U.S. online grocery industry as all supermarkets combined. The National Confectioners Association--which notes that sales have remained relatively steady over the past few years--says most people in the U.S. consume chocolate and candy two to three times a week. But not all of that is planned...candy is very often an impulse buy. 'All the companies that play in the space have very well-honed playbooks for how to drive impulse,' says Schoenwaelder. 'The challenge that they all have is they drive impulse in a brick-and-mortar world based on a marketing model that predates digital.' The industry must redefine impulse. Mars Wrigley, which is the world's largest confectionary company and ranks just behind Hershey in the U.S., has been trying out ideas [including] issuing online gift certificates to reward a friend with candy, and having sweets readily available in places where people are likely to have the munchies, like in a Lyft or Uber. The certificates were tried out earlier this year, when the company offered Skittles as a way to turn online social behavior—friendly comments, tagging and virtual high-fives—into a gift picked up in a physical store. In the pilot, a Facebook ad would target a person to suggest giving Skittles as a present to a friend. The giver clicked on the ad and reached a Skittles-branded site, where he or she paid for a bag of the candy on the friend's behalf. The recipient then received an email with a digital coupon for a bag of Skittles, redeemable at convenience stores. Mars Wrigley also ran two pilot campaigns with Spotify, serving customized audio ads for Snickers within the Spotify platform (mobile, desktop and app) based on what people's moods might be. It inferred moods from the music they were currently listening to or shifts from their normal listening habits. Click-through results for the pilots, tied into Snickers' long-running "You're not you when you're hungry" marketing, were significantly above benchmarks, the company says. Mondelez International is...mining data, for one, to predict exactly when people will crave a sweet and then hitting them with an ad--via social media, on TV, in a video game, etc. Schoenwaelder suggests it may be possible to send prompts at opportune times—for example, nudging people who order chocolate bars online with an occasional email reminder at night. Mondelez is using a proprietary tool, Demand Spaces, to understand specific usage occasions for its brands like Sour Patch Kids and the specific "needs" around certain snacks, says Jason Levine, N.A. CMO. First, it looks at specific combinations of who, what, when and where people are snacking, then armed with that information, a brand tries to deliver targeted messages to hit very focused segments, ideally when it believes people are receptive to snacking. 'What we then do is lean in on those needs to get the right message to the right consumer at the right time, so that an impulse type of purchase isn't so impulse,' says Levine. 'We're reaching them at a moment we know they're going to want to enjoy that snack.' Cargo, a startup that places treats in console-sized boxes in Uber cars, says more than 2M various items, including Mars Wrigley's Extra mints, have been purchased during rides so far in a limited number of markets. Riders don't use cash to buy them—they check out online using a mobile wallet like Apple Pay or Google Pay, or their credit card, and the driver hands over the purchases once the car stops... Isolating when someone will have a craving is one thing. Getting them the candy they want in short order is another. 'The 'fulfillment time' keeps shrinking," says Todd Tillemans, president of Hershey U.S. 'Amazon Prime Now got it down to 30 minutes. We're now talking with retail partners that see in the near future getting it down to a nine-minute delivery.' Tillemans declines to name which retailers are touting such stunningly rapid delivery times. Before that, however, a product has to draw consumer attention online, or as Tillemans calls it, 'thumb-stopping power.' About a year ago, Hershey began updating its packaging...to catch people's eyes as they search on sites such as Amazon. As a bonus, the packaging does very well in stores, he says. More traditional marketing--banner ads, pre-roll videos, paid results and giving brands sharp voices on Twitter--is also key to earning virtual "shelf space" in people's minds... For now, only about 1% of U.S. packaged food is bought online, a rate that could reach 5-6% in the coming years, according to Bernstein analyst Alexia Howard. And while familiar brands can do well online, they face a new threat in the influx of private-label brands from Amazon. Indeed, Amazon has recently started showcasing its own brands... Howard says the effect on the big branded players is potentially huge. Private-label brands hold 16% of shelf space in chocolate online, vs. just 3% offline, according to research Howard released this month. (Marketers have long worked with retailers to command shelf space in grocery and convenience stores.) Brand marketers, at least for now, aren't running scared, citing the emotional connections they feel they've created with shoppers through decades of advertising and marketing... Old-school advertising and in-store displays still matter in the category, but in some cases, marketers of treats are incorporating online tricks. Mondelez's Levine gets excited talking about "phygital" displays, which mix physical and digital elements: Say a recipe starts trending online on a platform like Tasty. A WiFi-enabled screen in a store could be programmed to show some of the same content and offer product suggestions. Compare that with a cardboard display that takes months to create, ship and get to the right spot in a store.Still, confectioners need those impulse buys, especially since consumers are eating fewer sweets than a decade ago. NPD Group says the average person in 2018 eats sweet snacks 373 times a year, down from 386 in 2007. Darren Seifer, food and beverage industry analyst at NPD, says more than 70% of people say they want to reduce sugar in their diets. 'It's one of those few things where consumers say they're going to do something and actually do it,' he says. Hershey's results highlight the pressure the candy industry is feeling. Hershey's sales rose 9.3% in 2012 but by just 1% in 2017. The company expects so-called organic sales to be up just slightly this year--but that's excluding acquisitions, which have been buoying its overall sales as the company pushes beyond sweets into the broader snack space. Industry-wide, while the number of sweet-snacking occasions is declining, price hikes and a growing population have helped lift dollar sales. The candy industry is responding to health concerns with a strategy it has used for years: all things in moderation. According to the NCA, the industry plans to sell half of individually wrapped treats in packs that contain 200 calories or less by 2022... The company is even positioning some of its products in the health arena, stocking Orbit sugar-
free gum in the oral-care aisle in some stores as a cavity preventative... Companies are adding more better-for-you products for those times when people are trying to choose less guilt-inducing snacks. Mars took a minority stake in Kind, which makes bars featuring nuts and chocolate that straddle the line between something fit for a meal and something that's more of a treat. And Hershey is emphasizing non-candy brands. It just bought Pirate Brands, maker of Pirate's Booty, and already acquired SkinnyPop maker Amplify Snack Brands. That doesn't mean Hershey is ignoring its chocolate business. Over the past few years, its new products have included putting Reese's Pieces into Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, the type of product mash-up that helped the brand build buzz online. Now it's mashing together two of its best-sellers: a Hershey's milk chocolate bar with Reese's Pieces candy, which hits the market in November"...
Retailers, Other Employers Must Prepare for Gen Z Workers
RetailWire: "With members of Gen Z seen as more pragmatic, money-conscious and digitally-savvy than Millennials, the generation is set to reshape America’s workforce as the oldest of them have started graduating from college.Most demographers define this group as those born in the mid-1990s to mid-2000s, making them roughly ages 13 to 23. Currently, they make up 25%. A recent Wall Street Journal article described Gen Z as 'a scarred generation, cautious and hardened by economic and social turbulence,' and likened the group to the Silent Generation, those born between 1928 and 1945 who bore the economic scars of the Great Depression and World War II into adulthood and eventually reaped the rewards of a booming postwar economy.The Journal wrote, 'Early signs suggest Gen Z workers are more competitive and pragmatic, but also more anxious and reserved, than millennials.”Job security is seen as more critical than the “beer and ping-pong table” culture that defined many Millennial work aspirations. A survey from Barna found attributes identified among Millennials--high priority on career achievement; low priority on personal and relational growth--even more amplified in Gen Z. Mentorship opportunities, daily feedback and flexible scheduling rank high in Gen Z surveys. A Doors of Clubs survey found salary and raises are far less important to Gen Z than a work culture with a high degree of autonomy. 'They want to work,' Heather Watson, behavioral designer at The Center for Generational Kinetics, told CNBC. 'They want to do a very good job at that position. They’re not looking at climbing the ranks quickly. They’re looking at getting value quickly.' Gen Z will also be the first true digital natives. The oldest Gen Zers were age 10 when the iPhone launched in 2007. They also grew up under the constant surveillance of social media. Used to texting, Gen Z are seen having weak social skills. of the population, bigger than both Boomers and Millennials."
CDC: Each Day, A Third of Americans Eat Some Fast Food
NY Times: "More than a third of adults in the U.S. patronize fast-food restaurants and pizza parlors on any given day. And the higher their income, the more likely they are to do so. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released data on fast food consumption gathered from 2013 to 2016 in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, or Nhanes, a program that continuously monitors the health and nutritional status of Americans. Fast food — defined broadly in the survey as any item obtained from a “fast food/pizza” establishment — is eaten by 37% of American adults at some point during the day"...
OTHER NEWS OF NOTE: