Food Business News - March 24, 2015 - (Page 15)

McDonald's to unlock power of local regions BOSTON - McDonald's Corp plans to Corp. ramp up new product news in 2015. The way it goes about doing so, though, promises to be different than efforts in the past, according to the company. "Traditionally, in the last several years, we've really been focused on national product roll-outs that have been supported by national media and in all 14,000 restaurants around the U.S.," Pete Benson, chief administrative officer, said during a March 5 presentation at the UBS Global Consumer Conference in Boston. "And while we'll certainly see some of that also this year, in Mike's (Mike Andres, president of McDonald's USA) new organization, he's actually created and really empowered each of our 22 regions to have a little more autonomy around product development, product promotion, products that are going to resonate more with the local consumer." Mr. Benson said McDonald's may report its U.S. operations as one segment, but the reality is each of its 22 regions around the country is subject to different consumer trends and choices. "The battle for market share is different in the Northeast than it is in Houston than it is in Seattle," he said. "It's different customer expectations, different competitive tests, and so kind of unleashing the power of those local regions to develop marketing and develop products that are going to resonate better with those local consumer groups, we think is going to be a more powerful approach to going after this." Mr. Benson cautioned that the change will not take place overnight. For now, McDonald's is focusing on getting the new organization in place and is working with some of its regional leaders to take the strategy and run with it. As important as new products will be to the restaurant chain's U.S. operations in 2015, simplification of the menu will be just as important, Mr. Benson said. He said the company continues to look at slow-moving items and taking them off the menu, but McDonald's also is looking at how it displays and markets certain products. "It could be something like maybe in the drive-thru, you put up, you only display the items that make up 80% of our sales, and you could just significantly reduce the clutter and make it easier when you pull into that drive-thru to order something and get on with it," he said. "So, that has benefits of improving the throughput and improving the order accuracy, because the crew is making fewer products and making them more frequently. And so you get a double benefit of that." FBN Lancaster Colony acquires flatbread maker COLUMBUS, OHIO - The T. Marzetti Company, a business unit of the Lancaster Colony Corp., has acquired Flatout Holdings, a baker of flatbreads, from North Castle Partners, a private equity firm. The acquisition price was approximately $92 million. "We are very excited to add Flatout flatbreads to our specialty foods business as a better-for-you branded retail product with extraordinary taste, nutritional advantages and convenient versatility for most every eating occasion," said Bruce Rosa, president of T. Marzetti. "Since introducing their March 24, 2015 first flatbread wraps to retailers in 2000, Flatout has continued to pioneer the ontrend and growing flatbread category as consumer preferences have shifted towards more healthy living and nutritional awareness. With placement in the supermarket deli department, Flatout's product offerings include unique oval-shaped flatbread wraps, the successful Foldit line of artisan flatbreads and the recently-introduced Artisan Thin pizza crust." Flatout's annual net sales for the 12 months ended Dec. 31, 2014, were approximately $46 million. FBN FOODBUSINESS NEWS ® 15

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Food Business News - March 24, 2015

Food Business News - March 24, 2015
Inside General Mills’ new approach to innovation
Nestle pursuing nutrition-based treatment for autism
Dairy Business News - Inclusion innovation: More than a chip or a chunk
Table of Contents
Web Contents
Editorial - Flexibility is needed to meet new opportunities
Kind raising the bar with innovation
McDonald’s to unlock power of local regions
Lancaster Colony acquires flatbread maker
SodaStream going after Keurig
Six forces shaping natural, organic product development
Stevia slow to penetrate confectionery market
C-Suite insight: C.P.G. at a crossroads
Kroger’s Simple Truth sales hit $1.2 billion for year
Private equity firm buys American Beverage Co.
Washington - Dietary Guidelines coming into focus
Market Insight - A `normal’ year for U.S. crops?
Health and Wellness - Shining a health halo over protein
Meat industry criticizes D.G.A.C. recommendation
Ingredient Innovations - Number of proposed pho alternatives widens
Still no timetable for final GRAS rule
Company Profile - Mondelez gaining momentum
New Food Products
Natural Products Expo West/Engredea
Ingredient Market Trends - Millers forecast soft red winter wheat crop at 381 million bus
Ingredient Markets
Supplier Innovations and News
Ad Index
Food Business in the News

Food Business News - March 24, 2015