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Pet owners prefer this retailer for shopping needs

BY DSN STAFF

It’s easy to assume that the top place to purchase products for pets would be one of the mass specialty retail stores geared towards dogs, cats and other animals that consumers would be likely to have as an additional household member. Though as the saying goes, things aren’t always how they seem.

According to data published by Packaged Facts’ new U.S. Pet Market Focus: Walmart as Competitor study, the retailer has been etching out the competition. The study also assesses the retailer’s pet products, services and focuses on omnichannel — online, in-store and aggregated — consumer purchasing trends over time.

Walmart’s pet-owning consumer base is quite larger than such major retailers as Target, Costco and Kroger, the study also reports.

When it comes to choosing the location to find the right products for their four-legged family members, consumers weigh pricing heavily, but also look at other such variables as convenience, brands and selection.

“Overall, Walmart enjoys impressive strength in shopper traffic/shopping trips, offering almost unbeatable one-store shopping convenience, making it possible for pet owners to pick up non-pet products, along with pet products of all stripes, in the same place,” David Sprinkle, Packaged Facts’ research director, said. “And pet product customers are clearly a growth engine for Walmart.”

Less relevant factors that influence spending habits are related to the retailer’s staff and in-store services. The ability to order online also makes less of an impact, the study states.

Packaged Facts also estimates that more than one-third of Walmart’s pet product purchasers report spending more from the retailer than a few years ago, while less than 10% report to spending less. About half are spending the same amount, with the Gen Z and millennial demographics citing that they are more likely to purchase from Walmart than a few years ago.

Further information on the study can be found on the company’s website.

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Rice Krispies unveils braille sticker, re-recordable audio box notes

BY DSN STAFF

As back-to-school season begins, Rice Krispies is looking to help parents send their children encouraging messages on their snacks.

The Battle Creek, Mich.-based company, which is part of the Kellogg’s portfolio, partnered with the National Federation of the Blind to create accessible “Love Notes” in the form of braille stickers and re-recordable audio boxes, so parents and family members of those who are blind or have low vision can send their loved one’s notes of encouragement.

“The National Federation of the Blind is committed to helping parents raise blind children prepared to be confident, happy and productive members of society,” Mark Riccobono, president of the National Federation of the Blind, said. “As a father of three children, I know that love and support are critical to every child’s success. We are delighted to partner with Rice Krispies Treats, which shares our commitment to inclusion and braille literacy, to make sure blind students can get accessible ‘Love Notes’ in their lunch boxes this back-to-school season.”

Each of the“Love Notes” stickers are heart shaped to match the space on the snack’s writeable wrappers, and include eight uplifting phrases in braille from “You’ve Got This” to “Love You Lots.”

The re-recordable audio box holds a Rice Krispies treat inside, and when opened, plays a 10-second pre-recorded message. The box allows messages to be recorded over 1,000 times, the company said.

“Kellogg as a whole has a larger connection to this cause with W.K. Kellogg having lost his sight for the last decade of his life, and continued to work at the company full time for a number of years afterwards,” Jessica Waller, vice president of sales and co-chair of Kapable Business/Employee Resource Group at Kellogg, said. “Inclusion is in our DNA, and is now shared through Rice Krispies Treats ‘Love Notes.’ Everyone is important, and we want each child to be able to feel loved, supported and acknowledged.”

The notes were inspired by 11-year-old student Eme Butler-Mitchell, who is blind and spreads love through her musical talents, the company said.

To order “Love Notes” at no charge while supplies last, consumers can visit the company’s website where further information also is located.

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PepsiCo’s Indra K. Nooyi steps down as CEO

BY DSN STAFF

PepsiCo’s leadership team is undergoing a major change.

The Purchase, N.Y.-based company announced that after 12 years, Indra K. Nooyi would be stepping down from her role as chief executive officer.

Nooyi has worked with the company for 24 years and will remain a chairman until early 2019.

Throughout her tenure, PepsiCo has generated a net revenue growth from $53 billion in 2006 to $3.17 in 2017, and has dividends per share grow from $1.16 in 2006 to having a compound annual growth rate of nearly 10%, the company said.

“Leading PepsiCo has truly been the honor of my lifetime, and I’m incredibly proud of all we have done over the past 12 years to advance the interests not only of shareholders but all our stakeholders in the communities we serve,” Nooyi said. “Growing up in India, I never imagined I’d have the opportunity to lead such an extraordinary company. Guided by our philosophy of Performance with Purpose — delivering sustained performance while making more nutritious products, limiting our environmental footprint and lifting up all the communities we serve—we’ve made a more meaningful impact in people’s lives than I ever dreamed possible. PepsiCo today is in a strong position for continued growth with its brightest days still ahead.”

Ramon Laguarta was unanimously elected by the board of directors to succeed Nooyi after she steps down on Oct. 3.

“I’m incredibly humbled and privileged to be appointed the next CEO of PepsiCo, and I want to thank the Board of Directors for the confidence they have placed in me with their decision,” Laguarta said. “I also want to thank Indra for her overwhelming support. She has transformed the company with her bold vision and outstanding leadership, and I feel fortunate to have her as a mentor and a friend. And of course, I want to thank all of my colleagues, as well as the customers, bottlers, partners, and investors who are part of the PepsiCo family. I look forward to working more closely with all of you in the months and years ahead, and to continue growing this special company long into the future.”

Laguarta will become the company’s sixth chief executive officer in its 53-year history and has been with the company for 22 years. He most recently served as the president of PepsiCo, and before that was the chief executive officer of the Europe Sub-Saharan Africa division.

Prior to joining PepsiCo, Laguarta held a number of international roles for Chupa Chups.

“Ramon Laguarta’s unanimous appointment follows a systematic and thorough succession process by the Board of Directors. Laguarta equally represents continuity and the necessary agility for PepsiCo,” Daniel Vasella, chairman of PepsiCo’s board nominating and corporate governance committee, said. “Ramon is a strong and proven executive with an outstanding track record growing organically and by acquisition some of PepsiCo’s largest and most important international businesses. He keenly understands the evolving needs of consumers and customers and the trends affecting our business in markets around the world. He will bring the depth of experience and innovative thinking that has powered his previous achievements as he is inheriting a well-positioned company poised to continue delivering top-tier performance. Indra has been a visionary leader who transformed the corporation and led it to unprecedented success. Her leadership skills, strategic acumen, dedication and integrity have been critical to the sustained success of the corporation and the development of top talent.”

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