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• The Financial Times reports that Nestlé is saying that it committed a strategic error when it went into India and ignored "more affluent consumers as it pursued those spending pocket change on sweets and noodles."

According to the story, "Nestlé is now being forced to redraw its strategy in the face of depreciating local currencies, deceleration in economic growth, the impact of inflation on input costs, and rising domestic competition. Such factors are especially punishing on cheaper mass-oriented goods, as L'Oréal, like Nestlé, has discovered."

FT goes on to report that Nestlé "is now switching tack in India to cater to rapidly growing demand from more affluent Indians, whose household budgets are more immune to the country’s rising inflation and faltering economy … Nestlé’s difficulties reflect how tough it is for large global consumer goods companies to devise a strategy for a market characterised by vast disparities between wealth and poverty."

• The New York Times reports that Beam Inc., maker of Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark bourbon, is being sold to Japan's Suntory for $13.6 billion.

The story describes Suntory as a "privately held concern whose beverage empire already encompasses Yamazaki Japanese whisky and Bowmore Scotch. If completed, the deal will add not only Jim Beam, but also pricier higher-end brands like Baker’s and Knob Creek bourbon, Laphroaig and Teacher’s Scotch and Courvoisier cognac."

• The Wall Street Journal reports that "Dunkin' Brands Group Inc. plans to open about 400 of its trademark doughnuts-and-coffee restaurants in the U.S. this year, extending its expansion outside its traditional base in the Northeast.

"About 15% to 20% of the 380 to 410 net new Dunkin' Donuts stores planned for this year will be in new markets in the West … That is part of a push into states including California, Colorado, and Texas where it sees big opportunities but where the chain is far less well-known and has faced challenges maintaining the level of profitability and smooth distribution it has in more established regions."

• NuVal, the nutritional ranking and labeling company, announced a new partnership with the Northeast Texas Public Health District, that will allow it to provide a broad range of wellness information to local residents.

NuVal currently has its materials in more than 1,600 supermarkets around the country, including those operated by Hy-Vee, Brookshire's and Super 1 Foods.
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