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Period: June 28, 2017 to July 24, 2017
Comment & Opinion or Companies, Organizations or Consumers or Controversies & Disputes or Deals, M&A, JVs, Licensing or Earnings Release or Finance, Economics, Tax or Innovation & New Ideas or Legal, Legislation, Regulation, Policy or Market News or Marketing & Advertising or Other or People & Personalities or Press Release or Products & Brands or Research, Studies, Advice or Supply Chain or Trends

Aldi Says It Will Not Sell Flushable Toilet Wipes In Australia

Discount retailer Aldi has canceled plans to sell the Green Action line of bathroom cleaning wipes the company described as “flushable.” Aldi's action came following complaints by consumers and warnings by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission regarding how “flushable” wipes harm the environment when disposed of in toilet. In December 2016, the ACCC sued Kimberly-Clark Australia and Pental for making misleading claims by describing their products as biodegradable.

"Aldi withdraws 'flushable' toilet wipes from sale after customer backlash and water authorities warning they block drains", Daily Mail, July 20, 2017

Unilever’s Tinkering With Marketing Spending Boosts 2nd Q Profits

Unilever’s second quarter financials mostly beat Wall Street expectations – sales growth fell three percent short – but the rise in profit came from cuts in marketing expenses. In April the company said about $2.3 billion of its planned three-year $7 billion cost-cutting program would come from marketing and overhead. During the first half of this fiscal year, however, nearly a third of the cuts came only from marketing; half were attributable to both marketing and overhead. The company is cutting ad agency and production spending, but marketing spending overall will rebound in the second half when 60 percent of Unilever's new-product launches for the year will take place.

"Unilever Cuts Agency Fees and Production Costs, but a Media Surge Looms", Advertising Age, July 20, 2017

Unilever Posts Stronger Revenue Performance In 1H 2017

Unilever said net profit rose to €3.11 billion, or $3.58 billion, for the six-month period ending June 30, 2017, compared with €2.51 billion in the previous year. According to the company, revenue grew to €27.72 billion from the previous year's €26.28 billion. Gross margin improved by 40bps to 43.1 percent, pushed by margin-accretive innovations and acquisitions, the company said.

"Unilever 2017 First Half Results", Unilever, July 20, 2017

Reckitt Benckiser Divests Food Business

U.K.-based Reckitt Benckiser Group plc announced it is selling its food business (RB Food) to McCormick & Company for $4.2 billion. The RB Food (Chester, N.J.) condiments and toppings line includes French's, Frank's RedHot and Cattlemen's brands. The nutrition bar Tiger’s Milk will be included in the cash-free, debt-free deal. Divestiture of its food business marks another step in RB’s transformation into a consumer health and hygiene company. It acquired infant formula firm Mead Johnson Nutrition in February for $16.7 billion.

"Sale of Food Business to McCormick", News release, Reckitt Benckiser, July 19, 2017

Walgreens Adds UK Brand Sleek MakeUP To Beauty Lineup

Walgreens said it will start selling Sleek MakeUP brand of cosmetics at more than 150 stores and on One of the fastest-growing mass-market beauty brands in the UK, Sleek MakeUP was acquired by Walgreens Boots Alliance in 2015. Created by a local beauty entrepreneur in East London, the brand seeks to cater to the needs of women of color who were faced with limited choices in the cosmetics market.

"Walgreens Continues to Differentiate its Beauty Offering with Sleek MakeUP",, July 17, 2017

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