Hearst, Dazed Media To Launch Titles In China
MediaPost: "Hearst and Dazed Media are set to launch print editions of their brands in China this year, leaping into an ever-growing fashion and entertainment market. After seeing a positive response to its digital version last year, ElleMen Fresh, a Hearst China property, will publish print issues of the magazine, featuring an emphasis on young talent from the entertainment and fashion industries.The first issue of ElleMen Fresh will feature four covers, including Japanese model and actor Sakaguchi Kentaro, "Killing Eve" star Jodie Comer, X-Men and Skins alum Nicholas Hoult and Gavin Thomas, an eight-year-old known as “Meme Kid.”The covers mark a first for three of the stars. The issue is Comer’s first Asia-Pacific region magazine cover, Hoult’s first Mainland China magazine cover and Thomas’s global magazine cover debut. ElleMen Fresh is run entirely by millennials. Despite the appearance of the word “Men” in its title, it does not consider itself to be a magazine limited by gender.Similarly, London-based fashion and style magazine Dazed is launching a China edition in collaboration with Chinese media, ecommerce and event platform Yoho!, repor ts WWD. The title is expected to launch in 2019 and is backed by Adrian Cheng’s C Ventures.Yoho!, a Nanjing-based streetwear platform, includes two magazines, Yoho! Boy and Yoho! Girl, an annual festival called Yo’Hood, ecommerce site Yoho! Buy, brand incubator Yo’Hope and Yoho! Store and Yoho! Blu, its retail stores.Facilitating the collaboration is entrepreneur Cheng, heir to the Hong Kong-based conglomerate New World Development, jewelry brand Chow Tai Fook, Rosewood Hotel and K11 shopping mall. Cheng is also reportedly in talks to acquire W magazine, WWD reports, and is close to closing the deal, according to sources. Cheng will take the role of chairman of Dazed China. He stated: “This cooperation reflects C Ventures’ investment theory of bridging the East and the West, and my belief of enriching new consumers’ daily lives through the power of creativity, culture and innovation.”“By fostering this cooperation, we allow Dazed to synergize with Yoho!’s ecommerce and multimedia platforms for the exploration of a new market, whereas Yoho! will gain much wider access to international brands, as well as Dazed’s expertise in content curation. Further, we believe Yoho!’s retail arm will grow tremendously through this collaboration, and after tapping K11’s offline resources. We believe this partnership will be beneficial for all.”This marks Dazed Media’s second attempt at launching a China edition of its magazine. The first happened in 2016 with Huasheng Media. The contract for that deal was withdrawn for undisclosed reasons."
Nativo, MNI Targeted Media Partner to Expand Branded Content
MediaPost: "Nativo, a branded content ad tech platform, is partnering with MNI Targeted Media, the media planning-buying services and digital solutions company owned by Meredith Corp., to expand branded content offerings to the regional and local advertisers MNI works with. The partnership will bring native advertising campaigns to small and mid-size brands, which previously may have felt branded content was cost-prohibitive. “Brands of all sizes will now consistently benefit from high-performance campaigns by pairing Nativo’s highly effective sponsored-content distribution platform with MNI’s expansive footprint in markets across the country, both large and small," stated Casey Wuestefeld, VP of platform operations at Nativo. Wuestefeld told Publishers Daily his role, in part, is to “democratize native” by lowering the barrier of cost to regional and local advertisers, so they do not have to pay “really high budget minimums.” Nativo and MNI have a “longstanding partnership,” though limited to a small portion of MNI’s full roster of clients. Smaller brands couldn't “spend the dollar amount to get that managed service,” Wuestefeld said. Now, that partnership is expanding. Klarn DePalma, EVP of MNI, stated the partnership will "empower" MNI's advertisers with Nativo's branded content formats. MNI is particularly interested in bringing Nativo’s Native Article offering “to their entire roster of clients through this partnership,” Wuestefeld noted. Native Article allows sponsored content to open up within a publishers’ own site, rather than take the reader off to a different page. For example, if a reader clicks on a sponsored post on U.S. News & World Report, they can engage with the content on a page hosted by U.S. News. A local restaurant in San Francisco can now advertise on an endemic, national site like Saveur.com or a local market site like SFGate.com, Wuestefeld said, and not be restricted by budget restraints. Nativo is able to lower that barrier to entry because its platform has “improved over time,” with a lot more scale and publisher partners, Wuestefeld said. “We have enough inventory in the smaller markets. We have the scale… for regional and local advertisers to have meaningful impressions for any given campaign.” The platform also has automated a number of functions, reducing some of the overhead and making the process more efficient, Wuestefeld noted. MNI delivers localized support to its nearly 1,300 advertiser clients. The company offers a suite of online and offline magazine media solutions, from programmatic to magazine cover-wraps.Wuestefeld found that when the barrier of entry was lowered, advertisers “leapt at the opportunity” for native advertising. “MNI has established relationships and a customer base. It can evangelize this offering,” he said.Nativo says effective content marketing is able to achieve five-times more conversions than traditional display retargeting. In 2019, U.S. advertisers will spend $43.9B on native display ads, or 62.7% of all digital display ad spending."
Publishers Tinker With Staff Onboarding Processes
Digiday: "Unlike agencies, publishers aren’t known for their elaborate onboarding programs. But competing with the platforms for top talent continues to get tougher. That’s why publishers including Condé Nast International, The Telegraph and News UK have begun honing their onboarding programs to woo new recruits, albeit in more muted ways than their agency counterparts.Four weeks ago, Condé Nast International launched an app for all new recruits as a way of keeping important information new hires need in one place. The app drip-feeds information 30 days before staffers join the company and 30 days after. Previously, the publisher had a very light onboarding process as its London HQ is a relatively new office. “The opportunity is in the pre-onboarding; this is the period of time where engagement is critical,” said Zoe Walters, director of the people team at Condé Nast International. “It helps give certainty of what the new hire is joining, helps answer questions and also provokes curiosity'"...
ESPN The Mag, Nat Geo Record Top Social Media Engagement
MediaPost: "According to the Magazine Media 360° Social Media Report for Q1 2019, five magazine brands and their number of total likes and followers across networks topped engagement.They are: ESPN the Magazine with +65M, Voguewith +44.9M, Food Network Magazine with +42.6M, National Geographic Traveler with +42M and The Economist with +35.7M.The data, provided exclusively by SocialFlow and CrowdTangle to the MPA, compares engagement across magazine brands compared to non-magazine media brands, in addition to revealing the connections users have with magazine’s online content.The study used three factors to determine top social engagement, including total engagement actions, total publisher posts and social actions per post. On Facebook, ESPN the Magazine averaged 14,722 actions per post of the three-month period measured, recorded 1,248 total publisher posts and tallied 18,372,524 total engagement actions. Nat Geo recorded 8,158, 885 and 7,220148, respectively. The report, which measured engagement across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, showed a wide different between Facebook engagement, which still accounts for most publisher engagement on social at 47%, and Instagram at 29%. Twitter took 24%. But, when engagement was measured across Instagram, Nat Geo came out on top, reporting 431,211 social actions per post, 652 total publisher posts and 281,149,577 total engagement actions. ESPN the Magazine recorded 189,591, 1,020 and 193,382,848, respectively.While most growth across social media was flat for brands, Instagram reported a notable uptick in Q1 2019, recording over 24,500M likes and followers, resulting in an increase of 8.3%. Facebook and Twitter both reported less than 1% difference from Q4 2018."
S&S to Distribute New Law&Crime Publishing Unit
PW: "The Law&Crime network, an on demand and live streaming network focused on trials and legal commentary backed by author Dan Abrams and A&E Networks, is launching a publishing unit and has signed with Simon & Schuster for worldwide sales representation and distribution. The Law&Crime publishing imprint will focus on works of true crime, criminal investigations, trials and commentary. The imprint will publish two to four books a year. The first book slated to be released will be written by Tulsa police sergeant and cable TV analyst Sean “Sticks” Larkin. The as yet untitled book will be released in 2020"...
OTHER NEWS OF NOTE:
Strike Could Cost Stop & Shop $100M+
SN: "The 11-day strike at Stop & Shop stores in New England could impact the supermarket chain’s operating profit by more than $100M. In updated financial guidance after the strike, which ended Sunday, parent company Ahold Delhaize estimated a one-off impact of $90M to $110M on Stop & Shop’s 2019 underlying operating profit. The total includes lower sales, increased shrink of seasonal and perishable inventory, and additional supply-chain costs. Overall, Netherlands-based Ahold Delhaize now expects underlying operating margin to be slightly lower in 2019 than in 2018 following the strike. The global food retailer also lowered the percentage growth of underlying earnings per share for 2019 from high single digits to low single digits. Ahold Delhaize said it expects its free cash flow to be unchanged, at about €1.8B ($2.02B U.S.) for full-year 2019, “due to the continued business strength of our other U.S. and European brands.” The company added that first-quarter 2019 results, to be reported May 8, won’t be affected by the strike and remain in line with expectations... Terms of the tentative three-year [labor] contract weren’t disclosed. The agreement still must be ratified by members of the five UFCW locals"...
Tom Thumb Adapts for Urbanites
Dallas News: "The new Tom Thumb in Uptown Dallas is not your typical suburban meat-and-potatoes supermarket, but it's as big as one.Located on the ground floor of the new $350M Union high-rise complex at 2380 N. Field St. across from the Perot Museum and Victory Park, the store is trying to be a one-stop shop for the more than 10,000 people living downtown. It's built for urban dwellers who want the convenience of take-home meals and prefer specialty foods, but also eat Cheerios for breakfast and prefer Bounty paper towels for spills. Its main downtown competitor, Whole Foods Market, still largely caters to specialty shoppers... Walking past a long salad bar and extensive cheese counter, shoppers will find Tom Thumb staples, such as a bakery where miniature donuts are made fresh from a cart, a bumped-up wine and beer section and the familiar numbered grocery aisles and frozen food refrigerated cases.The front of the store is all about services: expanded floral, foods, office or party catering, a Starbucks. Some customers come in for breakfast and pick up lunch at the same time, said Tom Thumb spokeswoman Connie Yates. The store wants to be able to fill all meal time needs, she said"...
Amazon Expands Ties to French Food Retailer
Reuters: "Amazon and French retailer Casino are expanding their partnership, with Amazon installing pick-up lockers in Casino stores and making more of the French company’s products available on Amazon. The move, which follows an initial co-operation between Casino’s upmarket Monoprix supermarket chain and Amazon in Paris, could re-ignite speculation of a bigger deal later on.An Amazon spokeswoman said it had a policy of not commenting on market speculation. Amazon’s purchase of bricks-and-mortar U.S. food retailer Whole Foods Market last year has raised speculation it could buy a European food retailer. The extended partnership comes as Casino is selling assets and cutting debt to try to allay investor concerns over its finances and those of parent company Rallye.The deal, unveiled on Tuesday, will see Amazon lockers installed in 1,000 locations across France in nine of Casino’s brands, including Monoprix, Monop, Geant, Hyper Casino, Casino Supermarche, Leaderprice, Viva and Spar by the end of the year. The lockers store Amazon products to be picked up by customers"...
Kohl's Expands Amazon Returns Program
Street Insider: Kohl's announced that all of its stores will begin accepting unpackaged returns for Amazon as of July. "Kohl’s and Amazon first worked together in 2017 to pilot the returns program, which is currently operating in 100 stores in the Los Angeles, Chicago and Milwaukee markets. Kohl’s and Amazon will roll out the program to all of Kohl’s more than 1,150 locations across 48 states. Kohl’s will accept eligible Amazon items, without a box or label, and return them for customers for free, providing additional service and convenience to Amazon customers"...
Sean Griffin Again Becomes COO at UNFI
SN: "United Natural Foods Inc. (UNFI) has named Sean Griffin as its chief operating officer — a title he previously held — in addition to serving as CEO of Supervalu. UNFI said late yesterday that Griffin assumes COO duties effective immediately. In that role, he oversees all of the Providence, R.I.-based food distributor’s sales, services, operations, merchandising and retail functions. In September, UNFI introduced Griffin as the designated CEO of Supervalu, about two months after announcing a $2.9B deal to acquire the Minneapolis-based grocery distributor and retailer. He had been serving as head of integration for the transaction. Griffin started as Supervalu CEO in October upon the closing of the deal, taking over from Mark Gross, who stepped down from the post. Prior to that, Griffin had served as UNFI’s COO since September 2014 after being promoted from group president of supply chain, distribution and national sales and SVP. In mid-May, UNFI had announced plans for Griffin to transition from the COO role on Aug. 1 and retire on Oct. 1, serving as a strategic adviser to the company thereafter. He joined the company in January 2010 as SVP of national distribution.UNFI said Griffin’s expanded role reflects its efforts to spur the integration of Supervalu and operate as a single organization under a national leadership team. The company noted that the move will help advance its long-term strategic objectives and short-term synergy, revenue and EBITDA growth goals"...
Private Label Growth Spurred by Mass Retailers
SN: "In 2018, the mass retail channel topped supermarkets for the first time in annual private label dollar sales volume in food and nonfood consumables, as well as in dollar and unit market share, according to data from the Private Label Manufacturers Association (PLMA) and Nielsen. U.S. mass merchants, wholesale clubs, dollar stores and military commissaries totaled private brand dollar sales of $60.8B last year, up 9.8% year over year, PLMA said in its 2019 Private Label Yearbook. Unit volume rose 10.6% to 19.9B"...
P&G's Sales Strongest Since 2011, But Expectations Rise
Cincinnati.com: "Procter & Gamble's rebound ran into a new obstacle on Tuesday: higher expectations from investors. Despite notching the strongest sales growth in nearly eight years, the Cincinnati-based consumer giant couldn't quite live up to growing optimism that has driven a 15% run-up in its stock in 2019 before it reported its latest results.Closely watched organic sales (excluding the impact from foreign exchange, mergers or acquisitions) climbed a robust 5%--prompting [P&G] to raise its forecast for that metric. P&G said organic sales would grow 4% for the fiscal year ending June 30, up from its previous growth forecast of an increase from 2% to 4%.But the company noticeably didn't raise its earnings guidance, the proverbial bottom line. Investors on Wall Street were underwhelmed: P&G shares slid as much as 3.3% to $102.55 in early trading.Prior to Tuesday's results, P&G stock hit a new all-time high of $107.20 on Monday reflecting mounting optimism. The stock valuation relative to its earnings per share is higher than its five-year average, according to Morningstar. Barclays analyst Lauren Lieberman said the quarter was solid, but P&G is being held to a higher standard as its turnaround takes hold."Simply stated, this was a very strong quarter but we think the bar has moved considerably higher for P&G to really surprise the Street," Lieberman wrote in a Tuesday note to investors. Still, P&G's quarterly results beat profit and sales expectations: the company notched a $2.7B quarterly profit, up 9.3% and sales rose 1.1% to $16.5B. “We delivered another quarter of strong organic sales growth, enabling us to further increase our outlook for the year,” said CEO David Taylor. “Our focus on superiority, productivity and improving P&G’s organization and culture is delivering improved results despite a challenging competitive and macroeconomic environment.”Other numbers affecting sales from the latest quarter: foreign exchange hit sales by 5% (effectively evaporating $800 million in revenue), while product volume rose 3%, higher prices added 2% and mix rose 1% (indicating consumers were upgrading product selections). On conference calls with analysts and media, chief financial officer Jon Moeller admitted it will get "more difficult" to grow sales in the next fiscal year. This year's numbers compare to tepid 1% growth last year"...
Marketing Key In Kraft Heinz CEO Switch, Other CPG Giants' Strong First Quarter
MediaPost CPG Weekly: "The past week was an eventful — and notably positive — one for large CPGs, with troubled Kraft Heinz announcing a change at the top and PepsiCo, Unilever and Nestle all reporting strong first-quarter results. And marketing was a key factor in most of these developments.Kraft Heinz’s announced replacement of CEO Bernardo Hees with Miguel Patricio, a two-decade veteran of Anheuser-Busch InBev, as of July 1, was a bit surprising only because there had been no public talk of succession.But otherwise, a changing of the guard seemed inevitable, after the company dropped multiple bombshells in February — revealing an SEC investigation of its accounting practices, taking a $15.4B write-down on its Kraft and Oscar Mayer brands, and slashing its dividend by 36%, on top of higher-than-expected costs and a loss of $12.6B in Q4... “We are not surprised by the management change, given the disappointing earnings exiting 2018, weak 2019 outlook, dividend cut, SEC investigation and massive impairment charge,” summed up Stifel Nicolaus & Co. analyst Christopher Growe, in a note to investors cited by Bloomberg. While Growe doesn’t believe the leadership change can improve the company’s outlook for the current year, Credit Suisse analysts described it as “a good sign for investors, because it demonstrates that the company is very serious about pivoting its priorities toward growth rather than just cost cutting.”Investors seemed to concur, sending Kraft Heinz’s shares, which are down nearly 50% since the merger, and about 20% year-to-date, up by more than 2% in trading after the announcement... After $1.7B in cost slashing — with R&D, trade spending, marketing budgets and quite a few experienced CPG marketers among the casualties — Kraft Heinz “needs to rebuild the foundations in R&D and consumer insights that made it one of the best CPG marketers to work for in years past,” assessed the Credit Suisse analysts, as noted by CNBC. “Patricio comes to Kraft Heinz with a private equity ‘3G perspective,’ but we think he will have a mandate to pursue these objectives.”Although not yet citing any specific plans, Patricio did emphasize that he views his core missions as making Kraft Heinz consumer-driven, with focus on brand-building, greater agility and organic growth. Shrugging off a lack of food background, he declared that “consumer goods are consumer goods,” adding: “Where there is transformation, there is opportunity"... Meanwhile, PepsiCo seems increasingly to offer an example of how to light a fire under a lagging legacy CPG giant...Naysayers have had to temper their skepticism somewhat in the wake of the company’s Q1 report. Its overall rate of organic sales growth rose to 5.2% — its highest in more than three years. And while international growth was, as usual, key (up as much as 10% in some regions), North America was the bigger headline.The North American beverages unit, which was in negative territory for four quarters through Q2 2018, saw its third successive quarter of organic growth (up 2% and 2.5%), and Frito-Lay North America, a consistent bright spot, did better than ever: Organic sales jumped 6% (including a 3% lift for Lay’s).The Pepsi beverages portfolio saw 3% overall growth in the U.S. That was driven by a 29% leap in sales of Pepsi Zero Sugar, the success of Bubly sparkling water, a more favorable pricing mix, increased investment in distribution, and a double-digit hike in advertising and marketing to support the launches (including a Super Bowl spot for Bubly)… Strong results in the U.S. — as well as China — also drove better-than-expected Q1 results (3.4% organic growth) for Nestle... Unilever... saw sales rise 3.1% in Q1 (also exceeding analyst predictions). In this case, ecommerce and cutting-edge tech in marketing and other disciplines are among a constellation of innovative growth drivers"...
OTHER NEWS OF NOTE: