* Nestlé SA is looking to close its German manufacturing plant that produces Caro, a coffee substitute, at the end of 2018, Reuters reported. According to the report, the company cited reduced demand for its coffee substitute as the reason behind its decision. The facility, which also makes roasted cereals, reportedly employs about 100 people. Some of the output from the plant will be transferred to other European sites, the report added.
* Former Petroleo Brasileiro SA CEO Pedro Parente has been invited to be the new CEO of chicken supplier BRF SA, Reuters reported, citing a source familiar with the development. Despite his six-month noncompete agreement with Petrobas, the source says Parente will be reportedly cleared to take the BRF role as there is no conflict of interest.
FOOD RETAIL AND DISTRIBUTION
* California-based meal-kit company Chef'd will sell its three different meal-kit products in 30 Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. and Duane Reade stores in New York as part of its partnership with WH Group Ltd's meat products company Smithfield Foods Inc., CNBC reported. This is the first partnership between a drugstore chain and a meal-kit business.
* Malaysian packaged foods company PPB Group Bhd. received approval from Bursa Securities for its listing and quotation of up to 237,099,976 bonus shares on its main market. The Malaysian company proposed the issue on the basis of one bonus share for every five outstanding shares by the end of the entitlement date, which will be determined once the company receives all the necessary approvals for the proposal. PPB is looking to increase its share capital base to reflect its current state of operations and to enhance trading liquidity of its shares on Bursa Securities.
* Packaged foods company Hormel Foods Corp. launched four ready-to-eat bacon toppings products as part of its "Black Label" bacon line. The new toppings include bacon crumbles, chopped bacon and bacon bits and will be sold in 3.5-ounce resealable pouches.
* Coca-Cola Co. updated its currency outlook for the second quarter and full year 2018. The soda giant now expects currency headwind to the second-quarter and full-year 2018 comparable net revenues to be in the range of 0% to 1%. In the second quarter, Coca-Cola expects currency headwind on comparable operating income to be about 2%, and for the full year 2018, the currency headwind on comparable operating income is expected to be in the range of 2% to 3%.
* Coca-Cola will bring its new juice brand, Rani Float, to India to compete with its rivals in the country as the segment for juice is growing twice as fast as the one for carbonated drinks, The Economic Times (India) reported. A spokesperson for the soda giant's India unit confirmed the launch and reportedly said the brand is being seeded in core metro areas and will be expanded by the end of 2018.
* PepsiCo Inc.'s Mexican partner bottler Grupo Gepp is temporarily closing its commercial operations and distribution center in Ciudad Altamirano in the state of Guerrero due to security concerns, PepsiCo told S&P Global Market Intelligence in an email. The soda giant said it respects the decision of Grupo Gepp and that it will continue "normal operations" in Mexico, including in the state of Guerrero.
* The British restaurant industry could make up to £5.5 billion in revenue per year if they adjust opening hours to modern consumer patterns since a fifth of British workers expect 24-hour services from the hospitality and leisure sector, Reuters reported, citing a study by Barclays PLC. The study reportedly shows that 42% of 553 businesses surveyed received a request for flexible hours, but only 4% felt a loss of business through not being open when the customers want.
* India's first UNO Restaurant Holdings Corp.'s UNO Pizzeria outlet may open in Kolkata at the end of 2018 after India's Ambuja Neotia's Choicest Enterprises purchased 75% of Tastetaria, Dhunseri Group's food unit, for an undisclosed sum, to form a joint venture to bring the pizza brand to the country, The Economic Times (India) reported. The company plans to open one outlet each in Delhi-NCR, Mumbai and Bengaluru by the end of 2018.
* U.K.'s Revolution Bars Group PLC appointed Rob Pitcher as its CEO, effective June 25, and reported a trading update on its performance for the 52-week period ending June 30. The bar operator experienced difficult trading conditions that caused sales to fall short of expectations, and the company now expects its full-year underlying profit performance, measured by adjusted EBITDA, to be in line with the year-ago period's result of £15.1 million.
* The Ivory Coast and Ghana will begin coordinating their sales of cocoa to influence the market, Bloomberg reported, citing Joseph Boahen Aidoo, CEO of Ghana's cocoa regulator. The West African countries reportedly supply 60% of the world's cocoa and Aidoo told reporters that once the two nations "harmonize" their marketing operations, they can regulate how much goes to the market. They will also decide on a floor price for farmers and will announce the rate before each harvest from next season, the report added.
* Six states in Germany were ordered to recall 73,000 eggs for contamination of fipronil, an insecticide used to treat lice and ticks in chickens, Dutch news site Food Ingredients First reported, citing initial reports from the Agriculture Ministry of Lower Saxony. The insecticide can reportedly harm the kidneys, liver and thyroid gland when consumed by people.
TOBACCO & SMOKING PRODUCTS
* Japan Tobacco Inc. CEO Masamichi Terabatake believes that Japan's eventual tax increase on cigarettes in October may be beneficial for the stagnant market for smokeless devices, Bloomberg reported. He added that the tax will be heavier on traditional cigarettes, presenting an opportunity for tobacco companies to increase their market share by pricing their devices favorably, the report said.
The day ahead
Early morning futures indicators pointed to a mixed opening for the U.S. market.
In Asia, the Hang Seng was down 0.93% to 30,440.17, while the Nikkei 225 fell 0.99% to 22,738.61.
In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 fell 0.47% to 7,667.60, and the Euronext 100 was down 0.45% to 1,058.74.
On the macro front
The jobless claims report, the retail sales report, the import and export prices report, the business inventories report, the EIA natural gas report, Fed balance sheet and the money supply report are due out today.
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