McDonald’s names first chief customer officer as Indian franchise plans to open over 25 stores annually

US/INDIA – American fast-food chain company McDonald’s has promoted Manu Steijaert to the newly created role of executive vice president and global chief customer officer, effective Aug. 1.   Mr. Steijaert will report to McDonald’s President and chief executive officer Chris Kempczinski and will lead McDonald’s new customer experience team.  The team combines several existing teams responsible for end-to-end customer experience — data analytics, digital customer engagement, global marketing, global restaurant development, and restaurant solutions.  Mr. Steijaert- the son of a former McDonald’s franchisee – brings to his new role more than 20 years of experience in the McDonald’s…

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Danone bounces back to profitable growth in H1, announces board revamp, share buyback program

FRANCE – French multinational dairy company Danone has bounced back to growth in the first half of 2021, reporting a 1.6% rise in consolidated sales on a like-for-like basis.  Danone’s consolidated sales for the first half of the year amounted to €11.84 billion (US$14.07 billion), while operating income fell 4.2% LFL to €1.55 billion (US$1.84 billion).  In a statement, the company attributed this to a return to growth across all categories in the second quarter with net sales for the quarter increasing 6.6% on a like-for-like (LFL) basis.  The owner of…

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KFC South Africa expands its eCommerce reach by leveraging on Vodacom’s Super App

SOUTH AFRICA – Fast food chain operator, KFC South Africa, has become a Mini Program partner on the Vodacom Super App, to enable it access new customers, trade and promote its business at a personalised level at no cost on what is, arguably, South Africa’s most high-tech and infinitely scalable digital mall. KFC is one of approximately 70 businesses that have already signed up or committed to build their own Mini Program in the Vodacom Super App. These include retailers, fast moving consumer goods companies, food outlets, transport operators and…

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Seed Co establishes US$12m drying plant in Zimbabwe enhancing availability of seeds in market

ZIMBABWE – Seed producer, Seed Co Zimbabwe has completed setting up its new US$12 million artificial seed drying plant at Stapleford, Mt Hampden, Zimbabwe which will enhance early seed availability for sale post-harvest. The group is also looking at increasing the capacity of the artificial seed drying facility in Harare, as well as replicating it in the region, reports The Herald. Seed Co Chief Executive Morgan Nzwere said, “The artificial seed drying plant was successfully completed at Stapleford, which can do 5,000 tonnes. It will allow us to service early…

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Acumen Resilient Agriculture Fund raises US$58m to boost climate change resilience of African small-holder farmers

AFRICA – The Acumen Resilient Agriculture Fund (ARAF), an equity fund that supports African agri-businesses that assist smallholder farmers adapt to climate change, has raised US$58 million. The fund is supported by the Dutch entrepreneurial development bank (FMO), the Soros Economic Development Fund, the French development institution PROPARCO (through FISEA+, the AFD Fund advised by PROPARCO), the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, IKEA Foundation, Global Social Impact, and other respected investors and funders. It is sponsored by Acumen, managed by its wholly owned subsidiary Acumen Capital Partners, and anchored by Green…

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Starbucks raises full year guidance following impressive Q3 performance

USA –  Starbucks, the world’s largest coffeehouse chain, is now expecting fiscal earnings per share to be in a range of US$2.97 to US$3.02, up from a previous guidance of US$2.65 to US$2.75 per share following an impressive third quarter.  According to a statement from Starbucks, net income in the third quarter ended June 27 was US$1.15 billion up from a net loss of US$678.4 million recorded in the same period a year ago.   Quarterly revenues grew 78% to US$7.5 billion driven by a 73% increase in comparable-store sales, primarily from lapping the impact of…

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FMO, Rabobank contribute to IDH Farmfit Fund’s US$118.7m supporting small-scale farmers in Africa

AFRICA – IDH Farmfit Fund, the catalysing smallholder finance facility of IDH has received financial support from the Dutch development bank FMO and Rabobank, each investing €10 million (US$11.8m). The IDH Farmfit Fund, with backing from public and private organizations makes it possible to provide financing for small-scale farmers in developing countries. By covering any initial losses on loans, the fund allows banks to provide financing for this sector with ease, acting as a bridge between small-scale farms and financial services. It also invests in innovative companies that develop solutions…

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Nestlé raises full year guidance following strongest first half growth in a decade

SWITZERLAND – World’s largest food manufacturing company Nestlé is upbeat about the remainder of the year following an impressive run in the first half of 2021.  In the recently released financial results, Nestlé reported an organic growth of 8.1% – the company’s highest in over a decade – as consumers doubled down on new buying habits acquired during the pandemic.  According to a statement from Nestle, the company’s growth was supported by continued momentum in retail sales, a return to growth in out-of-home channels, increased pricing, and market share gains.  Total reported sales increased by 1.5% to CHF 41.8 billion (US$46 billion)…

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UK dishes out US$21m funding to Kenya for establishment of digital trade corridor

KENYA – Kenyan horticultural producers are set to access the British market more efficiently and cheaply, following the set-up of a digital customs system in the East African economy. During the recent visit to the UK by the President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta, Kenyan-based non-profit making organisation TradeMark East Africa (TMEA), and the UK-based Institute of Export and International Trade ((IOE&IT), signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) providing a framework for collaboration in the implementation of a digital trade corridor between the two nations. To be delivered by TMEA and…

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Utz Brands makes 3 executive appointments to oversee growth ambitions post public listing

USA – Utz Brands, one of the largest snack food manufacturers in the United States, is bulking its executive ranks as it embarks on an ambitious expansion drive post public listing.   The company recently announced a series of appointments to its C-suite, including the appointment of a COO, a new position at the company, a CFO, and a chief people officer.   Cary Devore, who has been Utz’s CFO since 2019, has been promoted to the newly created role of COO, with his former position being filled by Ajay Kataria who is currently the executive vice president…

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