Categories
CANNABIS Investing

SEC Charges Marijuana Stock Investors With Fraud

TA-FC ClipBoard: When the stock market can make or break a country’s economy, there needs to be an accelerated and massive effort to find and investigate companies and individuals and groups involved in the illegal and unethical manipulation of stocks. More Federal funds and more investigators allocated to securing people’s investments from fraud are necessary for a healthy economy.

Where does that leave the small investor? They lose, while the big investors win. A fine of 1.5 million dollars hardly acts as a deterrent to those trading in billions. Small investors are needed en masse to create a healthy trading environment. But until the corruption is cleaned up, We The People will remain at the mercy of those with the capital to manipulate the markets thus the economies of all nations.

Manipulating markets is a national security issue and should be treated as such.


Photograph by Robert Baker

SEC Charges Marijuana Stock Investors With Fraud


 
 

A Massachusetts financier arranged to bring public a cannabis social-media company and then manipulated trading in its stock so he could unload his shares, a complaint by the Securities and Exchange Commission alleged last week. Douglas H. Leighton and a group of friends made more than $3 million when they later sold their shares of the stock, MassRoots, alleged the commission, with the group accounting for more than 60% of MassRoots trading in the week it came public in 2015.

The 51-year-old Leighton and his six co-defendants agreed to settle the SEC fraud charges, without admitting or denying them, by paying about $1.5 million in disgorgement and penalties. Subject to approval by the federal court in Boston, the agreement calls for Leighton to be barred from the securities industry, from holding office at a public company, or from trading in penny stocks.

“Over the past year, we have fully cooperated with the SEC’s civil inquiry into the trading of MassRoots’ securities,” Leighton’s lawyer Alan Rose Jr. told Barron’s in an email.

MassRoots (ticker: MSRT) described itself as “a semi-anonymous mobile network” where people could discuss cannabis use. While it said it had one million users for its software app, its securities filings showed that its business model of selling ads has never yielded more than a few hundred thousand dollars in cumulative revenue while producing tens of millions in losses.

In its first month of trading in April 2015, MassRoots stock price briefly topped $7, giving the company a market value of $350 million. At that point, its cumulative revenue had totaled $1,465.

Today, MassRoots shares go for 0.14 cent each in over-the-counter trading, and the company‘s last securities filing in March 2020 said it lacked the funds needed to complete its accounting for the 2019 year. Barron’s queries to the company went unanswered.

Starting in the mid-1990s, Leighton had been a prolific penny-stock financier who found tiny companies, became their consultant, and got millions of shares in their stock before helping them come public. His firm Dutchess Capital claimed it had helped more than 400 companies raise $1 billion in all.

As more states began to legalize marijuana under their own laws in the past decade, penny-stock promoters sensed a new story to pitch retail investors. The major U.S. exchanges wouldn’t list cannabis stocks because of the weed’s federal illegality, but micro-cap stock names began trading over-the-counter in the U.S. and Canada several years before the marijuana stock bubble that accompanied Canada’s 2018 legalization.

The SEC’s complaint said that MassRoots came to Leighton’s attention in 2013. He invested $50,000 in the business and became its consultant for coming public, said the SEC. In return, Leighton and his firms received the rights to 23% of MassRoots stock, the complaint said. He instructed the company to hire certain brokers, lawyers, auditors, and stock promoters, while putting additional shares in the hands of associates through a private offering, the SEC added.

The complaint alleges that Leighton orchestrated his associates’ trading to artificially boost the stock’s price before unloading his own shares. The SEC alleged that Leighton and his confederates should have made Form 13-D filings that showed they were acting as a group.

According to the SEC’s suit, Leighton’s trading group made most of its money in the year after MassRoots’ public listing in April 2015, but it continued to profit from its alleged scheme through 2018, By then, the company had come to the attention of better-known investors in the accelerating marijuana industry.

A July 2018 securities filing by MassRoots registered 51 million shares the company had sold in the previous year to a number of investors.

Write to Bill Alpert at william.alpert@barrons.com

Source: Stocks Climb, Capping a Second Week of Strong Gains – Barron’s






Categories
CORONAVIRUS/COVID-19 Investing Net News

The consolidated US meat industry has major Covid-19 weak spots

Covid-19 has shut down parts of the hyper-consolidated US meat industry

 
By Chase Purdy

Food Reporter

Future of Food

How to feed everyone, without hurting the planet.

A Tyson-owned meat processing plant that churns out 2% of the US pork supply ground to a halt this week as workers became infected with Covid-19.

And that wasn’t the only meatpacking plant impacted by the spread of the novel coronavirus. JBS USA on March 31 said it hit pause on much of its work at a beef facility in Souderton, Pennsylvania and wouldn’t have it back online until mid-April. National Beef Packing on April 2 temporarily stopped slaughtering cattle at one of its plants in Tama, Iowa after a worker tested positive for the virus.

Plant closures are emblematic of a larger issue across the US food system, as farms and companies work to weather the storm of Covid-19. The health and safety of workers is paramount if food chains are to continue running smoothly—and workers’ perceived safety appears to vary across the industry.

In Greeley, Colorado, at least 830 JBS employees didn’t show up for work on March 30 after several employees tested positive for the virus. And in California, the United Farm Workers union has said that 77% of produce pickers in an informal poll reported daily routines hadn’t changed as a result of the virus.

Tyson claims that, in light of 24 positive cases for Covid-19 in its Columbus Junction, Iowa plant, it is being proactive about protecting workers before infections become apparent. That includes shutting the plant down for a full week. In a statement, the company said it is taking its employees’ temperatures every day. It says it has also increased cleaning and sanitizing at its plants, sometimes at the expense of a day’s work. At some plant locations it has set up tents as outdoor break rooms to allow for more effective social distancing.

Still, the stakes are high. The way the US meat industry is set up, with just a handful of plants churning out an outsized amount of the meat supply, disruption at a single plant can have a big ripple effect.

It wasn’t always like this. In 1967 there were 9,627 slaughterhouses in the US. Today there are just 1,100, reflective of massive consolidation across the meat industry. Of those, 215 large-scale operations run by a handful of multi-national companies supply the US with some 85% of its meat, according to Bloomberg.

For now, the supply of meat is steady. In fact, the biggest meatpackers have experienced substantial sales growth in retail because of the virus, as consumers rushed to stock up on food in preparation for prolonged periods at home. For pork and turkey, grocery sales in the middle of March more than doubled compared to the same period last year.

Still, industry analysts say the numbers in grocery stores won’t make up for substantial losses incurred by restaurant closures and hobbled food service companies. They point to chicken, the most popular animal protein product among US consumers, as a bellwether.

“Now that consumers and grocers have filled their freezers with chicken, the spike in demand from the grocery channel is starting to fade and is no longer sufficient to offset the 50% decline in demand in the restaurant channel,” Credit Suisse analysts wrote in a report this week. “This is a big change from the optimistic tone that we had heard from Sanderson and Tyson as recently as a week ago.”

On a global scale, economic weakness in nations around the world is contributing to a slump in US exports of meat—just as with dairy exports. Some financial analysts had expected chicken exports to grow by 20% in 2020, but because of economic problems in Vietnam, Philippines, and Kazakhstan, that growth hovered at about 3% by the end of January, according to Credit Suisse.

The message is clear whether you look at US meat through a global or national lens: If workers don’t feel safe, or aren’t protected from the virus, the food system won’t run smoothly. And since the US meat industry is so consolidated, problems at even a single plant can create big headaches.

Source: The consolidated US meat industry has major Covid-19 weak spots — Quartz






Categories
BURGER KING Impossible Foods Investing

The Impossible Whopper Isn’t A Whopper

About the ingredients: Shortly after Burger King released the Impossible Burger in all it’s stores in the USA I contacted them on their main website to ask if the bun contained any animal products. They did not respond.

I’m sure many people who don’t want animals in their buns or their mayonnaise, or any other food, had the same question. Given the anticipation of that question, Burger King should have given that information on their website, rather than keep everybody in the dark about it. Their failure to do that, knowing veganism was at the heart of why they were introducing the Impossible Burger on their whopper sandwich in the first place was a strategy error.

Burger King purposely did not satisfy everybody with the Impossible Whopper. They purposely left the vegan out, by not declaring the bun or the mayo animal-free. They made the burger to satisfy everybody, but not the mayo and maybe not the bun. I still don’t know for sure if the bun contains animal products.

When the animal-free chef engineers a recipe, some vegans may think it’s not vegan enough, for a variety of reasons, but her recipes never contain any animal products to the best of her knowledge.

Was Burger King angry at vegans and the hoops they make companies jump through to become certified vegan? Did they want to stick it to them? Or were they trying to placate their animal-eater base by disregarding the vegan altogether? A little payback that some market analysts may think the animal-eaters want? Probably all of the above.

Since the customer turnout for the Impossible Burger was already massive through other venues, Burger King really didn’t have to be concerned about their animal-eating customers turning up their noses at the product. It was already a proven commodity.

My take at this point: The Impossible Whopper is not an Impossible Whopper, unless the entire whopper fits the impossible designation. Currently, Burger King is in violation of it’s own claim of impossibility, by calling it’s sandwich the Impossible Whopper.

Our WHOPPER® Sandwich is a ¼ lb* of savory flame-grilled beef topped with juicy tomatoes, fresh lettuce, creamy mayonnaise, ketchup, crunchy pickles, and sliced white onions on a soft sesame seed bun.

The new Burger King sandwich should be called “The Whopper With The Impossible Burger”.

As it turns out, the Impossbible part of the Impossible Whopper was only the burger, not the entire sandwich that makes a whopper a whopper.

An Impossible Whopper would include an Impossible mayonnaise, since traditionally mayonnaise was made with eggs. Plus an Impossible bun, since most bread companies include milk product in their buns, even though it’s not needed to make a bun a bun. 

From a business point of view Burger King underestimated their animal-eating base, by disrespecting a group on their behalf, that made the Impossible burger possible. And here they are enjoying the results of all their sacrifices. Somehow it didn’t feel right that they couldn’t eat it too, only because Burger King failed to provide them with an animal-free bun and animal-free mayo along with the animal-free burger.

Making the only sandwich that Burger King sells without an animal burger totally animal-free, (bun, condiments and burger) is so easy. It’s only one sandwich, yet the executives at Burger King, and/or Restaurant Brand International, and/or 3G Capital – the Brazilian Investment firm were compelled to go only halfway with it – at the risk of losing the people responsible for the development of the plant burger as well as those animal-eaters who now feel sorry for vegans that Burger King left them out. 

That so many others have served the Impossible Burger so everybody, including vegans, could eat it makes one wonder about the motives behind Burger King intentionally not doing it.


Although Facebook Vegans most often claim never to eat any plant styled proteins resembling meat styled from an animal, and if they occasionally do, they wouldn’t eat at an establishment that didn’t have the equivalent of two Jewish kitchens, one for cooking flesh and one for cooking fluids, or in this case, one for animal meat and one for plant meat, or forget the two kitchens if the shops only serve vegan that is certified vegan, like Pareve and Kosher is certified Pareve and Kosher, then that’s okay.

Although justifiable, regarding not wanting animal meat to be cooked in the same place that plant meat is cooked, because of the cross-contamination, it’s unrealistic at this stage of conversion from animal to plant to make that a serious demand. Note that separating flesh and fluid of the animal when cooked or prepped and plated in Jewish kitchens ends there, since Jews don’t have two sets of teeth, tongues, esophagi, stomachs, and intestines. Although they eat the flesh and fluids separately, they meet each other once in the mouth, simply because you can’t wash the mouth thoroughly enough between introduction of flesh and fluid to leave no trace of either. 

Facebook Vegans are not the majority of vegans nor even the majority of those who don’t consume animals. In fact, if Jews still make up only 1/10th of 1% of the total human population of the species (which is questionable), then vegan Jews make up a much smaller than 1/10th of 1% of the world vegan population (not counting all the other animals that don’t eat animals).

Some can argue that most vegans are Jews. I see something there. But most Jews aren’t vegan, and therein lies the proof of the rub.

That all being said, most Facebook Vegans who focus on unreasonable or unfeasible demands, while beating up other vegans for not being vegan enough, in other words, one cannot eat anything even grown as a plant out of respect for the worm being crushed by the shovel during planting time, are trolls hired by the animal-exploiting and animal-consuming industries meant to disrupt the proliferation of the animal replacement industries.

Most real vegans don’t care what you make the plant look or taste like as long as there’s no animal suffering or animal in it. On a late Saturday night, when a group of friends turn to getting something to eat after a night of partying, the vegan in the group is delighted to discover that the restaurant chosen by the group not only has a great animal-free burger but has a great bun and condiments to match. Yes. They eat it. And love it. I know, because I do the same.

Make the plant whopper to look and taste like the animal whopper. That’s the Impossible part. 

Make all the customers happy. If the slaughter industries et al are the ones feeding you intel on vegans based on what vegans say on Facebook, then what they’re really telling you is what their own trolls are paid to do on Facebook – set up fake vegan accounts and divide and conquer the animal rights movement and the vegan community.

Lots of animal rights people eat animals, just so you know that. There’s overlap as in any large group or demographic. The majority are the ones who will definitely eat that Impossible Whopper, but not if the bun or the mayo contains animal products. Don’t force them to eat the burger without the bun. Why do that? Your market analysts are feeding you false information regarding the majority of real-life vegans.


Who owns Burger King is my next question regarding judgments being made at the executive level. Let’s take a look.

Restaurant Brands International (rbi) owns Burger King, Tim Hortons and Popeyes. Home office in Toronto, Canada.

Chief Executive Officer: Jose Cil

Who owns rbi?

3G Capital is a Brazilian Investment firm. Offices in Rio De Janeiro and New York city.

3G Capital (which held a 71% majority stake in Burger King) holds a 51% majority stake in Restaurant Brands International. … In January 2019, Jose Cil was named the CEO of Restaurant Brands International…

Brazil appears to be the major influencer here. 

Brazil’s richest man: Jorge Paulo Lemann. 3G’s Capital head and board member.

3G Capital, founded in 2004 as Lemann and four partners were consolidating the Latin American and European beer industry, became a mainstay in the U.S. when its portfolio company InBev acquired Budweiser for $52 billion in 2008. Soon after, 3G’s dealmakers dramatically improved margins at the brewer. Apr 30, 2018.

Carlos Brito, a protege of Lemann’s introduced zero-based budgeting to 3G Capital. 

Zero-based budgeting (ZBB) is a method of budgeting in which all expenses must be justified for each new period [not just new expenses]. The process of zero-based budgeting starts from a “zero base,” and every function within an organization is analyzed for its needs and costs.

THE LEAN AND MEAN APPROACH OF 3G CAPITAL

Although the above referenced article is from 2017 it still holds true for the industry and deserves a quick read.

Berkshire Hathaway is also a major influencial investment party.


Categories
CANNABIS Investing

Profit Trends – KushCo.

Marijuana legalization is spreading – not just across the U.S., but across the globe.

That creates a lot of opportunities up and down the supply chain, as well as on the creative side.

And there’s one company involved in legal cannabis more than any other: KushCo Holdings (OTC: KSHB).

KushCo has a diverse footprint across a variety of product segments. It provides packaging, labeling, papers, marketing, solvents, hydrocarbons and vaporizer technology.

The company is active in every legal jurisdiction in North America and distributes in more than 20 countries.

Since 2010, KushCo has sold more than 1 billion units and provides services to more than 6,000 medical and adult-use growers across Europe, North America and South America.

That’s why we welcomed KushCo CEO Nick Kovacevich as our guest for a candid interview.

He explains what he thinks investors are missing about the company, as well as why KushCo’s business is more protected than many know. As he says, it’s far more than just a packaging company.

Kovacevich also shares the total addressable retail market that he estimates KushCo can capture. And he discusses the opportunities the company sees in CBD and beyond.

Right now, KushCo may be trading closer to its 52-week lows than highs due to pressure on the greater cannabis industry. But believe me when I say this is one confident CEO.

And that’s what we like to see.

Here’s to high returns,

Matthew

Watch Video for interview: Profit Trends






 

Categories
Investing

Improve Your Investment Strategy With Ancient Philosophy – Stoicism

CHEF SHARON: Sounds familiar. Looks like I’m right up there with the famous philosophers. A pleasant surprise.


How This Ancient Philosophy Can Help Your Investing written by Nicholas Vardy August 29, 2019

Although Stoicism dates back to 300 B.C., it still resonates with many world leaders and prominent entrepreneurs.

Today, Nicholas Vardy explains how it can influence your investment strategies as well.When most investors hear the word “philosophy,” their eyes glaze over.After all, it likely reminds them of a boring professor lecturing them about the obscure ideology of a long-dead thinker.

But philosophy isn’t just about asking how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

It’s also about what men and women of action used to address their challenges – and achieve their greatest triumphs.

And there is no more practical philosophy than Stoicism – an “operating system” that has enjoyed a remarkable resurgence in high-tech centers like Silicon Valley.As Henry David Thoreau put it, “To be a philosopher is not merely to have subtle thoughts, nor even to found a school… It is to solve some of the problems of life, not only theoretically, but practically.”

And as my recent rereading of Stoic philosophy confirms, you can apply the lessons of this practical philosophy to your investing as well.

Let me explain…The Fundamental Insight of Stoicism was founded in Athens, Greece, by Zeno of Citium in the early third century B.C.

At the very core of Stoicism stands this fundamental belief: Control what you can… and accept what you can’t.

The Stoic Epictetus put it this way… “In life our first job is this, to divide and distinguish things into two categories: externals I cannot control, but the choices I make with regard to them I do control.”

We cannot control or rely on external events. We can control only ourselves and our responses…

FINISH UP: Improve Your Investment Strategy With Ancient Philosophy






Categories
Advertising Investing Net News

FTC approves record $5B fine for Facebook

At $5 billion, the fine the U.S. Federal Trade Commission is about to levy on Facebook is by far the largest it’s given to a technology company, easily eclipsing the second largest, $22 million for Google in 2012.

The long-expected punishment, which Facebook is well prepared for, is unlikely to make a dent in the social media giant’s deep pockets. But it will also likely saddle the company with additional restrictions and another lengthy stretch of strict scrutiny.

Multiple news reports on Friday said the FTC has voted to fine Facebook for privacy violations and mishandling user data. Most of them cited an unnamed person familiar with the matter.Facebook and the FTC declined to comment. The 3-2 vote broke along party lines, with Republicans in support and Democrats in opposition to the settlement, according to the reports.

The case now moves to the Justice Department’s civil division for review. It’s unclear how long the process would take, though it is likely to be approved. A Justice Department spokeswoman declined to comment on the Facebook matter.

For many companies, a $5 billion fine would be crippling. But Facebook is not most companies. It had nearly $56 billion in revenue last year. This year, analysts expect around $69 billion, according to Zacks. As a one-time expense, the company will also be able to exclude the amount from its adjusted earnings results —the profit figure that investors and financial analysts pay attention to.“

This closes a dark chapter and puts it in the rearview mirror with Cambridge Analytica,” said Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives. “Investors still had lingering worries that the fine might not be approved. Now, the Street can breathe a little easier.”

Facebook has earmarked $3 billion for a potential fine and said in April it was anticipating having to pay up to $5 billion.

But while Wall Street — and likely Facebook executives — may be breathing a little easier, the fine alone has not appeased Facebook critics, including privacy advocates and lawmakers.“

The reported $5 billion penalty is barely a tap on the wrist, not even a slap,” said Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat from Connecticut.

“Such a financial punishment for a purposeful, blatant illegality is chump change for a company that makes tens of billions of dollars every year.”

He and others questioned whether the FTC will force Facebook to make any meaningful changes to how it handles user data. This might include limits on what information it collects on people and how it targets ads to them. It’s currently unclear what measures the settlement includes beyond the fine.

Privacy advocates have been calling on the FTC to come down on Facebook for a decade, but over that time the company’s money, power and Washington influence has only increased.“

Privacy regulation in the U.S. is broken. While large after-the-fact fines matter, what is much more important is strong, clear rules to protect consumers,” said Nuala O’Connor, president and CEO of the Center for Democracy and Technology. The CDT is pushing for federal online privacy legislation.Some have called on the FTC to hold Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg personally liable for the privacy violations in some way, but based on the party line vote breakdown, experts said this is not likely.

Marc Rotenberg, president of the nonprofit online privacy advocacy group Electronic Privacy Information Center, said he was “confused” as to why the Democratic commissioners didn’t support the settlement and said he suspects, without having seen the actual settlement, that this was due to the Zuckerberg liability question.“

But I thought that was misguided,” he said, adding that EPIC instead supports more wholesale limits on how Facebook handles user privacy.

Since the Cambridge Analytica debacle erupted more than a year ago and prompted the FTC investigation, Facebook has vowed to do a better job corralling its users’ data. That scandal revealed that a data mining firm affiliated with President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign improperly accessed private information from as many as 87 million Facebook users through a quiz app. At issue was whether Facebook violated a 2011 settlement with the FTC over user privacy.

Other leaky controls have also since come to light. Facebook acknowledged giving big tech companies like Amazon and Yahoo extensive access to users’ personal data, in effect exempting them from its usual privacy rules. And it collected call and text logs from phones running Google’s Android system in 2015.Wall Street appeared unfazed at the prospect of the fine. Facebook’s shares closed at $204.87 on Friday and added 24 cents after hours. The stock is up more than 50 percent since the beginning of the year. In fact, Facebook’s market value has increased by $64 billion since its April earnings report when it announced how much it was expecting to be fined.

Rep. David Cicilline, a Democrat from Rhode Island, said in a statement that the fine gives Facebook “a Christmas present five months early. It…

FINISH UP: FTC approves record $5B fine for Facebook

 






 

Categories
Beyond Meat Investing

Beyond Meat Stock Price Skyrockets on Its IPO Launch

Beyond Meat Stock Price Skyrockets on Its IPO Launch

The company debuts strong and becomes the first plant-based “meat” company to trade on a major stock exchange.

Danny Vena (TMFLifeIsGood)

May 2, 2019 at 1:28PM

The stock of plant-based meat maker Beyond Meat (NASDAQ:BYND) surged out of the gate on its first day as a public company on Thursday, soaring as much as 150% (no, that’s not a typo) in the minutes after it began trading on the Nasdaq exchange.

The shares, which were priced at $25, opened around 12:18 p.m. EDT at $46 and soared to over $60 in early trading. At current prices, this would value the company at roughly $3 billion.

The writing was on the wall.

Beyond Meat initially planned to price its shares at between $19 and $21 per share, which would have valued the company as high as $1.2 billion. Earlier this week, the company filed an updated S-1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), increasing its expectations to a range of $23 and $25 per share. The stock was eventually priced at the high end of its revised range at $25. This was a 25% increase from the midpoint of its original estimates — though apparently not high enough.

Beyond Meat offered 9.625 million shares to the public, up from its original plans of 8.75 million, which valued the company at $1.5 billion. The company will bank just short of $241 million from the offering and plans to use the proceeds to beef up — er, augment — its manufacturing facilities, invest in additional research and development, and bolster its sales and marketing team.

Both the increased appetite for shares and the higher prices they fetched is a sign of the heavy demand from investment banks and other institutional investors, as well as from individual shareholders. Demand was much higher than the company anticipated, as evidenced by the more than doubling of the share price.

Faux burger shortage?

Demand for plant-based meat substitutes has been growing. Beyond Meat said in its regulatory filing that it’s one of the fastest-growing food companies in the U.S. The faux-meat maker has partnered with a growing number of major food chains to offer its plant-based burgers and ground-meat substitute.

Earlier this year, Carl’s Jr. introduced the Beyond Famous Star, a meatless take on one of its flagship burgers, at more than 1,000 locations. Chronic Tacos is also getting into the game, offering Beyond’s ground-meat substitute on any of its tacos, burritos, salads, or nachos. In all, the company sells its plant-based protein to 30,000 retailers, restaurants, and schools in the U.S. and Canada.

Beyond Meat isn’t the only company making headlines for offering meat alternatives. One of the company’s biggest rivals, Impossible Foods, recently made a splash by landing a deal with Burger King to launch the Impossible Whopper at more than 7,000 locations by the end of the year. Impossible Foods notified its distributors of a temporary shortage of its meatless burgers, the result of the increasing interest.

This illustrates the strong demand for healthy alternatives to meat among the general population, which could bode well for Beyond Meat…

FINISH UP: Beyond Meat Stock Price Skyrockets on Its IPO Launch






Categories
Girl Scouts Investing MorningStar Farms (Kelloggs)

Why Kellogg Just Sold a Smorgasbord of Beloved Brands

Why Kellogg Just Sold a Smorgasbord of Beloved BrandsFrom cookies to fruit snacks and pie crusts, the consumer-goods giant just divested some of its biggest products.

Here’s what investors need to know.

Steve Symington (TMFSymington)

Apr 3, 2019 at 3:35PM

In today’s ever-evolving consumer-goods landscape, it’s hard to overstate the importance of building recognizable brands. But on Monday, Kellogg (NYSE:K) announced a deal to pare its industry leadership in that area, selling a significant slice of its snacking business to global confectionary company Ferrero Group for $1.3 billion in cash.

More specifically, Kellogg will divest brands (and their respective production facilities) including Keebler, Mother’s, Murray’s, Famous Amos, and cookies manufactured for the Girl Scouts, as well as all of its fruit snacks, pie crusts, and ice-cream cone businesses.

Together, this enviable portfolio achieved net sales of almost $900 million last year — a meaningful chunk of its $13.5 billion in total 2018 sales — generating an operating profit of $75 million.

This raises the question: Why was Kellogg willing to part with those products in the first place?…

FINISH : Why Kellogg Just Sold a Smorgasbord of Beloved Brands






 

Categories
Investing Net News

Gingko Bioworks uses $90M funding round to launch ingredients firm Motif | Food Dive

 

BRIEF

Gingko Bioworks uses $90M funding round to launch ingredients firm Motif

AUTHOR

Cathy Siegner

PUBLISHED

Feb. 27, 2019

Dive Brief:

Startup Gingko Bioworks announced the launch of its Motif Ingredients company with a $90 million funding round. Investors included Breakthrough Energy Ventures — which has Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Michael Bloomberg and Richard Branson on its board — Louis Dreyfus Company, Fonterra and Viking Global Investors.

The biotech firm said the new company will use Ginkgo’s biological engineering platform to recreate proteins from dairy, egg and meat to use in plant-based alternatives. Motif CEO Jonathan McIntyre said in a release that consumers wrongly believe plant-based foods will be more expensive and won’t taste or function like animal-based foods. “Motif will be key to propelling the next food revolution with affordable, sustainable and accessible ingredients that meet the standards of chefs, food developers, and visionary brands,” McIntyre said. How to overcome go-to-market challenges companies with shareable, real-time insights that are fast and easy to access can mitigate losses and improve strategic planning, ultimately increasing their speed to market.

Find out how.

Dive Insight:

Ginkgo Bioworks is launching Motif Ingredients to try and locate the next big thing in protein alternatives. Consumer demand for meat substitutes and plant-based beverages jumped 17% last year, the company noted, so this could be the optimal time for a company like this. According to CNBC, Ginkgo CEO Jason Kelly started strategizing on a new ingredients company in 2017 because of the success of Impossible Foods and its plant-based Impossible Burger that “bleeds.” Bill Gates has also invested in Impossible Foods, according to Crunchbase, and he seems to have an ongoing interest in funding and developing more sustainable protein products. No doubt it will help to have such heavy hitters backing the new company.

There are plenty of plant-based competitors out there besides Impossible Burger. Beyond Foods is staking its future on the plant-based Beyond Burger, as well as plant-based sausages and chicken. Gates has financially backed Beyond Meat as well, which has posted net losses in previous years and filed for an estimated $100 million IPO last fall. Other plant-based burgers already in the market, or coming soon, include the Lightlife Burger from Lightlife Foods and Nestlé’s Garden Gourmet Incredible Burger…

FINISH READING: Gingko Bioworks uses $90M funding round to launch ingredients firm Motif | Food Dive






 

Categories
Investing

The Man Deciding Facebook’s Fate – The New York Times

By Cecilia Kang

March 8, 2019

WASHINGTON — The Federal Trade Commission has no shortage of critics who say it cannot protect Americans from the prying eyes of Big Tech. Instead of forceful action against the likes of Facebook and Google, they say, the F.T.C. leans on a rules that make it hard to impose penalties bigger than rounding errors for the companies.

Those critics have an unusual champion: Joseph J. Simons, the man running the agency.

“We have this over 100-year-old statute that is our main authority,” Mr. Simons said in his first sit-down interview since becoming chairman 10 months ago. “And clearly legislators who approved that were not thinking about data security and privacy issues.

”In the deregulatory era of the Trump administration, Mr. Simons, 60, a Republican lawyer who has jumped between the public and private sectors for more than 30 years, is a rare voice for strengthening the government’s hand.

Mr. Simons has urged Congress to expand the F.T.C.’s privacy-enforcement powers and allow it to impose fines more easily, write new rules and hire more experts. He also says the agency should police how all companies and nonprofits — not just technology companies — collect and handle people’s digital data…

FINISH READING: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/08/technology/ftc-facebook-joseph-simons.html?partner=IFTTT






 

Categories
Investing Labeling MADISON AVENUE

Contains No Animal Products

The word PRODUCT.

There are many definitions and uses for the word ‘product’.

Most manufacturers at this time are not going to put on their labels ‘contains no animals’. But that’s what I’m working toward. Right now the goal is ‘contains no animal products’. It’s straight forward in a language people understand.

Categories
Advertising Investing MADISON AVENUE Non-Food Reviews

THIS POST WAS BANNED BY FACEBOOK; let this be a censorship lesson to investors

Banned Post:

Laws People Think Are Theirs’ To Break Are Major Ones

Categories
Advertising Investing MADISON AVENUE

WHITE-LYNCHING

Brutalizing people is not an effective recruiting strategy. Neither is making enemies to build friendships.

Standing at a 13% population disadvantage, making enemies by bringing white people to their knees and ruining their businesses for offenses committed by other people in the past is a destructive use of small town tactics to gain up town recognition – a recognition that is not sustainable, simply because it is based on the false premise that white people today are responsible for practices that all races and cultures engaged in many years ago.

Contrary to social media and cable opinion outlets the movers and shakers of the world don’t like bullies. They dislike even more those who seek to destroy the businesses in which they invest.

I have yet to see a plan emerge that had a positive global goal attached, which leads not just me but many others to the conclusion that the revenge tactics used by Black Lives Matter Terrorists serve a visceral purpose that cannot and will not translate into financial growth.

USA Census for 1860 was 31.4 million of which 3.9 million or 12.6% total population were slaves and children of slaves.

Slavery ended in 1863.

Population of USA in 2018 was 327.1 million.

By 1863 approximately  3.9 million slaves including their children were legally freed.

Approximately three hundred million people and 156 years later, some 246 million white people, none of whom participated in slavery, are now being held hostage and responsible for deeds that occurred prior to the Emancipation Proclamation Act of 1863 and the 13th Amendment to the US Constitution abolishing slavery. Prior to that time slavery was legal on a Federal level, although in some states it had already been outlawed to varying degrees.

There is no legal precedent for one race of persons to hold accountable another race of persons for cultural and/or socio-economic missteps that in time became abolished. Madison Avenue and Wall Street have nothing to gain and everything to lose by participating in and supporting the white-lynching tactics of ruining white people’s careers and businesses based on a nondescript terrorist agenda for the sole purpose of terrorizing the white race and destroying their culture, careers, businesses and families using revenge tactics to protest an institution that no longer exists.

In that regard they are much like ISIS terrorists who want to return to the past to recoup losses that cannot be recovered,  so they take life and limb and liberty from the white people of the present. That is enslavement and torture, which will lead to slaughter if left unchecked.






 

Categories
Investing

Turnaround of the Year: Danone | Food Dive

DIVE AWARDS

Turnaround of the Year: Danone

AUTHOR Lillianna Byington@lil_byington

PUBLISHED Dec. 3, 2018

Most recent earnings: Q3 sales reached $7.14 billion

Outlook: If Danone turns to M&A and product innovation in the better-for-you sector, it could see more financial and brand recognition in the coming year.

After years of struggling with yogurt sales and an overly broad portfolio, Danone has overhauled its business to better respond to changing consumer trends — placing it squarely in the middle of the growing demand for plant-based and better-for-you fare.During the last year, Danone has accelerated its organic growth, expanded its portfolio and announced plans to invest in start-up companies that have a healthier focus. These shifts have led to financial and brand growth unmatched by few competitors, earning it the title for turnaround company of the year.

Michael Neuwirth, a spokesman with Danone North America, told Food Dive the company has seen substantial growth in recent years as it has shifted its resources to the better-for-you market — highlighted by the recent acquisition of plant-based foods maker WhiteWave in 2017 for $12.5 billion. Neuwirth, who has been with the company for 20 years, said Danone has narrowed its focus by shedding pasta, beer, cookies and champagne brands…

FINISH READNG: Turnaround of the Year: Danone | Food Dive


 





 

Categories
Investing Labeling MADISON AVENUE Political

Colin Connotations

Colin Kaepernick puts his name on Nike products – big time sellers of footwear

Nike’s worth sourced from The Motley Fool: 

“The simplest measure of Nike’s worth

The stock market gives the most obvious indication of a simple valuation of a company. Nike currently has about 1.35 billion shares of publicly traded stock outstanding. A price of around $56 per share puts the value of Nike’s publicly traded shares at around $75 billion. However, Nike has non-traded Class A shares outstanding as well. When you add those in, Nike’s total market capitalization rises to about $94 billion.”


Sourced from Forbes: as of June 2, 2018

#39 Nike

MARKET CAP $110.3B


TICKERNKE  $83.49 $0.02 (0.02%)


INDUSTRY Apparel/Accessories


FOUNDED 1964


COUNTRY United States


CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER Mark Parker


EMPLOYEES 74,400


SALES $35.3B


HEADQUARTERS Beaverton, Oregon


As of Jun 6, 2018



OPTICS 101

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – SEPTEMBER 05: A billboard featuring former San Francisco 49ers quaterback Colin Kaepernick is displayed on the roof of the Nike Store on September 5, 2018 in San Francisco, California. Nike launched an ad campaign to commemorate the 30th anniversary of its iconic “Just Do It’ motto that features controversial former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick and a message that says “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.” Justin Sullivan/Getty Images/AFP == FOR NEWSPAPERS, INTERNET, TELCOS & TELEVISION USE ONLY ==


“Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”

Just do it.

This is Colin Kaepernick’s message to the entire world?


Where’d his hair go? Sacrificed it in the photo for a footwear company to use his face on their feet and the feet of the entire world?


To stay rich, because he doesn’t play football any more? So rather than work for the money at a real job, he hijacks football stadiums and flips his wig to sports fans, the military, law enforcement and white people?


And NIKE just paid him for that service. What is he going to do with all that money? Who is he going to give all that money to?


JUST DO IT?


Just do what, is my question and has always been my question. What pervert from Beaverton, Oregon thought that one up?


Just do what?


Whatever anybody is thinking they’d like to do when they encounter that slogan on another person?


Just do what?
  • kill someone?
  • rape someone?
  • steal someone’s car?
  • push someone into the street?
  • run someone down with your car?
  • spit in somebody’s food?
  • drug somebody’s drink?
  • scream fire in a theatre?
  • scream bomb in an airplane?
  • blow up a school?
  • plan a massacre?
  • put a suicide belt on?
  • blow up a stadium?
  • steal somebody’s shoes?
  • throw a dog off a building
  • set someone on fire?
  • eat somebody’s face?
  • smash a baby against the wall?

What? Just do what?

If it’s to do a good deed, then that needs to be interpreted – those who blow up buildings and people for religious or ideological reasons think they’re doing a good deed.

If it’s to show a kindness, then that doesn’t require sacrificing everything. It requires nothing that resembles a sacrifice.

I’ve been an animal rights activist for decades. I never sacrificed. I went without. There is a world of difference between the two.

NIKE is not responsible for what people do when they read or see that slogan > JUST DO IT.

Did Russia really make US citizens on social media vote for Donald Trump according to the democratic populace fueled by the democratic elite by paying for negative political ads regarding Hillary Clinton and the American democratic system of government? If the answer is yes, then NIKE will be held responsible in a court of law for all of the above.

Did Donald Trump becoming president really cause the entire membership of the democratic party to go off the rails and become hate mongers expressing a desire to destroy the American system of government as we know it, by denying half the populace the right to free speech and by undermining the executive, judicial and legislative branches of government? If the answer is yes, then NIKE will be held responsible in courts of laws all over the world for actions taken against individual people, other species, groups, nations and property based on that powerful slogan > JUST DO IT.

Note: There are a lot of loose ended people in the world with all kinds of hair dos, who will follow instructions when they are concisely communicated, as long as you don’t tell them HOW WHEN WHERE or for what reason to do it. But there’s only one fuzzy haired person hijacking stadiums for the purpose of disrupting a sport, a nation and a world for an extremely narrow agenda. The USA has unions to help workers address issues of unfair treatment in the work place – even for multi-millionaires.

It looks like the American black populace slept through 9-11. Guess they didn’t feel the horror that sticks like skin to the American white populace – to this day.

The American black needs to find it’s own soul, instead of hijacking the souls of their unsuspecting victims.

Ditch the slogan is my recommendation.


Ditch the slogan. JUST DO IT period.


Categories
Investing

Streamlined Clearance and Settlement Provides Added-Value for US Investors

Phivida Receives DTC Eligibility for OTCQX.PHVAF
Streamlined Clearance and Settlement Provides Added-Value for US Investors

VANCOUVER, B.C. – August 20th, 2018 – Phivida Holdings Inc. (“Phivida” or the “Company”) (CSE: VIDAOTCQX: PHVAF) has been awarded full DTC (Depository Trust Company) and CNS (Continuous-Net-Settlement) eligibility for its common shares that are listed for trading on the OTCQX® Best Market under the ticker symbol “PHVAF” in the United States.

The DTC manages the electronic clearing and settlement agency serving publicly traded companies in the USA. This electronic method of clearing securities speeds up the receipt of stock and cash and accelerates the settlement process. CNS is an automated book-entry accounting system, which centralizes the settlement of security transactions and maintains an orderly flow of security and money balances between market participants.

DTC eligibility allows for cost-effective clearing and guaranteed settlement, simplifying and accelerating the receipt of stock and cash for investors. CNS eligibility ensures all DTC eligible trades and cash balances are centralized, cleared and settled in an orderly and efficient manner. CNS eligibility also means that, if purchasing shares in the Canadian market (CSE: VIDA), DTC will guarantee delivery to the United States, and trades of foreign issuer shares (OTCQX: PHVAF) will be settled in USD for added value and convenience for prospective US investors.

Graduation to the OTCQX market provides added; value, service and convenience to US based investors, brokers and institutions seeking to trade “PHVAF”. DTC and CNS eligibility simplifies and accelerates settlement and is expected to enhance liquidity of the Company’s common shares on the OTC marketplace.

About Phivida Holdings Inc. 
Celebrating Health and Wellness, In Harmony™, Phivida’s mission is to lead the alternative health care sector as in premium cannabinoid infused foods, beverages and clinical products. Using encapsulation technology, phytocannabinoids are converted into water soluble delivery format, enhancing bioavailability, solubility and timed release within the body. Encapsulated cannabinoids are infused into functional beverages, foods and supplements with a proprietary blend of phytonutraceuticals studied to target a range of health conditions, from chronic pain to terminal diseases. The World Anti-Doping Association’s recent decision to lift its ban of CBD from hemp oil and the World Health Organization’s supports the clinical benefits of CBD worldwide.

Phivida is traded on the Canadian Securities Exchange as “CSE: VIDA, and on the OTCQX® Best Markets as “OTCQX: PHVAF”.

Investor Relations
Toll free:                        +1 (844) 744-6646 (ext. #2)
Email:                            IR@phivida.com
Website:                        www.phivida.com

Quick Facts:

 

Categories
CANNABIS Investing

10 Canadian Marijuana Stocks for Your Portfolio 

 

10 Canadian Marijuana Stocks for Your Portfolio

By Mrinalini Krishna | Updated August 3, 2018 — 9:13 AM EDT

Unlike its southern neighbor, Canada legalized medical marijuana nationwide back in 2001. That means that the industry has evolved a lot more and is not plagued with restrictions across state lines, as is the case in the United States, where there are 29 states (and Washington, D.C.), where pot is allowed for medical use.

Further, Canada introduced the Cannabis Act recently and the bill to legalize recreational pot use is expected to pass by July of 2018. Not so in the U.S., where the immediate future for legal weed is in question, after Attorney General Jeff Sessions overturned an Obama-era law that protected states choosing to liberalize legal marijuana laws.

While uncertainty prevails in the United States, investors could get a piece of the pot action by investing in Canadian stocks traded in the country in the over-the-counter (OTC) markets. Most of these stocks can be labeled as penny stocks, so any investment may carry a significantly higher risk component. Here’s a look at some of those companies…

FINISH READING: 10 Canadian Marijuana Stocks for Your Portfolio | Investopedia






 

Categories
Investing

Tesla short sellers raked in $1 billion after Elon Musk revealed his personal struggles in an eye-opening interview (TSLA)

Tesla short sellers raked in $1 billion after Elon Musk revealed his personal struggles in an eye-opening interview (TSLA)

Bryan Logan, Business Insider Sat, Aug 18 12:44 AM EDT

Tesla short sellers received a sizable payday hours after The New York Times published an eye-opening interview with an emotional Elon Musk, the electric-car company’s chief executive.

Investors betting against Tesla raked in about $1 billion on Friday, according to data from the analytics firm S3 Partners.

The Times’ interview with Musk came out late Thursday night. In it, Musk lamented the many personal and professional challenges he has faced in the past year.

Musk’s admissions come at a tumultuous time for Tesla, but the CEO predicted that the pain isn’t quite over yet.

Tesla short sellers received a sizable payday hours after The New York Times published an eye-opening interview with an emotional Elon Musk, the electric-car company’s chairman and CEO.

The investors betting against Tesla raked in about $1 billion on Friday, The Times reported, citing data from the analytics firm, S3 Partners. Shares of Tesla closed down nearly 9% on the day, and dropped close to 1% lower in after hours trading, landing at $303.05.

That means investors shorting Tesla on Friday recovered the majority of what they lost after Musk’s now-infamous August 7 tweet, in which he floated the idea of taking Tesla private. On that day, the company’s stock rose 11%, and siphoned roughly $1.3 billion out of short sellers’ pockets.

The Times’ interview featuring Musk came out late Thursday night. In it, Musk lamented the many personal and professional challenges he has faced in the past year. By Musk’s own admission, he has been burning it on all sides while Tesla struggles to crank out thousands of its first mass-market car, the Model 3 sedan.

Immense pressure has left the tech billionaire and serial entrepreneur drained, sleepless, and irritable, as evidenced by his recent erratic behavior, which has caused additional problems for the company.

Musk accurately predicted the pinch from Tesla’s shorts isn’t over yet. The CEO told The Times he expects “at least a few months of extreme torture from the short-sellers,” who he believes are intent on seeing Tesla fail…

Source: Tesla short sellers raked in $1 billion after Elon Musk revealed his personal struggles in an eye-opening interview (TSLA)






 

Categories
Investing

Tesla stock sinks after Musk gives tearful NYT interview 

 

Tesla stock sinks after Musk gives tearful NYT interview

Noel Randewich, Nivedita Balu (Reuters) – Tesla Inc’s (TSLA.O) shares slumped 9 percent on Friday after Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk told the New York Times he was under major emotional stress and was preparing for “extreme torture” from short sellers.Tesla stock was on track for its biggest daily slump in two years as Wall Street questioned Musk’s ability to lead the electric car maker.

Investors also were worried about reports that regulators were pressuring Tesla’s directors for details about how much information he shared with them.

Musk stunned markets last week with a tweet that he was considering taking Tesla private for $420 per share and that he had secured funding. The SEC has opened an inquiry related to his tweets, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter.

The Times reported that efforts were underway to find a No. 2 executive to take pressure off Musk, who has struggled with production issues for Tesla’s key Model 3 sedan and has been criticized for behaving erratically on Twitter.“

This past year has been the most difficult and painful year of my career. It was excruciating,” Musk said in the hour-long interview, in which he reportedly choked up more than once…

FINISH READING: Tesla stock sinks after Musk gives tearful NYT interview | Reuters






 

Categories
Investing Net News

After the biggest stock market sell-off in history, what’s next for Facebook? 

 

After the biggest stock market sell-off in history, what’s next for Facebook?

Social media giant posts big profit, but other numbers show potential long-term problems

Pete Evans · CBC News · Posted: Jul 28, 2018 4:00 AM ET | Last Updated: July 28

Facebook still earns massive profits, but the company learned a harsh lesson this week about managing investor expectations.

When Facebook posted its quarterly results on Wednesday, the stock market sell-off that followed was dramatic.

By the time the market closed the next day, the company had lost $100 billion in shareholder value.

It was the biggest sell-off in Wall Street history.

A market meltdown like that inevitably left the company’s investors wondering “What’s next for Facebook?”

 *Facebook should be liable for ‘fake news,’ British lawmakers say

*In privacy fight, we’re asking Facebook the wrong questions

After all, it wasn’t a set of ugly numbers that sent investors to the exit. The company still made gobs of money — more than $5 billion in profit, in fact. But the sell-off was sparked by fears that the endless growth may soon come to an end.

To Ramona Pringle, a CBC columnist and media professor at Ryerson University in Toronto, the company’s main problem is the same one that has felled many of its technological ancestors — you’re cool, until you’re not.

And to young people at least, the world’s biggest social media company is decidedly not.

“Talk to anyone under 22,” she says, “and they’re not on Facebook.”

FINISH READING: After the biggest stock market sell-off in history, what’s next for Facebook? | CBC






 

Categories
Investing Net News

AT&T Chief Attacks Lawsuit to Block Time Warner Merger 

By Cecilia KangApril 19, 2018

WASHINGTON — AT&T’s chief executive, Randall Stephenson, on Thursday attacked the Justice Department’s lawsuit to block its merger with Time Warner, saying that a combined company would be no different from the Silicon Valley giants that make and distribute video content.

As the last witness for the defense in the Justice Department’s legal battle against AT&T’s $85.4 billion deal to buy Time Warner, Mr. Stephenson portrayed the 140-year-old phone giant as being in an existential crisis and in need of the deal with Time Warner to compete against tech companies.

He called the blockbuster merger a “vision deal” that would allow AT&T to better match up against Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google, which he referred to as “F.A.A.N.G.”

“The F.A.A.N.G. are all focused on premium video,” Mr. Stephenson said, comparing the proposed merger to the businesses of tech giants. “All of them are vertically integrated.”

The Justice Department sued to block the union of AT&T and Time Warner last November, saying it would hurt consumers who would likely see their monthly cable bills increase. The trial is being closely watched as a barometer of how the Trump Administration may treat mega-mergers, and for the implications of the case on antitrust policy and the entertainment landscape.

The trial is expected to wrap up in coming days after rebuttal arguments by the Justice Department and closing statements by both sides. Judge Richard J. Leon of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, who is presiding over the case, is expected to make a decision on the suit as early as the end of May…

FINSH READING: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/19/technology/att-ceo-time-warner-merger.html?partner=IFTTT






 

Categories
Beyond Meat Investing Net News

Where’s the beef? For Impossible Foods it’s in boosting burger sales and raising hundreds of millions

Where’s the beef?

For Impossible Foods it’s in boosting burger sales and raising hundreds of millions

Jonathan Shieber,TechCrunch Tue, Apr 3 5:38 PM EDT

Any company that’s looking to replace the more than 5 billion pounds of ground beef making its way onto tables in the U.S. every year with a meatless substitute is going to need a lot of cash.

It’s a big vision with lots of implications for the world — from climate change and human health to challenging the massive, multi-billion dollar industries that depend on meat — and luckily for Impossible Foods (one of the many companies looking to supplant the meat business globally), the company has managed to attract big-name investors with incredibly deep pockets to fund its meatless mission.

In the seven years since the company raised its first $7 million investment from Khosla Ventures, Impossible Foods has managed to amass another $389 million in financing — most recently in the form of a convertible note from the Singaporean global investment powerhouse Temasek (which is backed by the Singaporean government) and the Chinese investment fund Sailing Capital (a state-owned investment fund backed by the Communist Party-owned Chinese financial services firm, Shanghai International Group).

“Part of the reason why we did this as a convertible note is that we knew we would increase our valuation with the launch of our business,” says David Lee, Impossible Foods chief operating officer. “We closed $114 million in the last 18 months.” The company raised its last equity round of $108 million in September 2015.

Lee declined to comment on the company’s path to profitability, valuation or revenues.

Impossible began selling its meat substitute back in 2016 with a series of launches at some of America’s fanciest restaurants in conjunction with the country’s most celebrated young chefs.David Chang (of Momofuku fame in New York) and Traci Des Jardins of Jardiniére and Chris Cosentino of Cockscomb signed on in San Francisco, as well as Tal Ronnen of Crossroads in Los Angeles.”When we launched a year ago, we were producing out of a pilot facility,” says Impossible co-founder Pat Brown. [Now] we have a full-fledged production facility producing 2.5 million pounds per month at the end of the year.”

The new facility, which opened in Oakland last year, has its work cut out for it. Impossible has plans to expand to Asia this year and is now selling its meat in more than 1,000 restaurants around the U.S.Some would argue that the meat substitute has found its legs in the fast-casual restaurant chains that now dot the country, serving up mass-marketed, higher price point gourmet burgers. Restaurants including FatBurger, Umami Burger, Hopdoddy, The Counter, Gott’s and B Spot — the Midwest burger restaurant owned by Chef Michael Symon — all hawk Impossible’s meat substitute in an increasing array of combinations.

“When we started looking at what Pat and the team at Impossible was doing we saw a perfect fit with the values and mission that Impossible has to drive a stronger mindset around what it is to be conscientious about what is going on,” says Umami Burger chief executive Daniel del Olmo.Since launching their first burger collaboration last year, Umami Burger has sold more than 200,000 Impossible Burgers. “Once people tried the burger they couldn’t believe that it was not meat,” says del Olmo. “They immediately understood that it was a product that they could crave. We are seeing 38 percent increase in traffic leading to 18 percent sales growth [since selling the burger].

“At $13 a pop, the Impossible Umami Burger is impossible for most American families to afford, but pursuing the higher end of the market was always the initial goal for Impossible’s founder, Patrick Brown.

A former Stanford University professor and a serial entrepreneur in the organic food space (try his non-dairy yogurts and cheeses!), Brown is taking the same path that Elon Musk used to bring electric vehicles to the market. If higher-end customers with discerning palates can buy into meatless burgers that taste like burgers, then the spending can subsidize growth (along with a few hundred million from investors) to create economics that will become more favorable as the company scales up to sell its goods at a lower price point.

Brown recognizes that 2.5 million pounds of meat substitute is no match for a 5 billion-pound ground-beef juggernaut, but it is, undeniably, a start. And as long as the company can boost sales for the companies selling its patties, the future looks pretty bright. “To get to scale you have to sell to a higher price-point,” says Brown.That approach was the opposite tack from Beyond Meat, perhaps the only other well-funded competitor for the meatless crown. Beyond Meat is selling through grocery stores like Whole Foods, in addition to partnerships of its…

FINISH READING: Where’s the beef? For Impossible Foods it’s in boosting burger sales and raising hundreds of millions







 

Categories
Investing

Phivida Appoints Former Red Bull President as CEO

Phivida Appoints Former Red Bull President as Chief Executive Officer

VANCOUVER, B.C. — February 28th, 2018 — Phivida Holdings Inc. (“Phivida” or the “Company”) (CSE: VIDA; OTCMKTS: PHVAF) has appointed Mr. James Bailey as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO), commencing March 19th, 2018.  As former President of Red Bull Canada, Mr. Bailey stewarded the development of an entirely new category of alternative beverages, an experience which lends great value to Phivida as it prepares to launch into the global market.

Mr. Bailey will be responsible for building Phivida into an internationally recognized brand and replicating his success with building a new alternative beverage sector at Red Bull.

Mr. Bailey also brings proven executive leadership and extensive expertise in brand marketing and athletic endorsement for multinational consumer brands. Under his leadership, Mr. Bailey established Red Bull as the national brand leader in its category and grew annual sales revenue from $0 to over $150 million.

In addition to Red Bull, Mr. Bailey also served as the Chief Marketing Officer for Merrell Outdoors and has senior executive experience with Adidas and Salomon ski equipment…

FINISH READING: Phivida Appoints Former Red Bull President as CEO






 

Categories
Coca-Cola Investing Net News

Coca-Cola sales plunge as drink maker sheds bottling biz

ATLANTA (AP) — Coca-Cola swung to a fourth-quarter loss after being hit with a $3.6 billion tax charged tied to a sweeping overhaul of the nation’s tax laws.

Revenues also plunged as the world’s largest drink maker sells off its bottling operations. Industry analysts have anticipated both as the company reshapes operations, and shares headed higher in early trading Friday.

“We achieved or exceeded our full year guidance while driving significant change as we continued to transform into a total beverage company,” said CEO James Quincey. “While there is still much work to do, I am encouraged by our momentum as we head into 2018.”

The Atlanta company reported a loss of $2.75 billion, or 65 cents per share. Earnings, adjusted for one-time gains and costs like the tax hit, came to 39 cents per share, which was a penny better than analysts had expected, according to a survey by Zacks Investment Research…

FINISH READING: Coca-Cola sales plunge as drink maker sheds bottling biz






 

Categories
Investing Net News

U.S. food distributors allege Tyson Foods, rivals fixed chicken prices

U.S. food distributors allege Tyson Foods, rivals fixed chicken prices

Tom Polansek

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Top U.S. food distributors Sysco Corp and US Foods Holding Corp have joined retailer Winn-Dixie Stores [BILODW.UL] and other poultry buyers suing the country’s biggest chicken processors for allegedly conspiring to inflate prices.

REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

The distributors sued companies including Tyson Foods Inc, Pilgrim’s Pride Corp, Sanderson Farms Inc and Perdue Farms in separate complaints filed in federal court in Illinois on Tuesday.

The U.S. chicken sector, which is dominated by these large meat processors, has come under increased scrutiny in recent years as customers and farmers have alleged antitrust violations relating to pricing, production and compensation.“This is a case about how a group of America’s chicken producers reached illegal agreements and restrained trade,” the lawsuits from Sysco and US Foods said.

Tyson, the biggest U.S. chicken company, and Pilgrim’s Pride denied the allegations on Wednesday. Sanderson Farms said it will defend itself against the claims. Privately held Perdue declined to comment.U.S. poultry buyers previously claimed in a 2016 lawsuit that Tyson and its competitors had colluded since 2008 to reduce output and manipulate prices. Winn-Dixie, which operates grocery stores throughout the southeastern United States, sued the chicken companies earlier this month.“We expect the industry to fight the allegations and come out successful,” Mizuho analyst Jeremy Scott said.

Sysco and US Foods allege processors curbed the supply of chickens by colluding to limit breeder birds that produce flocks that are ultimately slaughtered for meat consumption.

Data provider Agri Stats participated in the conspiracy, according to the lawsuits, by distributing information about chicken production that gave processors insights into rivals’ supplies. Agri Stats, which the complaints say is a subsidiary of Eli Lilly & Co, did not immediately respond to a request for comment…

FINISH READING: U.S. food distributors allege Tyson Foods, rivals fixed chicken prices






 

Categories
Food Processing News Investing Memphis Meats

Tyson Invests in Cultured Meat Maker Memphis Meats

Tyson Invests in Cultured Meat Maker Memphis Meats

By Dave Fusaro, Editor in Chief

Jan 31, 2018

Tyson Ventures, the venture capital arm of Tyson Foods, revealed on Jan. 29 it has invested an unspecified amount in Memphis Meats, one of the startup companies creating “cultured meat,” produced directly from animal cells.

“The investment is an example of Tyson Foods’ commitment to explore innovative, new ways of meeting growing global demand for protein,” the company said in a statement.

While the terms were not disclosed, Tyson Foods investment represents a minority stake in the business. Tyson joins a diverse group of investors in Memphis Meats, including DFJ, Atomico, Cargill, Bill Gates and Richard Branson.“We’re excited about this opportunity to broaden our exposure to innovative, new ways of producing meat, especially since global protein demand has been increasing at a steady rate,” said Justin Whitmore, executive vice president of corporate strategy and chief sustainability officer of Tyson Foods. “We continue to invest significantly in our traditional meat business, but also believe in exploring additional opportunities for growth that give consumers more choices.”

FINISH READING: Tyson Invests in Cultured Meat Maker Memphis Meats

Cultured Meat Info > http://www.futurefood.org/in-vitro-meat/index_en.php

Memphis Meats > http://www.memphismeats.com/






 

Categories
Investing

Hemp-infused Iced Tea Now Available

Hemp-infused Iced Tea Now Available

Phivida Holdings Inc. is rolling out a line of single-serve functional iced teas.

All of the company’s products are designed for those seeking cannabinoid-based functional benefits without the psychotropic side effects of tetrahydrocannabinol from marijuana.

This is accomplished through the use of hemp-derived cannabinoids, which enable the products to be eligible for sale across the U.S.

The new 16-oz. ready-to-drink teas come in three flavors: green tea mint, lemon ginger and peach passionfruit. Low in sugar, the drinks are sweetened with agave, monk fruit extract and stevia. They are made with nanoencapsulated organic hemp extract containing up to 25mg of naturally occurring phytocannabinoids.

This format maximizes the body’s ability to absorb the orally ingested cannabinoids, according to the company’s development team, which includes naturopaths, nutritionists and food scientists.

The drinks are designed for gut health and contain a proprietary organic phytonutraceutical blend inspired by ancient eastern traditions of Ayurvedic plant medicine. The blend includes L-alanyl-L-glutamine, organic Indian gooseberry, ashwagandha root and leaf extract, coconut water powder, resveratrol, and a vitamin and mineral complex.

The drinks are vegan, free of soy and gluten, and made with all non-GMO ingredients.

FINISH READING: Hemp-infused Iced Tea Now Available

Phivida Holdings Inc. > https://phivida.com/






 

Categories
Investing Net News

A World Without Coffee?

A tenacious fungus is threatening the global coffee supply. Can genetics save our morning cup?

A World Without Coffee?

I write about biology and nanotechnology. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.

If you’re drinking a good cup of coffee as you read this, take a moment to savor it. Hug the cup, if you’re so inclined. After all, coffee may not always be so easy to come by.

Coffee rust is a significant problem in almost every coffee growing region in the world, and in recent years, countries in Central and South America have been hit particularly hard. One of these is Colombia, which cultivates around one million hectares of coffee plants to produce more than 65,000 tons of coffee each year. Consequently, Colombia is one of the biggest coffee producers in the world.

Colombia’s primary coffee crop is the highly valued Coffea arabica. Indeed, Arabica beans are the most popular and widely consumed type of coffee in the world. The combined global production of Arabica accounts for around 70% of the world’s coffee.

Unfortunately, it’s not just coffee drinkers who like it. A particular species of Coffee Leaf Rust (CLR) also has an affinity for C. arabica, and with devastating effect.

Coffee producer Adrian Hernandez looks at a plant infested with the coffee-eating fungus roya, at his farm Altamira, in Barva Heredia, Heredia, 17 km north of San Jose, on August 25, 2015. Hernandez does not remember a year as dry as this one and says that only a rigorous management plan has allowed him to stay afloat. Coffee growers in Central America are having to adapt to global warming, including high temperatures and drought, as well as fighting the fungus known as roya, in order to keep in the business. The fungus, hemileia vastatrix, which began to spread in 2012 due to a lack of preventive measures and the effects of climate change, discolors and dries up coffee leaves, an effect that also gives roya the name of ‘leaf rust.’ AFP PHOTO / EZEQUIEL BECERRA (Photo credit should read EZEQUIEL BECERRA/AFP/Getty Images)

 What are rust fungi?

They are notorious plant pathogens that disrupt the growth and reproduction of healthy plants. The airborne spores make infection hard to control. Once rust has entered a region, it’s incredibly hard to get rid of.

Read On: A World Without Coffee?






 

Categories
Advertising CANNABIS Investing Net News

Jane West’s New Marijuana Product Line Might Be A Game Changer For Women

If we had to pinpoint one characteristic that stands out in Jane West,it would be her attention to detail. After all, being an events organizer, details are central to standing out among the crowd.

Jane transitioned from a successful career in traditional events organization to the marijuana industry four years ago and has since rarely looked back with regret, even though she was fired from a $90,000-a-year job and been charged with six crimes just for participating in the cannabis space.

Over this period, Jane launched a company of consumption-friendly cannabis events organization; founded Women Grow, one of the largest and most influential organizations in the marijuana industry; collaborated in the design of a glass, weed products line with GRAV, generating millions in revenue; and created her own line of branded products, which now sell under the Jane West brand.

“Everything I’ve accomplished, I’ve accomplished over a short four years time span. I think that really speaks to the opportunity that the cannabis industry offers,” West told Benzinga during a recent conversation.

If we had to pinpoint one characteristic that stands out in Jane West, it would be her attention to detail. After all, being an events organizer, details are central to standing out among the crowd.

Jane transitioned from a successful career in traditional events organization to the marijuana industry four years ago and has since rarely looked back with regret, even though she was fired from a $90,000-a-year job and been charged with six crimes just for participating in the cannabis space.

Over this period, Jane launched a company of consumption-friendly cannabis events organization; founded Women Grow, one of the largest and most influential organizations in the marijuana industry; collaborated in the design of a glass, weed products line with GRAV, generating millions in revenue; and created her own line of branded products, which now sell under the Jane West brand.

“Everything I’ve accomplished, I’ve accomplished over a short four years time span. I think that really speaks to the opportunity that the cannabis industry offers,” West told Benzinga during a recent conversation…

Finish reading: Jane West’s New Marijuana Product Line Might Be A Game Changer For Women






 

Categories
Food Processing News Investing

Kraft Heinz Sells Oscar Mayer Plant to Reich Bros.

The Madison, Wis., plant made hot dogs, cold cuts and Lunchables products; Reich Brothers specializes in acquiring turnkey manufacturing plants.

 

Kraft Heinz Sells Oscar Mayer Plant to Reich Bros.

By Lauren R. Hartman, Product Development Editor

Oct 23, 2017

The Kraft Heinz Co., Chicago, and Reich Brothers Holdings, LLC., White Plains, N.Y., have completed an agreement by which Reich Brothers will purchase a former Oscar Mayer facility in Madison, Wis.

Kraft Heinz closed the factory in June 2017 after an extensive review of its North American supply chain footprint, capabilities and capacity utilization. Oscar Mayer hot dogs, cold cuts and Lunchables previously produced in Madison were transitioned to other Kraft Heinz facilities in the U.S.

“We’re pleased to announce that Reich Brothers has agreed to purchase the historic Oscar Mayer facility,” said Michael Mullen, senior vice president of corporate and government affairs at Kraft Heinz. “… Oscar Mayer is a special brand, and remains an important and successful part of the Kraft Heinz portfolio. We will always be grateful to Madison and the dedicated employees whose work contributed to this brand’s wonderful history over the years.”

Reich Brothers specializes in acquiring turnkey manufacturing plants and provides for the bulk purchase of equipment packages and monetization through auction sales.

The property is an integral part of Madison’s history, noted Adam Reich, co-CEO of Reich Brothers Holdings, LLC. “We understand the importance of the facility and the impact that its closing has had on the area. We look forward to repositioning it for future use, taking into account the values, desires and needs of the community. We will work closely with local officials to achieve these goals.”

Finish reading: Kraft Heinz Sells Oscar Mayer Plant to Reich Bros.





 

Categories
Investing Net News

Twitter (TWTR) Increases Character Limit for Tweets to 280

Twitter (TWTR) Increases Character Limit for Tweets to 280

Zacks Equity Research November 10, 2017

Recently, Twitter Inc. (TWTRFree Report) rolled out a 280-character limit for tweets, doubling it from the traditional 140 limit, in an attempt to make tweeting easier for people and to enable them to express more in a tweet.

The company has been testing the feature in a small group of users since September.

The character expansion has been made across all languages except Chinese, Korean and Japanese. Per Twitter, these three Asian languages convey more information in a single character compared to others and that is why they have not been considered for the increase.

Notably, shares of Twitter have gained 22.1% year-to-date, underperforming the industry’s gain of 28.5%.

Twitter (TWTR) rolls out a 280-character limit for tweets in order to enable users better express themselves…

Finish reading: Twitter (TWTR) Increases Character Limit for Tweets to 280






 

Categories
CANNABIS Investing

Marijuana social media company Massroots is making a big bet on software

(Compliance is a huge problem facing cannabis companies.REUTERS/Andres Stapff)

Massroots, a technology platform for cannabis consumers, is acquiring CannaRegs in a stock deal for $12 million, multiple sources told Business Insider on Wednesday.

The acquisition allows MassRoots to become a one-stop shop for cannabis businesses to connect with customers and ensure they’re in compliance with all state and federal regulations, Massroots CEO Isaac Dietrich told Business Insider in a phone call on Wednesday.

The acquisition is part of a larger push to consolidate Massroots’ business-to-business offerings. Massroots, founded in 2013, is a user-driven social media platform for marijuana consumers. The company is now seeking to expand its software services.

It “expands MassRoots’ compliance offerings, consolidating the most important operations for cannabis businesses into one central platform,” Dietrich said.

CannaRegs, started in 2014 by Amanda Ostrowitz, a former Federal Reserve regulator and licensed attorney, is a subscription-based service that provides businesses access to all local, state, and federal cannabis-regulations.

Dietrich notes that CannaRegs is cash-flow positive and debt-free, and it’s one of the few cannabis companies with majority-female leadership…

Finish reading: Marijuana social media company Massroots is making a big bet on software