Facebook’s Meta, The Coca-Cola Company, Save A Lot….and More

Facebook’s Meta, The Coca-Cola Company, Save A Lot… and other brands targeting the U.S. consumer right now. Check our prior Sales Leads columns.

  • Coca-Cola Co./ WPP

WPP has consolidated as the big winner in Coca-Cola Co.’s massive agency review, Adage reports. WPP has beated Publicis Groupe in the pitch´s final round for the beverage company’s creative, media, data and marketing technology business spanning more than 200 countries. The holding company will form a bespoke team called OpenX to handle the account, assuming a role Coca-Cola describes as “global marketing network partner,” according to Adage. WPP is charged with overseeing end-to-end marketing solutions across Coca-Cola’s entire beverage portfolio, which includes some 200 brands including sodas such as Coke and Sprite, as well as sports drinks, juices, coffee, tea and plant-based drinks. WPP had already held portions of Coca-Cola’s media business in some global markets via MediaCom, and Ogilvy has a history of working for Coke.

  • Facebook’s Meta 

Meta has appointed Spark Foundry to handle global media planning and buying duties following a pitch that launched in March covering Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp. Spark Foundry will be responsible for strategic thought leadership, media innovation, planning and investment, cross-channel approaches, tools, tech and operations, Marketing-Interactive has reported. The pitch was managed by ID Comms and Mindshare and Dentsu are the incumbents. The media pitch came two years after Meta named Wieden + Kennedy, BBDO, Ogilvy, Leo Burnett and Droga5 to lead global creative strategy and production for each of its apps and corporate brand. Spark Foundry was also appointed following the rebrand of Facebook’s parent company to Meta last week.The rebrand comes as the tech giant shifts its focus from social media to the metaverse.Some of Meta’s popular apps and products, including the Facebook app, will keep the same name, while some of the others will be changing. 

  • The Coca-Cola Company

The Coca-Cola Company announced that it has acquired full ownership of BODYARMOR, a line of sports performance and hydration beverages that is incremental to the Coca-Cola beverage portfolio and has significant potential for long-term growth.In 2018, Coca-Cola initially acquired a 15% stake in BODYARMOR with a path to full ownership, based on a pre-determined discount. Coca-Cola is paying US$5.6 billion in cash for the remaining 85% of the company.BODYARMOR will be managed as a separate business within Coca-Cola’s North America operating unit and will continue to be based in New York. Under a separate consulting and transition-services agreement, the executive leadership team, including Co-founder and Chairman Mike Repole and President Brent Hastie, has agreed to continue to work to maintain the brand’s successful momentum in the market. They are committed to executing BODYARMOR’s 2022 plan and working on vision and strategy for 2023 and beyond.BODYARMOR will continue to be distributed by the U.S. Coca-Cola bottling system. BODYARMOR is currently the #2 sports drink in the category in measured retail channels, growing at about 50% to drive more than US$1.4 billion in retail sales.

  • Save A Lot /Yellow Banana 

Save A Lot, one of the largest discount grocery chains in the U.S., announced the sale of six company-owned stores in Dallas, Texas, and Jacksonville, Florida, to Yellow Banana, LLC as part of Save A Lot’s ongoing efforts to convert corporate-owned stores to local ownership. Yellow Banana’s acquisition will enable these six stores to remain open, providing critical support to both the communities in question and the nearly 100 store associates employed. Yellow Banana is owned by 127 Wall Holdings, LLC. This news follows Yellow Banana’s September 2021 purchase of 32 Save A Lot stores in the Cleveland, Chicago and Milwaukee metropolitan areas, and brings Yellow Banana’s total Save A Lot store count to 38 stores in five states.Yellow Banana intends to employ all of the nearly 100 associates at the six stores and maintain their current wages, health insurance and retirement benefits. As a reflection of Yellow Banana’s commitment to positive corporate citizenship and in an effort to make a meaningful impact on those in need, the company will seek to form new partnerships with local food pantries and other key community organizations.

  • Grupo Bimbo 

Bakery company Grupo Bimbo has acquired Popcornopolis brand, for its Barcel USA snack division, from private equity firm NexPhase Capital. The acquisition price was undisclosed.  Headquartered in Mexico City and No. 52 on CGT’s Top 100 Consumer Goods Companies ranking, Grupo Bimbo reported a year-year-over-net sales increase of 2.9% in the third quarter, to 44.27 billion Mexican pesos (about US$2.15 billion). Founded in 2003, California-based Popcornopolis manufactures ready-to-eat popcorn snacks that may be best known for their cone-shaped packaging. The company has reached nearly US$72 million in revenue to-date driven by record e-commerce growth, according to PitchBook. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but the acquisition was completed during the third quarter, the snack company reported within its earnings statement.Popcornopolis received investment from NexPhase in 2019 in order to grow its direct-to-consumer business and food, drug and mass channels. The global ready-to-eat popcorn market is expected to reach US$6.22 billion in 2026, according to a report published by Fior Markets in March 2020, up from US $2.53 billion in 2018.

  • JBL

Audio equipment manufacturer JBL, part of international electronics company HARMAN, announces it has named full-service advertising agency Doner as its lead US Brand Agency Lead, following a competitive review. Previously, Doner served as the global strategy and creative content lead and will continue in that role while adding US strategic and creative duties. With this appointment, Doner is adding to its role in creating global platforms for each region to also now activating campaigns in JBL’s biggest market.During its 11 year partnership with Harman, Doner has helped JBL become the #1 brand in portable speakers. In this new role, Doner will help the brand maintain its leadership position while creating integrated marking plans across the roster of JBL agencies. Doner will continue to work on solidifying JBL’s place in culture and increase traction with JBL’s multiple targets including studio, stage, automobile and lifestyle audio.Doner’s new U.S. market work will debut this winter.

  • Team Novo Nordisk

Team Novo Nordisk, the world’s first all diabetes professional cycling team, announced the extension of their fruitful working partnership with Italian sportswear manufacturer GSG, continuing a collaborative relationship that goes back to 2018.Based in Treviso in the heart of the stunning, historic Veneto region in Northern Italy the family run company has been at the forefront of advanced technical sportswear since 1984 and remains a handmade in Italy producer to this day.A successful working relationship is based not only on respect, but also the understanding that to be mutually beneficial the collaboration is best served by open, free flowing communication and an understanding of each other’s core values.“We are happy and proud to be able to support Team Novo Nordisk for the next two seasons,” said GSG Marketing Manager Alessandro Costa. “This is a partnership with the American team that has provided great results in terms of visibility to GSG and one where a strong relationship has developed that has brought attention to our #challengeyourlimits brand value to the highest levels of world cycling.”