Consumer Goods

  • US milk industry fights back AAP - Thu, Sep 17, 2015 2:00 PM AEST

    America's milk industry is fed up with all the sourness over dairy. As Americans continue turning away from milk, an industry group has been pushing back at its critics with a social media campaign trumpeting the benefits of milk. Julia Kadison, of Milk Processor Education Program, which represents milk companies, said the breaking point came last year when the British Medical Journal published a study suggesting drinking lots of milk could lead to earlier death and a higher incident of fractures.

  • Oroton profit slumps 68% AAP - Thu, Sep 17, 2015 11:08 AM AEST

    Luxury handbag and accessories retailer Oroton has suffered a huge hit to its full year profit as it transitions away from heavy discounting and expands the GAP clothing brand. Oroton's profit for the 12 months to July 25 tumbled 68 per cent to $2.6 million, from $8.3 million a year earlier. Chief executive Mark Newman says the drop in earnings was partly due to the retailer reining in heavy discounts on its Oroton range.

  • Hyundai chief cautious on prospects for self-driving cars AFP - Thu, Sep 17, 2015 10:57 AM AEST
    Hyundai chief cautious on prospects for self-driving cars

    The self-driving car is coming, but not as rapidly as people think, the head of the European operations of South Korean carmaker Hyundai, Thomas Schmid, told AFP on Wednesday. "My personal belief is that autonomous driving might come, but by far not as quick as everyone says in 10 or 15 years," Schmid said in an interview on the sidelines of the IAA motor show. Alongside the connected car, autonomous driving is one of the new buzzwords in the automobile sector.

  • Hopes for shopping revolution as malls sprout in Iran AFP - Thu, Sep 17, 2015 5:37 AM AEST
    Hopes for shopping revolution as malls sprout in Iran

    The traditional bazaar has long been the place to shop in Iran but despite years of sanctions a new generation has discovered a vastly different consumer experience: blatant, unapologetic Western-style consumerism. Developers have broken ground on an estimated 400 modern shopping malls across Iran in recent years -- 65 of them in Tehran alone. Experts say the expected lifting of sanctions imposed over Iran's disputed nuclear programme will open the door to a potential retail bonanza, especially for imported Western goods.

  • Auto industry shows off car cockpit of future at IAA AFP - Wed, Sep 16, 2015 5:26 PM AEST
    Auto industry shows off car cockpit of future at IAA

    The futuristic seat designed by French parts supplier Faurecia is among car cockpit innovations that are being unveiled at the IAA car show, with the promise to transform vehicles into a cross between a mobile sitting room, connected office and a space for relaxing in. With their futuristic designs, state-of-the-art materials and intelligent dashboards, a number of new concept cars are the stars of this year's IAA, which opened to the world press on Tuesday and is scheduled to welcome the general public from Saturday. Completely driverless cars may still be some way off, but "autonomous driving is arriving at full speed," said Han Hendriks, vice-president of sales and product development at Yanfeng Automotive Interiors.

  • Subway co-founder Fred DeLuca dies at 67 AFP - Tue, Sep 15, 2015 8:50 PM AEST
    Subway co-founder Fred DeLuca dies at 67

    Fred DeLuca, who parlayed a $1,000 loan from a friend into the global Subway sandwich chain, has died at 67 of leukemia, the company announced Tuesday. DeLuca had been treated for the disease since 2013 and had named his sister, Suzanne Greco, as president to run day-to-day operations. The pace of growth accelerated considerably after 1974, when DeLuca and Buck sold the right to use the Subway brand to franchisees in return for marketing and other support.

  • Kellogg ties up with Singapore's Tolaram in West Africa AFP - Tue, Sep 15, 2015 6:29 PM AEST
    Kellogg ties up with Singapore's Tolaram in West Africa

    US breakfast cereal producer Kellogg said Tuesday it was investing $450 million to build sales of its popular brands in the rapidly growing West Africa market. Kellogg announced it was joining hands with Tolaram Africa, the Nigeria-based unit of Singapore's Tolaram group, taking a 50 percent share in its distribution arm Multipro, to open markets for its cereals, snacks and other foods. Tolaram already holds a strong position in Nigeria, Ghana and other parts of the region through its production and distribution of Indomie instant noodles, a popular breakfast item, cooking oil and pasta brands.

  • US regulators bar sales of four kinds of cigarettes AFP - Tue, Sep 15, 2015 6:10 PM AEST
    US regulators bar sales of four kinds of cigarettes

    US regulators on Tuesday ordered tobacco giant RJ Reynolds to stop selling and distributing four kinds of cigarettes because they are too different from previously approved cigarettes. The four products are Camel Crush Bold, Pall Mall Deep Set Recessed Filter, Pall Mall Deep Set Recessed Filter Menthol and Vantage Tech 13 cigarettes, the US Food and Drug Administration said in a statement. "The company's submissions for these products did not meet requirements" that the products be "substantially equivalent" to products already on the market as of February 15, 2007, the FDA said.

  • M Night Shyamalan scares up profit with 'The Visit' CNBC - Tue, Sep 15, 2015 1:23 AM AEST
    M Night Shyamalan scares up profit with 'The Visit'

    M. Night Shyamalan is the latest director to partner with producer Jason Blum, who makes micro-budget horror films that turn fantastic profits.

  • Auto industry veteran hired to rev up Google car AFP - Mon, Sep 14, 2015 8:51 PM AEST
    Auto industry veteran hired to rev up Google car

    Google announced Monday it hired auto industry veteran John Krafcik to head up its self-driving car project, as it eyes expanded road tests for autonomous vehicles. "This technology can save thousands of lives, give millions of people greater mobility and free us from a lot of the things we find frustrating about driving today," he said. Krafcik previously spent 10 years at Hyundai Motor America, including five as president and chief executive of the US arm of the South Korean auto giant.

  • Indonesia seizes Uber cars in new setback AFP - Mon, Sep 14, 2015 5:36 PM AEST
    Indonesia seizes Uber cars in new setback

    Thirty Uber cars have been seized in the Indonesian capital Jakarta in recent months, a transport official said Monday, prompting the controversial ride-hailing app to accuse authorities of "unreasonable intimidation". The news came after the city of Bandung, on the main island of Java, last week banned Uber, and as the Silicon Valley company faces challenges worldwide from regulators concerned about its business model and from traditional taxi drivers angered at what they see as a threat. Uber, an app that allows customers to hail private rides via their phones, has proved popular in Jakarta, a metropolis plagued by monster traffic jams but with scant public transport.

  • Snow the secret ingredient for making wine in Finland AFP - Sun, Sep 13, 2015 5:53 PM AEST
    Snow the secret ingredient for making wine in Finland

    Snow, preferably a thick layer of it, is the recipe for successful winegrowing in western Finland, at what is believed to be the world?s northernmost winery. Thanks to an insulating layer of snow, winter temperatures as low as -36 degrees Celsius (-33 degrees Fahrenheit) have not managed to freeze the Riesling, Merlot and Chardonnay vines of Finnish wine pioneer Kaarlo Nelimarkka, 74. On the contrary, Nelimarkka is more concerned about the sun's rays than the winter frost piercing his Sundom winery in the town of Vaasa, just 400 kilometres (250 miles) south of the Arctic Circle.

  • 'Made in Iran' cars face boycott campaign at home AFP - Sun, Sep 13, 2015 4:41 PM AEST
    'Made in Iran' cars face boycott campaign at home

    A campaign to boycott "substandard and expensive" Iranian-made cars has fired up social media in the Islamic republic, where its supporters have been accused of anti-revolutionary treason. Iranians are turning to the Internet to vent long-simmering dissatisfaction with a domestic car industry dominated by producers Iran Khodro and Saipa, following years of sanctions that led to the exit of foreign makers. Iran's automakers "have put profit before their conscience", wrote Vali, a user of the messaging service Telegram.

  • Wraps come off new Holden Commodore AAP - Sun, Sep 13, 2015 3:31 AM AEST

    The end of an era draws near as Holden prepares to unveil the last Commodore to be built in Australia. The VF II Commodore will be unveiled at Holden's Port Melbourne plant on Sunday, a day after the company revealed it will retain more than 100 design jobs that had been destined for overseas. General Motors has decided to keep its powertrain engineering and development team in Australia.

  • Holden keeps 100 design jobs in Australia AAP - Sat, Sep 12, 2015 11:06 PM AEST
    Holden keeps 100 design jobs in Australia

    Holden will keep more than 100 design jobs and add 18 new positions after manufacturing ends in Australia in 2017. The powertrain engineering and development team will stay in Australia after General Motors reversed a decision to send the jobs overseas. "More than 100 additional Holden engineering staff will continue to apply their skills and talents to local and global vehicle programs," managing director Mark Bernhard said on Saturday.

  • Fiat Chrysler recalls 1.7 mn vehicles, mostly in US AFP - Thu, Sep 10, 2015 1:28 PM AEST
    Fiat Chrysler recalls 1.7 mn vehicles, mostly in US

    Fiat Chrysler's US arm announced Thursday the recall of more than 1.7 million cars and trucks on Thursday for problems including air bag risks, bad welds and electrical wiring risks. FCA US said it was recalling 1.35 million 2012-2014 Ram pickups and other trucks in the US and other markets to inspect and fix steering wheel wiring harnesses which can wear to the point of causing a short circuit that could inadvertently deploy the driver's air bag. Chrysler said it knew of two injuries due to the problem, but no accidents.

  • European farmers block Brussels in huge tractor protest AFP - Mon, Sep 7, 2015 9:05 AM AEST
    European farmers block Brussels in huge tractor protest

    Thousands of angry European farmers on Monday set off fireworks, blared horns and blocked Brussels streets with tractors as they demanded emergency EU funds to help them cope with plunging food prices. The protest involving mainly Belgian, French and German farmers targeted the heavily-guarded European Union headquarters where agriculture ministers were due to meet to tackle the crisis. "Europe is drowning in milk," according to banners held aloft by farmers representing the European Milk Board.

  • Driverless cars to arrive by 2020 Yahoo7 Finance - Mon, Sep 7, 2015 2:30 PM AEST
    Driverless cars to arrive by 2020

    Toyota is investing $US50 million ($A71 million) with Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the hope of gaining an edge in an accelerating race to phase out human drivers. The financial commitment announced on Friday by the Japanese carmaker will be made over the next five years at joint research centres located in Silicon Valley and another technology hub in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Toyota has hired robotics expert Gill Pratt to oversee research aimed at developing artificial intelligence and other innovations that will enable future car models to navigate the roads without people doing all the steering and stopping.

  • This is what the future of TVs looks like... CNBC - Fri, Sep 4, 2015 3:30 PM AEST
    This is what the future of TVs looks like...

    TVs are about to get brighter, have better colours and look more realistic, executives at Samsung and LG told CNBC.

  • Smartphone sales in Germany surge AAP - Fri, Sep 4, 2015 10:01 AM AEST

    Sales of smartphones are surging in Germany, even as other consumer electronics sectors languish, industry leaders say as Europe's biggest annual expo of gadgets and appliances approaches. In Europe's biggest market, sales of phones will rise six per cent this year, said Hans-Joachim Kamp, president of the GFU consumer electronics association which organises the annual IFA show, that runs September 4-9. Germans have been racing to replace their feature mobile phones with touchscreen devices.

  • Under Armour's new weapon in the tennis wars CNBC - Fri, Sep 4, 2015 2:33 AM AEST
    Under Armour's new weapon in the tennis wars

    Nike has long dominated the tennis wars with many of the biggest stars in the game, but Under Armour is betting big on its newest star.

  • General Mills sells Green Giant brand to B&G Foods AFP - Thu, Sep 3, 2015 9:07 PM AEST
    General Mills sells Green Giant brand to B&G Foods

    US food company General Mills is pushing its vegetable businesses to the side of the plate, announcing Thursday the sale of its iconic Green Giant and Le Sueur brands. B&G Foods has agreed to pay $765 million in cash for the frozen and canned vegetables brands, said General Mills. General Mills, operating in more than 100 countries, has a wide portfolio of brands, including Cheerios breakfast cereal, Haagen-Dazs ice cream, Yoplait yogurt and Betty Crocker, Pillsbury and Gold Medal baking products.

  • A house that runs itself? Samsung believes it's about time AFP - Thu, Sep 3, 2015 6:40 PM AEST
    A house that runs itself? Samsung believes it's about time

    South Korean giant Samsung now believes the day has come when a home is smart enough for household appliances to simply run themselves -- all communicating with each other in the so-called Internet of Things (IoT). At the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin on Thursday, Samsung Electronics chief executive WP Hong said: "It is not a trend. "By 2020, all devices made by Samsung will be IoT enabled," he pledged.

  • Black S. African shakes up white preserve of game farming AFP - Thu, Sep 3, 2015 9:01 AM AEST
    Black S. African shakes up white preserve of game farming

    The game breeding industry in South Africa is the epitome of white, khaki-clad Afrikaner life -- just the sort of business that black entrepreneur Mike Gcabo loves to break into. Game breeding -- when ...

  • Black S.African shakes up white preserve of game farming AFP - Thu, Sep 3, 2015 6:53 AM AEST
    Black S.African shakes up white preserve of game farming

    The game breeding industry in South Africa is the epitome of white, khaki-clad Afrikaner life -- just the sort of business that black entrepreneur Mike Gcabo loves to break into. Game breeding -- when ...

  • Taco shell is made out of what?! CNBC - Thu, Sep 3, 2015 3:07 AM AEST
    Taco shell is made out of what?!

    Taco Bell has begun selling the "naked crispy chicken taco" a taco the uses fried chicken as a shell.

  • The 9 Best Sales of Labor Day 2015 U.S.News & World Report - Wed, Sep 2, 2015 11:00 PM AEST

    This year, we've taken the labor out of Labor Day shopping so you can sit back, relax and shop. Labor Day is more than a weekend-long affair at Best Buy, and customers can use this promotion to bring home a new washer, dryer or other appliance at a low price. Through Sept. 16, the store is hosting a Major Appliance Sale, with deals of up to 30 percent off on select models.

  • 8 Stocks to Buy for 'Star Wars' Fans U.S.News & World Report - Wed, Sep 2, 2015 11:00 PM AEST

    The newest film should boost these stocks. Our friends at The Walt Disney Co . can't wait until December. More than three months before the long-awaited "Star Wars: Episode VII -- The Force Awakens" ...

  • 'The farmers are coming': Over 1,000 tractors set to blockade Paris AFP - Wed, Sep 2, 2015 7:24 PM AEST
    'The farmers are coming': Over 1,000 tractors set to blockade Paris

    Farmers riding more than 1,000 tractors will try to blockade Paris on Thursday as they converge on the French capital in protest at falling prices that they say are endangering their livelihoods. "We're at our wits' end," said Sebastien Louzaouen, a member of the Young Farmers' Union, which represents agricultural workers aged 35 and under. "If we show that we can blockade Paris, maybe it will prod the government into action.

  • Lego first half results boosted by strong Asian growth AFP - Wed, Sep 2, 2015 12:50 PM AEST
    Lego first half results boosted by strong Asian growth

    The world's largest toy maker Lego on Wednesday reported a jump in first half profit and sales, underpinned by strong growth in Asia. The result was "especially encouraging since we compare (it) to 2014 when The Lego Movie products boosted our performance," chief executive officer Jorgen Vig Knudstorp said in a statement. The Lego City, Technic and Starwars lines were among the most popular, while new launches such as Jurassic World and the girl-focused Lego Elves "were received very positively," the company said.

  • Harvey Norman buys $34m stake in dairy co AAP - Wed, Sep 2, 2015 9:04 AM AEST
    Harvey Norman buys $34m stake in dairy co

    Homewares retailer Harvey Norman has agreed to pay $34 million for a 49.9 per cent stake in northern Victorian dairy company Coomboona. Coomboona owns land and farm assets in the Coomboona district of ...

  • McDonald's all-day breakfast is going nationwide CNBC - Wed, Sep 2, 2015 5:56 AM AEST
    McDonald's all-day breakfast is going nationwide

    McDonald's will soon serve breakfast any time of the day nationwide beginning October 6.

  • Sleeker smartwatches to shine at Berlin mega gadget fair AFP - Wed, Sep 2, 2015 3:58 AM AEST
    Sleeker smartwatches to shine at Berlin mega gadget fair

    Sleeker and sexier smartwatches are expected to premiere this week in Berlin at one of the world's biggest consumer electronics shows, with both phone manufacturers and watchmakers jostling for a share of the fast-growing market. The annual IFA show, which began as an exhibition on the new medium of radio 90 years ago, has developed into a massive showcase for consumers to touch and feel the latest in technological innovations. South Korean electronics giant Samsung will show off its latest smartwatch, the Gear S2, on Thursday.

  • 'McDealerships' multiply to serve auto-sales boom CNBC - Wed, Sep 2, 2015 2:15 AM AEST
    'McDealerships' multiply to serve auto-sales boom

    The rise in US auto sales is sparking the emergence of the so-called "McDealership," and possibly creating a new leg for economic growth.

  • Amazon adds offline viewing to Prime video service AFP - Tue, Sep 1, 2015 8:02 PM AEST
    Amazon adds offline viewing to Prime video service

    Amazon on Tuesday added offline viewing of films or television shows to its Prime subscription video service. The feature breaks the tether of Internet streaming by allowing Prime members to download films or television show episodes to Apple or Android smartphones or tablets for viewing when devices are offline. Amazon Prime is priced at $99 yearly in the United States.