Welcome to The Week in Consumer Packaged Goods, a weekly round-up for marketers from Quad Insights that covers the latest must-know news surrounding the CPG space.
Celsius energy drink signs sponsorship deal with Major League Soccer
Beverage company Celsius Holdings and Major League Soccer (MLS) announced a partnership this week, making Celsius the official energy drink of the MLS — elevating the brand as it seeks to expand its reach among soccer fans at a time when the sport continues to gain in popularity. “Celsius is aligning the sponsorship around its focus on health and wellness, embodied in a ‘Live Fit’ mantra,” notes Marketing Dive’s Peter Adams. “The deal gives the brand an opportunity to engage a millennial-skewing, multicultural audience.”
Running through the 2026 season, the sponsorship is the first national professional sports partnership for Celsius, which secured a $550 million investment from PepsiCo last year, representing 8.5% ownership in the brand, according to Sports Business Journal. In addition to Celsius being the presenting partner for any extra time played during all MLS-controlled games, with the brand’s logo featured on field-level LED boards, it will be integrated into broadcasts on Apple TV, social media and national retail promotions.
• “Celsius lands deal as Major League Soccer’s Official Energy Drink” (Ad Age)
DiGiorno see positive results from pizza-on-demand concept with vending machines
Looking to move beyond the frozen pizza aisle, pizza brand DiGiorno announced this week the results of a new vending machine pilot that can pop out hot, thin-crust pizza on-demand in three minutes. The kiosk allows consumers to purchase a cheese or pepperoni pizza for $9 that is baked and then delivered through a slot in the machine. Parent company Nestlé began testing the new concept through a pilot program at a Colorado Walmart in April and a second one several months later at a company facility in Ohio. DiGiorno says that early results from customer surveys have been positive, with 92% of respondents saying they see themselves buying another pizza from a kiosk in the future. Nestlé is reportedly considering placements in high-traffic areas such as airports and college dormitories.
The launch of this automated pizza vending machine is a first for any major CPG company and, as Food Dive’s Christopher Doering notes, it could be a boon for this leader in the frozen pizza category. “If Nestlé decides to roll out the kiosk more widely, it could allow the company to grab a larger share of the frozen pizza market,” he writes. “The machines also potentially could become a threat to pizza delivery firms such as Domino’s and Papa John’s.”
• “DiGiorno’s New Vending Machine Is Taking Their Pizza ‘Beyond the Freezer’” (Parade)
• “DiGiorno tests pizza vending machines” (Vending Times)
DTC underwear brand Parade to be bought by intimates company Ariela & Associates
Gen Z underwear brand and VC-backed startup Parade announced plans this week to sell to privately owned Ariela & Associates International, the largest women-owned intimates company in the U.S. The move comes as many DTC brands have struggled recently to secure funding on the path to profitability, according to CNBC’s Gabrielle Fonrogue. “The deal brings Parade’s relevance, digital savviness and loyal customer base to Ariela, a Fruit of the Loom licensee that’s been a longtime player and manufacturer in the intimates space,” Fongue notes. “In turn, it offers the startup its infrastructure, know-how and the ability to scale as some digitally-native companies look for an exit amid a tough funding environment.” Valued at $200 million last August, Parade is being sold for an undisclosed amount.
Founded in 2019 by Columbia University dropout Cami Téllez, Parade has sought to disrupt the intimates category by focusing on body positivity, inclusivity and sustainable manufacturing. With comfortable, affordable styles, the brand has been touted “the internet’s favorite underwear.”
• “Gen Z Underwear Startup Parade Snapped Up by Fruit of the Loom Dealer” (Bloomberg)
• “Parade, the Buzzy Direct-to-consumer Intimates Brand, Is Sold to Ariela & Associates International” (Women’s Wear Daily)
• “U.S. retailers lose their appetite for SlimFast, owner says” (Reuters)
• “Carlsberg pledges to ‘selectively’ deploy marketing spend” (Marketing Week)
• “Function of Beauty launches exclusive Sephora collection” (Retail Dive)
• “Pharrell Williams’s Billionaire Boys Club teams up with Moncler” (Vogue Business)
• “Beam Suntory Gives Laphroaig Bottle a Greener Glow-up” (Consumer Goods Technology)
• “Dudes Together: Heydude Now in Lockstep With Social Media Sensations Dude Perfect” (Forbes)
• “Gen Z’s complicated relationship with food comes down to taste, affordability” (Food Dive)
• “Oral Care Brand Quip Launches Vitamin-Enhanced Mints” (Happi magazine)