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chew on this

Kashi Moves Back to Cali as Cereal Brands Struggle to Regain Footing

Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 15, 2014 05:51 PM

For the last decade, increasingly on-the-go consumers are choosing quick-fix breakfasts like energy bars, yogurt or drive-through options to satisfy their morning hunger. Add to this a shift in consumer awareness of GMO-processed foods and a move towards healthier eating habits, and the Cocoa Puffs and Lucky Charms of yore are falling out of favor.  

While about 90 percent of American households still reportedly buy ready-to-eat cereal, sales are down to $10 billion from $13.9 billion in 2000, are are projected to fall to $9.7 billion in 2014. Post Holdings' Alpha-Bits and Grape-Nuts brands saw sales down 3.4 percent in the third quarter, while Kellogg's, the maker of once-popular Pop-Tarts, breakfast bars, beverages and cereal brands, saw a 4.9 percent sales decrease in Q2. 

"The common observation by a lot of companies facing declining cereal sales is that this is a kind of death by a thousand cuts,” Nicholas Fereday, author and analyst at Rabobank, told the Boston Globe. Contributing factors include a declining birthrate (fewer kids at the breakfast table) and a shift in demographics that has contributed to a change in flavor preferences, such as Latinos and Asians prefer other breakfast foods besides cereals. And then there's Millennials.Continue reading...

sip on this

AB InBev May Gulp Down SABMiller as Heineken Holds On to Independence

Posted by Dale Buss on September 15, 2014 03:52 PM

AB InBev is shaking the beer industry up like a tumbling can of Bud, as the No. 1 company reportedly is considering acquiring No. 2 rival SABMiller and taking the consolidation route toward improving profitability in the face of almost-impossible odds of growing its empire by selling more beer.

What was for certain on Monday was that No. 3 Heineken said that it spurned a takeover approach from SABMiller, etablishing that the Heineken familiy that controls the Dutch brewer intends "to preserve the heritage and identity of Heineken as an independent company." A merger of the industry's Nos. 2 and 3 players, of course, would have made such an entity much more formidable against AB InBev at a time when the volume-beer industry continues to contract.

Bloomberg reported that SABMiller attempted to corral Heineken in part out of fear that AB InBev indeed is stalking it. "That SABMiller's inorganic [growth] optoins have been so publicly lessened puts ABI in an even stronger position, should it choose to make a move on SABMiller," Eddy Hargreaves, an analyst at Canaccord Genuity, said in a note today. "SABMiller shareholders may be even more likely now to welcome a bid."Continue reading...

tech innovation

Apple, Watch Your Back: Is Google Going More Boldly Into the Future?

Posted by Ilan Beesen on September 15, 2014 03:14 PM

After months of anticipation, and a few days of perspective, the big Apple keynote last week proved less thrill, and more drill. Not to sound like an ingrate—I’m a longtime Apple admirer and loyal customer—but as far as surprises go, Apple is about as full of them, lately, as a bale of hay.

For its latest worldwide product reveal, Apple’s "one more thing" was the highly anticipated, and long overdue, Apple Watch. The sales pitch by Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake was unexpected, although U2's appearance wasn't. And the missing 'i' in Apple’s Pay and Watch caught everyone off guard, but that’s about it. While stirring interest by Apple fans, iPhone devotees (who snapped up the pre-order phones) and the global tech press, the big event by Tim Cook & Co. was a feature-rich, impeccably-designed bale of hay.

Compared to its history full of silicon-fueled subversion, today’s Apple plays it conservative. While typically the winner at whatever it does, Apple is not even close to being first out to the field with wearable tech, for example. It’s the obsessive batter who takes 10,000 practice swings before stepping to the plate and hitting a homerun. Impressive, but where’s the eccentricity, the wonder, the audacity? Whatever happened to going toe to toe with spectacular failure? Expected awesomeness is still expected.

In the euphoric afterglow of Apple’s keynote, it’s sobering to compare Apple's just-announced innovations with some of the recent work of another tech titan.Continue reading...

bc q&a

Coupon King: 5 Questions with Thinaire Co-Founder Tim Daly on NFC Adoption

Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 15, 2014 02:13 PM

Thinaire, a leader in radio frequency-enabled solutions, has been using technologies like Bluetooth and NFC to deliver mobile commerce and advertising content since 2011. While Thinaire's software can deliver paid video, music, games, apps and other sponsored content to consumers through branded apps, brands and retailers are increasingly in search of ways to deliver sales incentives to consumers in the very moment that they're considering a purchase.

NFC, which is at the heart of beacon technology, has been talked about as the next innovation in retail marketing, but brands have been slow to adopt the technology that makes use of consumer data due to confusion among marketers and concerns over security. Proximity marketing has previously been at the center of consumer complaints at retailers like Nordstrom, which was caught last year capturing shopper locations via the store's Wi-Fi network without consent. 

However, increased transparency from retailers and consumer-enabled apps like Swirl and Shopkick have helped retailers like American Eagle deploy beacon technologies throughout stores, pushing sales notifications and coupons for products that are in close proximity to a shopper's location within the store. Thinaire also recently launched its Active Shopper digital coupon solution to deliver mobile coupons that are instantly redeemable at checkout, while Macy's plans to expand its use of Apple's iBeacon technology to all of its US stores by year-end.

ActiveShopper works anywhere NFC and beacon solutions are available, and soon that may be in a lot more places following Apple's announcement last week of its mobile payment service, Apple Pay. The platform, which seeks to replace credit cards, uses NFC technology to seamlessly—and securely—complete transactions, a key piece to the mass adoption of the retailing technology.  

brandchannel spoke with Thinaire co-founder Tim Daly to discuss the future of NFC and how brands can better utilize proximity marketing.Continue reading...


A Cleaner GoDaddy Woos Small Businesses With Harsh Truth Campaign

Posted by Shirley Brady on September 15, 2014 12:35 PM

Recanting for its titillating TV commercials and Super Bowl spots featuring Danica Patrick and other celebrities over the years, GoDaddy announced last year that it's cleaning up its act by losing the jiggle and innuendo in order to be taken more seriously. Losing money year-over-year and looking to go public, it faced few alternatives if it wanted to turn around its ailing business and expand its brand from Internet domain name purveyor to All Things Online for small businesses looking to stand out on the web.

Now approaching its $100 million IPO, it's continuing to mature with a new fall campaign that a press release describes as "a crisp illustration of the company’s strategic marketing shift, moving away from simple brand awareness to targeting small business owners about how GoDaddy’s products and services can make them more successful."

The first of four TV commercials (watch below) are described as using aggressive "foxhole humor" that aims for the funny bone with razor-sharp nails: "the brutal truth of what it's like to be a small business owner."Continue reading...

tech innovation

Coca-Cola Enterprises Invites Innovation with New Developer Portal

Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 15, 2014 11:20 AM

Coca-Cola Enterprises, one of the world's largest Coke bottlers, is launching a new site for developers in order to simplify access to its APIs. The company hopes that a more open and easily accessible ecosystem will allow for the development of more innovative apps by third-party developers.

For instance, the brand is piloting an app that was developed by a third-party in the Asia Pacific region that allows consumers to charge their devices via a charging strip attached to the brand's vending machines and public coolers in shopping malls and airports.  

Coca-Cola first launched its developer portal last year as an "easy-to-use API [as] a group of services to allow our customers, suppliers, consumers, and partners to enhance their interactions with CCE by building great applications."Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: SABMiller, Amazon, Nissan and more

Posted by Dale Buss on September 15, 2014 09:37 AM


AB InBev seeks financing to buy SABMiller, which in turn is pursuing Heineken.

Microsoft agrees to buy Minecraft parent for $2.5 billion. 

NFL faces new issue of Adrian Peterson's behavior as it searches for new CMO in midst of PR crisis.

Nissan plans reduction in battery production as EV hopes fade.

Jimmy Choo opens flagship store in midst of London Fashion Week, where Burberry puts a Springin its step for S/S '15 womenswear show and Anya Hindmarch partners Tony the Tiger on boxes of Kellogg's Frosties cereal.Continue reading...

branded content

Branded Content Watch: Hornbach Goes Goth, Gucci Chases Kate and more

Posted by Abe Sauer on September 12, 2014 06:14 PM

This week in branded content, Hansel gets cracker crackin' as Nike and Reebok look back to look forward. Check out the latest branded videos from Gucci, Nescafe, Sunbeam and more after the jump.Continue reading...

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