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corporate citizenship

On Veterans Day and Beyond, Brands Honor Military Veterans

Posted by Dale Buss on November 11, 2014 12:02 PM

The contributions of America's military veterans are as current as America's battles against ISIS and Ebola and as profound as D-Day and the Civil War. No wonder that more U.S.-based brands are rallying around vets these days, and not just on Veterans Day .

Starbucks has become one of the highest-profile brand advocates for veterans. It's partnering with HBO and Chase to help Bruce Springsteen throw a concert to honor vets that will run on HBO and other TV networks tonight.

CEO Howard Schultz also just released a book, For Love of Country: What Our Veterans Can Teach Us About Citizenship, co-authored with journalist Rajiv Chandrasekaran.Continue reading...

brand strategy

Chipotle Tries Its Fresh-Food Flair In a New Segment: Fast-Casual Pizza

Posted by Dale Buss on December 19, 2013 07:17 PM

As the whole restaurant marketplace becomes a mash-up, it's little surprise that Chipotle is pursuing a fast-casual niche that's growing just as its own fresh-Mex segment has taken off: pizzerias.

Chipotle invested in a chain called Pizzeria Locale with a restaurant in Denver that actually opened in May, and it's considering two more locations in the city, according to USA Today. It's too soon to say whether Chipotle will open Pizzeria Locales in other parts of the US.

"Opening Pizzeria Locale using a model similar to Chipotle allows us to make extraordinary pizza, made with high-quality ingredients accessible to everyone," said Chipotle CEO Steve Ells in a press release.Continue reading...

chew on this

Burger Mania Pulls in Olive Garden, Boosts Wendy's; Is Pizza Next?

Posted by Dale Buss on December 4, 2013 11:07 AM

The gourmet burger is king in fast-casual restaurants these days, but gourmet pizza may be threatening the throne.

Olive Garden is the latest chain to bow to the rise of gourmet burgers. In a move that doesn't at first glance seem to fit with its Italian menu, the Darden-owned brand has introduced its Italiano Burger nationwide as part of a broader menu overhaul. The burger is topped with crisp prosciutto, mozzarella cheese, arugula, tomatoes marinated in fresh basil, and garlic and Italian spices, according to NRN.com. And it's served with a garlic aioli spread and comes with parmesan-garlic fries.

But it's still a burger. And that's the point: To combat slower sales, Olive Garden is trying lots of new stuff. "The objective is to regain same-restaurant traffic momentum," CEO Clarence Otis said in September when discussing earnings, according to NRN.com.Continue reading...

chew on this

California Pizza Kitchen Guarantees True Gluten-Free Dining Experience with Taste, Too

Posted by Dale Buss on October 14, 2013 07:17 PM

California Pizza Kitchen has invested heavily in a new line of gluten-free pizzas that aim to tap into the growing gluten-free segment—but which also are requiring changes across the operations of the Los Angeles-based chain.

The chain now is offering four gluten-free pizza options that are devoid of gluten throughout, which is meant to appeal to true celiac-disease sufferers. An earlier gluten-free offering a few years ago had a gluten-free crust—but didn't guarantee gluten-free toppings.

But what might surprise most gluten-free devotees is that the new line also tastes pretty good, a CPK executive told brandchannel. "We've developed a gluten-free crust that we're proud of," said Brian Sulivan, senior vice president of culinary development. "It's got good texture. It cooks well. It's crispy. It goes well with our toppings."Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Nespresso, Procter & Gamble, Ford and more

Posted by Dale Buss on October 14, 2013 09:27 AM

In the News

Nespresso sees coffee pod patent revoked by European regulators.

Procter & Gamble goes high-brow in fashion collaboration.

Ford teams with University of Michigan for new battery lab. 

Alibaba plans to blow out infrastructure spending on Chinese "e-conomy."

Alitalia set for vote that may bring Italian government back in as an owner.

California Pizza Kitchen rolls out gluten-free pizza effort.

Daytona International Speedway fires up campaign.

Foursquare opens ads to all businesses.

GM opens new stamping plant in Texas.

Google+ users may see themselves crop up in new ad campaign. 

HTC eyes China for survival.

Huawei innovates with rotating CEO system.Continue reading...

chew on this

Nestlé Responds to Pizza Trans Fat Suit With Removal Commitment [Updated]

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 31, 2013 02:02 PM

In an unusual move by a major brand, CPG giant Nestlé responded this week to a $5 million U.S. class action suit over trans fats in its frozen pizza brands by posting a video on YouTube that pushed back against the claims.

The video, posted Wednesday on Nestle USA's corporate YouTube channel, was removed without explanation on Thursday (update: it's now back online).

The suit, filed by Katie Simpson of San Diego, Calif., claims that Nestle’s frozen pizza brands—DiGiorno, Stouffer’s, and California Pizza Kitchen—are a danger to public health because they contain trans fats. The ingredients are legal in U.S. packaged goods, though the state of California, New York City and Philadelphia have banned their use in restaurants.

"Katie has two young children and she likes to make pizza for them, and all kids love pizza," her attorney, Greg Watson, told ABC's Good Morning America. "It shouldn't have a toxic food additive that's been banned all around the world."Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: News Corp., Virgin, Lincoln and more

Posted by Dale Buss on December 3, 2012 09:01 AM

In the News

Rupert Murdoch names longtime lieutenant Robert Thomson head of global publishing unit as company's news/book publishing and entertainment assets prepare to be separated into News Corporation and Fox Group. As part of global restructuring, experimental "ipadazine" The Daily is closing.

Delta bids for 49-percent stake in Virgin Atlantic.

Ford unveils new branding campaign for overhauled Lincoln brand.

Air Berlin to lay out overhaul.

Apple goes minimal in new iPad Mini print ads as iPhone 5 hits 50+ new countries.

CNN will strive for "must-see TV" under Jeff Zucker.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Denny's, P&G, Star Wars & more

Posted by Dale Buss on August 29, 2012 09:14 AM

Accor speeds expansion after profits rise.

California Pizza Kitchen adds healthful items to menu.

Denny's to open 10 restaurants in Chile in first major expansion in South America.

ESPN extends deal with Major League Baseball through 2021.

FTC files false-advertising charges against Your Baby Can Read program.

Ford breaks ground on new plant in eastern China. Continue reading...

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