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brand news

In the News: Abercrombie & Fitch, Oreo, Bitcoin and more

Posted by Dale Buss on March 7, 2014 09:17 AM

In the News

Abercrombie & Fitch plans to remake Hollister brand in light of fast-fashion trend.

Oreo uses vending machine to print 3-D cookies at SXSW.

Bitcoin creator may have been identified by Newsweek... or not

Albertson's and Safeway will combine in $9 billion deal.

BMW considers expanding car-sharing program in US.

Boeing freezes pension plans.

Cargill boasts "game changer" in stevia market.

Chili's aims to become faster.

Corona Light goes after middle-aged beer drinkers with taste pitch.

Culver's looks to what's next as it expands across the US.

Dewey & LeBoeuf leaders indicted.Continue reading...

chew on this

You Might Just Visit the Golden Arches After Seeing Making-of McNuggets Video

Posted by Dale Buss on February 5, 2014 05:44 PM

Afraid to see how McDonald's Chicken McNuggets really are made? You won't be after you see a new video about the process made and proudly displayed by McDonald's of Canada.

At a time of broad concern about "pink slime" in beef and general questioning of how fast food is put together—stoked in part, of course, by the all-natural marketing efforts by Chipotle and others—McDonald's has taken a bold new step toward greater transparency that provides a look inside supplier Cargill's facility in London, Ontario.

"Customers want to hear more about transparency," McDonald's embattled CEO, Don Thompson, told investors on an earnings call in October. "They want to hear about provenance and where the food is from." Among other such steps, McDonald's plans to hunt down more "sustainable" beef for its supplies.Continue reading...

brand strategy

Whatever 'Sustainable Beef' Is, McDonald's Pledges to Use More of It

Posted by Dale Buss on January 8, 2014 05:50 PM

In search of effective new ways to continue to enhance public perceptions, could McDonald's be turning to a Chipotle-like promise to begin to use sustainable beef?

McDonald's this week pledged to source only "verified sustainable beef" beginning by 2016 in an effort to make its meat production both more environmentally friendly and kinder to the animals whose meat winds up in its burgers, as Time put it.

The chain said on its website that it wants "to improve environmental practices in the way beef is produced, support positive workplaces in the beef industry, and drive continuous improvement in animal health and welfare."Continue reading...

cola wars

Low-Calorie Coke Coming in 2014, But Will America Drink It?

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 10, 2013 12:11 PM

Coca-Cola rolled out a new soda this past summer in Argentina called Coca-Cola Life and the word on the street is that it is coming to America in 2014.

With about half the calories of regular Coke and sweetened with sugar and stevia in partnership with Cargill, Life “would be the first time the natural sweetener would be used in (Coke’s) flagship brand in the US,” according to DNAIndia.com. As of now, Coke uses stevia in America “in some non-carbonated drinks and in its Fanta brand.”

As Ad Age points out, both Coke and Pepsi have significant investment in the sugar-substitute market. Coke has been experimenting with stevia while Pepsi’s scientists “in collaboration with San Diego-based biotech firm Senomyx, is in the late stages of developing a ‘taste modifier’ that would essentially fool taste buds into thinking they are getting more sugar than delivered.” That modifier goes by the very catchy name of S617. Continue reading...

brand strategy

Hershey Brings Jolly Rancher's Branded Flavor Intensity to Indian Palates

Posted by Dale Buss on December 6, 2013 03:47 PM

India's sweet tooth has been growing lately to the tune of 18 percent average increases in candy sales annually, so it's no wonder that global giants including Mondelez and Hershey are targeting the sub-continent. In fact, Hershey has chosen India as the first country outside North America to launch the Jolly Rancher brand.

The first Jolly Rancher product will be lollipops, coming in three flavors: green apple, watermelon and mango. Hershey claimed in a statement that the mango variety was developed specifically for consumers in India and that, overall, the new Jolly Rancher products have been tailored "to appeal, specifically, to local palates with bold, fruity flavors that are unlike any other candy available in the market."

More than that, the company said, "The lollipops offer a long-lasting fruit-like taste experience that is distinct from the typical lollipop currently available in India." Sounds a lot like the taste-intense positioning that Jolly Ranchers has used generally.Continue reading...

sip on this

Coke, Pepsi Diverge Toward Same Goal: Tasty Mid-Calorie Sodas

Posted by Dale Buss on December 3, 2013 01:47 PM

If Coca-Cola and Cargill aren't on the horn already, they should be. Coke is staking the future of calorie-reduced soft drinks on stevia, and ingredient giant Cargill is staking its future in that segment on stevia-based ingredient systems.

Meanwhile, PepsiCo is approaching the future of calorie reduction in soda from a different direction. CEO Indra Nooyi recently pooh-poohed the long-term usefulness of stevia, so her company reportedly has steered toward an intriguing alternative: a new chemical called S617 that cuts the amount of sugar and high-fructose corn syrup required in beverages to obtain the same sweet taste.

One thing is for sure: Both soft-drink giants have to do something. US soda consumption last year declined by 1.2 percent, which brought the category back down to 1996 levels, according to Beverage Digest. And even diet-soda consumption has begun to hit the skids as American consumers appear increasingly concerned about artifical sweeteners and are turning away from soft drinks to alternative beverages as a whole.Continue reading...

chew on this

Cargill Heeds Consumers, Labels 'Finely Textured Beef' Following 'Pink Slime' Scandal

Posted by Dale Buss on November 6, 2013 02:49 PM

Cargill is succumbing to pressures for transparency in its beef-processing operations by deciding to label when its "finely textured beef"—ripped by critics as bottom-of-the-processing-barrel "pink slime"—is included in ground beef in new packaging due out early next year.

The agribusiness giant saw how last year's pink-slime controversy ravaged rival beef processor BPI, which had to shutter plants and lay off hundreds of employees. And Cargill said its move was a specific response to its own survey of more than 3,000 consumers over the last 18 months about ground beef and how it's made.

"We've listened to the public, as well as our [retailer] customers, and that is why today we are declaring our commitment to labeling Finely Textured Beef," John Keating, president of Cargill Beef, said in a statement.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Starbucks, Nokia, Cargill and more

Posted by Dale Buss on November 6, 2013 09:22 AM

In the News

Starbucks commits to recruiting 10,000 veterans and Army spouses while Walgreen offers military-only discount on Veterans Day.

Nokia swipes at Samsung with lower-priced phablet. 

Cargill begins labeling its "finely textured" beef aka "pink slime."

Abercrombie & Fitch expects weak holiday sales.

Acer ousts CEO as another victim of iPad.

Apple adds suppliers to boost iPhone and iPad production as it claims fifth place in China mobile market. 

Boeing plans to build 777x jet in Washington State.

Brides Magazine wants its new app to take on dress counterfeiters.

Burger King plans to bring back Big Mac copycat. 

CNN turnaround runs into heavy viewer indifference.

Deadline.com severs ties with Nikke Finke.

Goodyear glides with US ski association.Continue reading...

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