Posted by Dale Buss on April 19, 2012 05:37 PM
While fast-food chains are responding to nutritional criticism by enhancing their kids menus, American children appear less and less interested in what they're peddling. NPD Group calculated that visits to fast-food restaurants in which kids meals were purchased have declined every year since 2007 and fell by 5 percent last year from 2010.
It's not that parents don't want healthier fare to their children when they eat out. In the U.S., analysts are suggesting that the notion of kids' meals is becoming increasingly outdated as family eating patterns change. And for that reason, they say, even sales of McDonald's iconic Happy Meal might be only flat these days at best — and at a chain whose other product lines are growing robustly, that's not good performance.
One factor, for example, is tight budgets that continue to afflict many American households — especially fast-food consumers — at a time of high unemployment and continued economic uncertainty. Mothers have "probably switched to the value menu because it was cheaper than the kids meal" at many chains, Bonnie Riggs, NPD restaurant-industry analyst, told the Chicago Tribune.
It also appears that kids are becoming disenchanted with the licensed toys packaged in the meals, at a younger and younger age, dropping from age 12 to eight. Blame digital entertainment, cell phones, and other rivals for kids' attention. But all of that apparently doesn't hold true in the UK, where McDonald's is using the revamped Happy Meal as a marketing hook to win over parents (via their kids) around its London 2012 Olympics sponsorship.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on March 23, 2012 04:11 PM
Just when Kohl's has been called out for having little relevance to pop culture compared with other major American retail brands, the queen of mid-range apparel chains strikes back.
Kohl's latest campaign features its best-known designer name, Jennifer Lopez, in a mock music video, "I've Got the Music In Me," that aims to make the department store chain more relevant to younger audiences. And that's not the brand's only high-profile musical duetContinue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on March 21, 2012 09:04 AM
Adobe gets more social.
Amazon wrings profit from fulfillment.
AmLactin taps Olympic swimmer Dara Torres as brand ambassador.
Angry Birds to launch retail partnership
Apple iPad users find high video use can crunch data plans as Consumer Reports finds that the new version runs hotter than the old one.
Arby's readies brand relaunch.
Boeing gains 787 Dreamliner clearance by U.S. regulators.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on March 6, 2012 06:16 PM
If you didn't know that McDonald's has overhauled its iconic Happy Meal in the interests of better nutrition for kids, you soon will.
The chain begins USA-wide exposure on Wednesday of new TV commercials touting the more healthful Happy Meal, introducing a new cast of back-to-the-farm friendly characters (a boy and his goat) that are putting Hamburglar and Mayor McCheese out to pasture, apparently for good.
In response to pressure from First Lady Michelle Obama on down, McDonald's has evolved the Happy Meal into a more healthful repast that includes more better-for-you elements. Last summer, the company announced the changes that it is rolling out nationally in the Happy Meal this spring, including the provision of apple slices and a kid-size portion of fries as standard features.
So now, of course, it is time to market these changes as only McDonald's can — and not just in the US.Continue reading...
sports in the spotlight
Posted by Shirley Brady on January 16, 2012 04:04 PM
Having just extended its sponsorship as a top-tier Olympics partner through 2020, McDonald's is rolling out its London 2012 marketing plan for the Games, including introducing a #mcolympics hashtag on Twitter to talk up its ongoing commitment to the IOC, which started with the 1968 Winter Olympics in Grenoble.Continue reading...