Posted by Dale Buss on May 13, 2013 01:53 PM
Groupe Danone purchased Happy Family brands for its expertise in organic baby food, for sure. But another, less-appreciated target in the transaction announced today was the American startup's command of the mommy-blogger market.
Happy Family and its parent Nurture "are very linked to moms," Agnes Danthonay, spokeswoman for the Paris-based parent of Dannon USA and the world's largest yogurt maker, told brandchannel. ''They have the biggest network of [mommy bloggers] within the United States, and that's something we really looked at: How can we better use social networks to gain proximity with consumers?"
Danone signed a deal for a 92 percent stake in Happy Family mainly because of its strong position as one of the originators of mainstream organic baby food in the US market. Happy Family nearly quadrupled its revenues over the last three years, to $62 million last year, in part by extending its product line and brands to include squeezable pouches of fruit purees that are even meant for adults.Continue reading...
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Posted by Dale Buss on November 6, 2012 05:08 PM
For a while, the notion of regulating genetically modified organisms (better known as GMOs) included in food seemed like a good idea, and anti-Big Food advocates in California attracted a lot of support in a state where residents like to be on the cutting edge of just about everything. Calfornians have never minded serving as a bellwether on new regulatory initiatives that end up sweeping the rest of the country, such as automotive emissions.
But the closer today's vote on Proposition 37 loomed, the more that initial support of the idea waned. And this U.S. Election Day, even backers of the anti-GMO initiative seemed resigned to its defeat, although it's still being closely watched. (Update: Prop 37 was indeed defeated at the polling booth.)
What happened? Well, a combination of huge contributions by moneyed CPG brands battered Prop 37's drive to label GMOs in a massive advertising and PR blitz with a "No on 37" drive. And backers of the added regulation alleged dirty tricks by the competition as they sought to sway voters (despite scientific evidence to the contrary) that GMO-containing products are hardly the stuff of "Frankenfood" that really harms consumers.Continue reading...
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Posted by Dale Buss on September 17, 2012 01:11 PM
The vast majority of American consumers don't care whether their foods contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Food executives and think tanks will tell you that and cite, for example, how Indiana local bakery Aunt Nellie's bombed when it introduced a specifically labeled "non-GMO" bread a couple of years ago.
But California isn't most of America, with a more health-conscious outlook than most states. That's why mainstream food companies are in a hot and heavy contest against GMO opponents over Proposition 37, The Right to Know Genetically Modified Food Act, a piece of state legislation that, if passed in November, would require GMO-containing products to disclose that on labels, and make California the first state to mandate genetically modified food.
Similar to what happened to automakers after California took an extreme position on cutting emissions, essentially imposing that higher standard on cars sold all over the country, food and beverage companies are concerned that California will serve as a bellwether in GMO labeling regulation as well.
In a particular bind in this fight are the many mainstream food conglomerates that now own organic brands, which by definition don't include GMOs: Kellogg, owner of GMO poster brand Kashi; General Mills, owner of the Cascadian Farm, Muir Glen, Larabar and Food Should Taste Good brands; Coca-Cola, owner of Odwalla and Honest Tea; PepsiCo; and Dean Foods, owner of Horizon Organics.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on June 28, 2012 12:02 PM
Stonyfield Farms CEO Gary Hirshberg continually stresses the rationale for organic eating and frequently mentions that avoiding diseases caused by pesticides and other factors in the diet is a huge part of it. But it's a strong message that isn't digested easily by American consumers who aren't true believers in organic, so the brand must continually develop more palatable ways to spread the gospel of organic eating.
The brand's new "Be a Food Superhero" campaign attempts to make that message more fun. The Londonderry, N.H.-based leader of the U.S. organic-yogurt market — majority-owned by Groupe Danone — is pitching the light-hearted campaign on Facebook to draw folks to a microsite.
Once there, they can virtually assume the identity of a "superhero" and use that persona to explore baby steps that they can take to improve their diet and the sustainability of organic agriculture. Along the way, the brand will kick in a contribution by Stonyfield to FoodCorps, which builds "healhty school food environments in high-obesity, limited-resource communities," as Stonyfield put it in a statement.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on February 13, 2012 08:58 AM
ANZ Bank to cut 1,000 jobs as Australia's financial sector aims to correct slump.
Arby's plans brand refresh for third quarter.
Avon bribery-case evidence goes to grand jury, Wall Street Journal says.
Boeing eyes stretched, high-capacity 787.
Dunkin' Brands plans to double U.S. units in 20 years.
Groupon defends its accounting methods.
JetBlue plane wears Boston Red Sox colors.
Kodak runs into opposition over Kodak Theatre naming rights in Los Angeles.Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on January 20, 2011 04:00 PM
Conventional marketing wisdom suggest that soup was the perfect recession-beater; after all, what could top an inexpensive meal in a can?
But marketing experts may have a little egg on their faces as they review statistics indicating U.S. soup sales have actually dipped by 14% since 2008. In fact, unit sales of ready-to-serve soup have declined 10% since 2008, according to research firm SymphonyIRI Group.
That may be why, in an effort to stimulate a rebound, soup giant Campbell tried to shake up the flagging soup category with the introduction of newly branded V8 soups in 2008, packaged in boxes. And why, last September, the canny company launched a $100 million integrated marketing campaign with the theme "It's Amazing What Soup Can Do" to re-cast its image.
Now a small New England soup company hopes to turn up the heat on its bigger rival. New England Country Soup is trying its own brand turnaround of a different sort, attempting to do an end run around category giants like Campbell's Soup and Progresso.
The company, which introduced its products in 2008, has actually seen sales grow since then to $4 million and is now carried in some 2,000 stores east of the Mississippi, reports the Boston Globe. One of the reasons? It has kicked out the can.Continue reading...
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Posted by Dale Buss on December 23, 2010 10:00 AM
Maybe it’s a new twist on comfort food for challenging times, but the biggest hit in the yogurt section of the supermarket these days is full-bodied, full-flavor Greek yogurt.
Brands such as Stonyfield Farm’s Oikos and 3 Greek Gods, now owned by Hain Celestial, have been trying to meet booming demand for tasty Greek-style yogurt, which is thicker, creamier and generally higher in protein and, often, fat than regular yogurt. Pioneering brands such as the imported Fage yogurt are now being joined by mainstream CPG players, who are eager to meet the growing American demand for Greek yogurt.
Kraft plans to expand its Athenos brand of hummus and other Mediterranean fare to include Greek yogurt nationwide in January. Athenos Greek yogurt is available in select US markets now, in response to demand from some 85,000 Facebook fans.
“Two years ago, if you described this as a niche, you were almost giving it too much credit,” Gary Hirshberg, CEO of Stonyfield Farm, told brandchannel. “But today it is a $200-million to $300-million segment, headed toward $500 million, and every major player is leaping into it.”Continue reading...