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sporting brands

Step Aside, Toe Shoes: Hoka One One is Running Past You, With Sole

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 17, 2015 12:06 PM

Hoka One One running shoe

The running world has embraced barefoot running since 2009’s “Born to Run” showed the world that doing such a thing wasn’t just for the complete oddballs and might be medically sound.

Now, though, some runners seem to be going in the other direction. Instead of taking their shoes off or strapping on some minimalist footwear, some are putting on “maximalist” shoes, ones that have a whole lot of extra cushioning.

According to the New York Times, the Hoka One One brand is leading the way in this new movement, signing up brand ambassadors and pulling in $48 million in sales last year, a 350 percent increase from 2013.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Citroen, Disney, Hillshire Brands and more

Posted by Dale Buss on May 12, 2014 09:33 AM


Brands to Watch

Citroen becomes second automaker to name female CEO.

Disney aims to expand Frozen success to other platforms.

Hillshire Brands acquires Pinnacle Foods in $6.6 billion deal.

Ford tries to avert launch problems in big new-product year as it issues two more recalls on Escape.

Samsung reports chairman is stable after heart attack and surgery as company sets sights on biotech.


Apple/Beats tie-up (still unconfirmed) faces skeptics.

AT&T interest in DirecTV reportedly heats up.

Audi strives to maintain lead despite product trough.

BMW triples carbon-fiber capacity in US plant.

Citizen plans first retail concept store in North America.Continue reading...

chew on this

Kellogg's Kashi the Latest to Lose All Natural Claim

Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 9, 2014 03:24 PM

The phrases "All Natural" and "Nothing Artificial" have helped sell plenty of boxes of Kashi and Bear Naked products, but not for long. Parent company Kellogg has lost a class-action suit that claimed man-made products including pyridoxine hydrochloride, calcium pantothenate and soy oil processed with hexane were found in the food products. As a result, Kellogg will drop its "natural" positioning from the products and pay out a $5 million settlement.  

Kashi and Bear Naked are just the latest brands to take a hit for their nutrition claims amid a surge of health-conscious consumers. Part of the problem, the New York Times notes, is that the FDA has yet to develop a definition for use of the word "natural" on food products, which is why companies have been quick to use it in a marketplace filled with consumers who are interested in leading healthier lives. 

Other brands that have had to reel in their nutrition claims include Frito-Lay, which changed its "Simply Natural" line of chips to just "Simply" and Quaker, which shifted from "Natural Quaker Granola" to "Simply Quaker Granola." Recently, Chobani was pulled off shelves at Whole Foods because of claims that it contains GMOs, while PepsiCo had to ditch "all natural" from its Naked Juice line last year and Ben & Jerry's—a brand revered for its natural ingredients—had to drop the claim from its packaging.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Samsung, Burberry, Wikipedia & more

Posted by Dale Buss on January 17, 2012 08:50 AM

In the News

Adidas taps Katy Perry for new campaign.

AFL-CIO launches image campaign.

Airbus posts record sales.

American Airlines stops flying to India, sacks 150 workers.

AOL leads companies testing crowdsourcing.

Apple expands iTunes Match, reportedly preps interactive textbooks for the iPad, while pre-earnings valuations vary.

BASF halts its genetically modified products in Europe, including its Amflora potato.

Beats Electronics breaks up with Monster.

Beyonce accused of skin-lightening in album promotion, gives first post-baby interview.

BlackBerry-maker RIM criticized by analysts for PlayBook incompatability.

BMW recalls 89,000 Mini vehicles.

Burberry quarterly profits jump 22%.

Carnival faces heat in wake of Italy shipwreck, its worst accident in 40 years, as environmental fears mount and cruise industry is rocked.

M&M's will introduce a sixth candy character — Ms. Brown — in its Super Bowl commercial, while Kia plans 60-second commercial with Adriana Lima and Motley Crue, in keeping with trend to longer Super Bowl spots.Continue reading...

brand vs. brand

Fila and Vibram Go Toe to Toe in Court

Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 19, 2011 02:00 PM

When Christopher McDougall’s excellent Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen hit bookshelves back in 2009, the running world and general public was suddenly turned onto a new concept: running barefoot. As he set out to research the book, McDougall had set out to research and write about Mexico’s Tarahumara, a group that was rarely seen but known to be able to run hundreds of miles late into life wearing sandals or no shoes at all.

How did they do this while runners across the globe in their fancy techno-booster $150 running shoes were still dealing constantly with minor injuries of all sorts? McDougall traveled with a few American ultramarathoners to see if he could find out. One of those characters, Barefoot Ted, has been at the forefront of a movement of runners who believe the traditional running shoe should just be chucked out the window (or at least recycled somehow).

Barefoot Ted, as you may have guessed, generally goes shoeless when he’s running, but occasionally he has worn Vibram FiveFingers, which is basically a glove for your feet that helps protect it from sharp edges while running. Now, the brand is trying to protect itself from the sharp edges of competitors.Continue reading...

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