Posted by Dale Buss on May 15, 2013 09:20 AM
Google CEO Larry Page discloses vocal-cord condition as company plans music-streaming service.
Apple is being investigated for its role in e-book pricing.
Burger King rolls out BK Rib to bust McRib by McDonald's.
ABC tests expanding Nielsen ratings to mobile and plans to consolidate Dancing with the Stars to Monday evenings.
Amy's Baking Company goes rogue after Kitchen Nightmares rejection, shows what brands shouldn't do on social.
Bloomberg terminal-use issue highlights stress in corporate culture as Wall Street firms begin to regard it as competitor.
Dell will miss profit estimates.
Dollar General looks to hire 10,000 new employees this month.Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Dale Buss on May 14, 2013 06:36 PM
With American consumers stubbornly reluctant to spend any more of their family budgets on fast food these days, major QSR chains have been struggling with how to get them to loosen their pursestrings a bit. A lot of the brands' emphasis has been on broadening "value menus" that provide a lot of food for relatively little cash.
But chain executives also know that there's nothing to get the digestive juices of fast-food customers flowing like new products. They look at Taco Bell's success over the last year or so with Doritos Locos Tacos and understand that boffo store traffic and renewed sales momentum may be just a hit product or two away.
And another thing: If there's a "day part" and an associated menu that the brand has under-exploited, that could comprise a significant new opportunity as well. Again, look at what Yum's Taco Bell brand has done in trying out breakfast.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on May 14, 2013 04:47 PM
Joining a long roster of freshened iconic-female CPG logos that includes Betty Crocker, Aunt Jemima and Wendy of fast-food fame, Little Debbie is getting a modern makeover. The face of the snack-cake brand is being tweaked by owner McKee Foods for just the third time since the iconic logo was introduced in 1960.
The difference between Little Debbie and the other three females is that she's the only real person who is still working in a key role with the company whose eponymous logo she inspired. Debbie McKee-Fowler is still an executive vice president of McKee, a family-owned, Collegedale, Tenn.-based company that was founded by her grandfather, O.D. McKee. Grandpa was inspired by the angelic visage of his three-and-a-half-year-old granddaughter to make her the fresh and appealing face of his new food enterprise.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on May 9, 2013 04:23 PM
How low can you go? That may be the biggest question facing McDonald's, Wendy's, Burger King and other fast-food operators these days, in the US as well as around the world.
That's because cash-strapped consumers worldwide, struggling amid low-growth and slowing economies, are making business difficult for fast-food chains even though each brand is now emphasizing "value menus" and increasing low-priced offerings like never before. The QSR rivals are doing a lot of other things as well, including introducing higher-priced new menu items. But the most important competition, and the crux of their strategic dilemma, is found at the low end.
"That consumer that is getting hit hardest by the economy is locking in on a message that has a price, and when they see and hear 99 cents, Wendy's gets put in their consideration set," Emil Brolick, CEO of Wendy's, told the Wall Street Journal.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on May 9, 2013 09:15 AM
Coca-Cola promises to reduce marketing to kids as part of global anti-obesity commitment.
Levi Strauss buys naming rights to planned new stadium of San Francisco 49ers.
Lay's reveals chip-flavor contest winner.
Abercrombie & Fitch draws fire for stocking only "skinny" sizes for women.
Activision Blizzard warns "World of Warcraft" is losing subscribers.
AT&T severely slashes Facebook Home phone prices.
BT enters British-sports broadcasting.
Claire's IPO will test market for debt-laden companies.
Ford takes over as title sponsor of Detroit's annual fireworks.
Google Maps will reportedly unveil new interface.Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Dale Buss on April 16, 2013 02:24 PM
Thanks to the efforts of a handful of entrepreneurs, American fast food is moving from a form of nutritional epithet to add an entirely new dimension: a fledgling business model that uses the quick-serve platform to get better-for-you fare into the mouths of more willing consumers.
At the same time, not to be outdone, traditional fast-food chains are tacking heavily into more nutritional fare after several years of more or less playing at it. Taco Bell, for instance, has just announced its strategy to offer healthier menu options, while McDonald's is veering more deeply into wraps.
LYFE Kitchen is probably the best known of the cluster of promising better-for-you startups which also includes Clover, Veggie Grill, Tender Greens and Native Foods Cafe. New York Times Magazine writer Mark Bittman chronicled some of what these brands are doing.
"After the success of companies like Whole Foods [and] Annie's and Kashi, there's now a market for a a fast-food chain that's not only healthful itself, but vegetarian-friendly, sustainable and even humane," he wrote. "And, this being fast food: cheap.Continue reading...
Posted by Alicia Ciccone on March 26, 2013 09:28 AM
Honda has the best brand image, according to a Kelly Blue Book study.
FDA abandons graphic cigarette warning labels in favor of new approach.
NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg launches $12 million ad campaign against the NRA.
Amazon is the most visited online retailer in Europe.
Boeing's Dreamliner completes first flight test since being grounded.
With 1 million users, Fitocracy users are more engaged than any social network besides Facebook.
GQ allows users to personalize its iPad app with MyGQ technology.Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 25, 2013 05:38 PM
McDonald's has a problem. While the fast-food brand remains No. 1, it doesn’t even rank in the top 10 for the increasingly sought-out cohort of the 59 to 80 million people ages 23 to 36 in the U.S., widely known as millennials.
McDonald's is concerned enough to be specifically targeting this group, identified as highly valuing customization and choice with a major new product launch, McWrap. "They're 80 million [people] but they're influencing the next 80 million, both younger and older," said Gary Stibel, CEO at New England Consulting Group.
The McWrap, a.k.a. "Subway buster," comes in three varieties: sweet chili chicken, chicken and bacon and chicken and ranch, grilled or crispy—and depending on the chicken parts, ranges from 360 to 600 calories. According to an internal McDonald’s memo, it "affords us the platform for customization and variety that our millennial customer is expecting of us. Our customers are consistently telling us, particularly millennials, they expect variety, more choices, customization and their ability to be able to personalize their food experience."Continue reading...