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 April 23, 2013 11:51 AM
While the Obama administration continues to deliberate to what extent and how quickly food and beverage companies must communicate more nutrition information on the packages of their products, more CPG leaders are stepping out with their own initiatives to address still-rising concerns about junk food and obesity in America.
Hershey is the latest. The candy leader announced that it will print the amounts of calories, saturated fats, sodium and sugar per serving on the front of all of its packages beginning in the second half of this year and evolving across all of its packaging over the next several years.
"We are doing this because we belive that front-of-pack labeling provides consumers with straightforward information that empowers them to make informed food and beverage choices when shopping," said a Hershey spokesman, according to Candy and Snack Today.Continue reading...
Posted by Michael Waltzer on October 5, 2012 02:53 PM
"It's time to get the dough out of politics." Maybe not in real life but we know that's at least how Stephen Colbert and Ben & Jerry's feels about it — by showing it (or tasting it).
The latest edition of "AmeriCone Dream" ice cream, first released as a tie-in with the Comedy Central wag back in 2007, is timed to the upcoming U.S. elections. This “2012 Collectable Election Year PACkage!” is also complete with election streamers, an Uncle Sam hat, red, white and blue motif and messaging around the company’s social mission to "Get The Dough Out" of politics, as cofounder/activist Ben Cohen has been promoting.
The container pays homage to Colbert’s own Super PAC, labeled on its lid skirt: “SUPERPACK!” and clearly noted (just in case you miss the PAC reference) on the front: “2012 Collectable Election Year PACkage!” The reverse side (see below) includes Colbert's editing notes and signature.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on February 15, 2012 05:01 PM
Frozen yogurt? It's all Greek to Ben & Jerry's, evidently, as the Unilever-owned brand is jumping on the Greek Yogurt craze with a line of frozen Greek yogurt.
The Junk Food Guy blog got the scoop by sampling B&J's new Strawberry Shortcake Greek frozen yogurt flavor after spotting it at his local supermarket. His verdict: "very soft, fluffy, CREAMY, and not super sweet. The strawberry flavor was present but not overwhelming, and the little bits of strawberries added an accent here and there."
The description on the package, which features the brand's iconic jersey cow wearing a Greek laurel wreath and Greek yogurt as the second listed ingredient:
Sweet Eureka! It's our most epic Fro Yo yet & it's uniquely Greek! Made with real Greek Yogurt, it's all the creamy richness of Greek yogurt, and Ben & Jerrily loaded with all the flavor boldness and fun chunks you expect. We think it's really Greekin' good & it'll pretty much rock your acropolis.
According to the On Second Scoop blog, the brand's updated Fro Yo line launches next week. Besides Strawberry Shortcake, other flavors apparently include Raspberry Fudge Chunk, Blackberry Vanilla Graham Cracker, and Banana Peanut Butter.
Take a closer look at the packaging, as photographed by the Junk Food Guy, below.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 17, 2011 06:06 PM
McDonald’s pulled in more than $24 billion in revenue in 2010, but it is always looking to sell more Big Macs. The company is introducing a new in-store television channel in California that will spread nationwide if it succeeds, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Restaurants with the channel will have large-screen televisions that are visible from 70 percent of the seats, airing content that is “customized to specific communities around the individual restaurants, and will include local news and entertainment features, such as spotlights on upcoming films, albums and TV shows,” the Times reports.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 17, 2011 02:01 PM
Big food and beverage companies argue they are fighting federal regulators so stiffly about new front-of-package labeling standards for the nutritional characteristics of their products for an important reason: the government doesn’t want producers to be able to highlight the amounts of fiber, omega-3s and other positive nutrients in them – just to summarize how little sodium and other “bad things” they contain.
The debate could get sharper in the wake of the release of a new report that dimensionalizes the financial advantages brought to companies by developing and marketing “better-for-you” foods. Companies with a higher percentage of sales from BFY products had a 50 percent increase in operating profit (compared to 20 percent at companies with a below-average percentage of sales of those items), outperformed the S&P 500 by an average of 60 points (vs. 40 points) and generated higher shareholder returns than the other companies, according to a new study by the Hudson Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 14, 2011 01:04 PM
According to the National Retail Federation’s 2011 Halloween Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, total holiday spending in the US is projected to reach $6.86 billion, the largest amount in the survey’s nine year history. Weak economy notwithstanding, NRF projects Americans will spend $72.31 on costumes, candy, and decorations, up from last year’s $66.28 and 2009’s $56.31.
NetBase, the Social Media Insight & Analysis company, released the latest Brand Passion Index on the emotions, opinions and behaviors (a.k.a. "confectionery conversations") in the social media landscape on six candy brands: M&Ms, Skittles, Candy Corn, Reese's, Tootsie Rolls and SweeTarts. Overall, this Halloween is all about bite-size.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 13, 2011 05:07 PM
It can be very hard to turn down a French fry, especially if you’re a 3-to-5 year old.
So all you industry lobbyists who oppose restrictions on marketing to kids, claiming there is no relationship between marketing and obesity, take note: even direct parental influence doesn’t do a whole lot to put an end to the deep-fried desires of small children, according to a study reported in the International Business Times.Continue reading...