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Yoplait Tries to Make Greek a 3-Horse Race as Chobani Preps for Super Bowl

Posted by Dale Buss on January 21, 2014 11:01 AM

With Chobani announcing its Super Bowl advertising plans today and Yoplait launching a new taste-test ad campaign aimed directly at the segment leader, things are really getting interesting in the Greek-yogurt war in the US market.

Yoplait's new broadside is a campaign called "The Yoplait Greek Taste-Off" in which the General Mills brand calls out Chobani by name and claims that 65 percent of consumers prefer Yoplait's Greek to Chobani. Of course, this is a true hail-Mary gambit for Yoplait because its latecoming to the Greek-yogurt derby has left it with only an 8 percent share of the single robust part of the American yogurt market, versus Chobani's 39 percent share.

"We thought it would be great for consumers to know that we are a great-tasting Greek yogurt even when compared with something they are very familiar with,"
 Carla Vernon, Yoplait's marketing director, told Advertising Age.Continue reading...

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Hooters Puts Its Best Foot Forward with Restaurant Redesign

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 20, 2014 03:07 PM

Almost exactly one year ago, Hooters announced that it would be embarking on a brand redesign in order to broaden the restaurant chain's clientele. The new look—aimed at differentiating the brand from such well-performing suggestive copycats as Twin Peaks and Tilted Kilt—made its first appearance in Houston and is now slowly being spread to national locations. 

The brand is now reopening locations in five other Texas locations: Corpus Christi, El Paso, McAllen, Spring, and Sugarland, with the new, more family-friendly look. “Hooters is proud to introduce the modern design enhancements to these communities, as they are among the first in the nation to experience the new look,” said Mark Whittle, vice president of franchise development, Hooters of America, in a press release. “The updates were all made with our guests in mind; we hope that local customers will celebrate the remodel as the ideal environment to kick back and relax after work, get together with friends to view their favorite sports teams and enjoy a delicious meal with their families.”Continue reading...

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Will a 3D-Printed Hershey Kiss Taste As Good—Or Better?

Posted by Dale Buss on January 17, 2014 04:49 PM

As Hershey and its Reese's Peanut Butter Cup franchise brace for a Super Bowl marketing push for the new Butterfinger Peanut Butter Cup from Nestle, it's not like Hershey is just standing still bracing for the impact. The venerable chocolate brand created a new brand for China, for example.

And now Hershey is trying to harness one of the hottest digital technologies, 3D printing. Three-dimensional printing, of course, involves the layered deposition—or "printing"—of just about any material following a digital pattern of minuscule detail.

There's no reason food can't be printed like anything else in this technology. NASA, for instance has spent $125,000 funding a 3D pizza printer that could potentially be used to prepare space food, according to Fast Company.Continue reading...

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CPG Brands Whack Calories, But Some Critics Won't Give Them Their Due

Posted by Dale Buss on January 9, 2014 02:58 PM

Apparently you're damned if you do, and you're damned if you don't—at least if you're a consumer packaged goods company. That's one of the big lessons of the reaction to this week's announcement that CPG companies have more than quadrupled the goal in their pledge to reduce the total calories contained in their products over the last five years.

Critics quickly wondered whether the companies should be getting credit, or just American consumers who've been making "better" eating choices. But more on that later.

The total calories in products sold by 16 of the nation's largest food and beverage companies—ranging from Coca-Cola to PepsiCo, General Miils to Kellogg, Kraft to Nestle —dropped by 6.4 trillion from 2007 through 2012, according to an independent evaluation funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.Continue reading...

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Wonderful Pistachios Devises New Game Plan to Stretch Colbert's Super Bowl Spots

Posted by Dale Buss on January 9, 2014 12:52 PM

Having used its Super Bowl ad last year featuring Psy to help establish itself as a clear threat to some established salty-snacks brands, Wonderful Pistachio plans to up the ante in this year's game with two commercials featuring a different kind of star: Stephen Colbert.

In the meantime, Wonderful continues to broaden its marketing footprint through its two-year-old partnership with the Harlem Globetrotters. That has included a TV-ad appearance by the team, similar to those by Psy and other celebrities, as well as in-arena promotions such as shooting contests during the games.

"We want to make sure we reach consumers who haven't tried [Wonderful Pistachios] and build a relationship with them," Marc Seguin, Paramount Farms' CMO, told brandchannel.Continue reading...

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New Year, New You? FTC Puts Kibosh on Deceptive Weight Loss Company Claims

Posted by Dale Buss on January 8, 2014 11:16 AM

January is silly season for weight-loss product claims, which is exactly why the Federal Trade Commission just stepped in to slap some errant wrists in the market. It also released new guidelines to advertising media to try to cut down on outlandish claims in the first place.

The agency announced settlements totaling $34 million against Sensa Products, L'Occitane and LeanSpa over what the FTC said was a variety of deceptive marketing practices that led Americans to believe they're going to achieve easy weight loss.

Transgressions, according to the agency, ranged from Sensa's failure to disclose that it used trips to Los Angeles and cash payments of up to $5,000 to compensate some consumers for their endorsements of the brand, to LeanSpa's use of fake news sites to promote acai berry and "colon cleanse" weight-loss products.Continue reading...

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General Mills Drops GMOs from Original Cheerios After Consumer Outcry

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 3, 2014 01:57 PM

So long, Cheeri-GMOs. In a victory for anti-GMO proponents and outspoken consumers, General Mills has stopped using genetically modified ingredients in Original Cheerios. The raging debate pits critics who cite the dangers of genetically modified crops against those who say there is no scientific consensus on the issue. 

Exactly a month before the brand makes its Super Bowl debut on Feb. 2, General Mills VP Tom Forsythe stated in a blog post dated Jan. 2 that the decision wasn’t driven by critics or safety concerns, but by consumer demand.

"It's not about safety," he wrote. "Biotech seeds, also known as genetically modified seeds, have been approved by global food safety agencies and widely used by farmers in global food crops for almost 20 years." 

His post also clarified the cereal's GMO content:Continue reading...

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General Mills, Graze Bet They Can Reinvent Snacking Via Trendy Subscriptions

Posted by Dale Buss on January 3, 2014 11:05 AM

Back in the day, Americans could subscribe to monthly oranges, or books. Now there are digital subscription services ranging from dog treats to razor blades, including those that will curate selections for you, such as Birchbox for cosmetics to Shoedazzle for footwear.

So why not healthy snacks? In fact, two new digital-subscription services for better-for-you food fare have been launched, each by an industrial heavyweight: Nibblr, by General Mills, and Graze, by private-equity Carlyle Group—the former in the US, the latter initially in the UK.

"I've watched with interest the wider market in the US on subscription go absolutely bananas," Graze CEO Anthony Fletcher told Bloomberg Businessweek.  "This is a source of convenience. You don't have to worry about it."Continue reading...

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