2014 Brandcameo Product Placement Awards

chew on this

Looking to Squeeze Profits, Pouch Baby Food Brands Eye Adults on the Go

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 15, 2013 10:25 AM

Babies, toddlers, and kids love ‘em, so why shouldn’t adults? At least that’s what a few manufacturers of packets filled with pureed fruits and vegetables are thinking.

Happy Family, Buddy Fruits, and GoGo squeeZ “are experimenting with larger portion sizes, simpler designs and sophisticated flavors like cranberry or açaí,” the Wall Street Journal reports. Those aren’t flavors that the diaper set would likely be interested in, but for adults who spend a lot of time in their cars and on the go, squeezable food may have found itself a receptive marketplace. They are certainly popular with babies, even though the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry isn’t a big fan.

Plum Organics reports that “sales of pouch-style baby food more than doubled in the last three months, while baby food in jars and tubs was down 15%,” the Journal notes. Benjamin Punchard, senior global packaging analyst at Mintel, tells the paper that 40 percent of new baby food products or flavors introduced last year came in pouches, up from two percent in 2007.

And why not? Baby foods are a $1.5 billion industry and the pouches help extend the lifespan of the products. “It’s allowing us to age up,” said Maureen Putman, chief marketing officer for the Hain Celestial Group, maker of organic brand Earth’s Best, according to the Tennessean. “Where moms may have stopped baby food at 9 to 12 months, the pouches have really helped extend the shelf life of baby food. We see growth for a long time to come.” Continue reading...

media brands

Hearst's Esquire Expanding Beyond the Magazine to Become a TV Network

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 11, 2013 05:47 PM

The Esquire Network says it's ready for prime time.

The new network, announced today, aims to “capture the essence of the magazine,” David Carey, president of Esquire publisher Hearst Magazines, told The New York Times. "This is not the magazine on TV; that would not work."

The male audience is an ever-sweet spot for brands, as evidenced by offerings that vary from Spike TV to Discovery's Velocity Channel. The Esquire Network will replace the Comcast-created G4 video gaming channel (which gave Esquire fave Olivia Munn her start as co-host on Attack of the Show) on April 22, and be available in 62 million homes with cable or satellite service.

The rebranded network is a strategic partnership between NBC Universal and Hearst Magazines. NBCUniversal cable executive Bonnie Hammer positioned it as "an upscale Bravo for men." She added, "If this was going to come under my portfolio, I’m a little brand crazy, so I said, let’s create a real brand, define a space, understand who we are programming for."Continue reading...

sip on this

Big Chill: Marley's Mellow Mood Seeks to Dominate in Relaxation Drink Sector

Posted by Dale Buss on February 8, 2013 12:20 PM

Since entrepreneurs launched the "relaxation" beverage category several years ago, brands with catchy names like Vacation in a Bottle and Drank have mostly gone nowhere, at least in terms of the volume of sales that some expected. Beverage Digest has called the sector "one of the more conspicuous underperformers," with Americans seemingly less eager to kick back with such brews than they are to power up with energy drinks.

But now one relaxation player, Marley Beverage, believes that it can leverage the visage of reggae icon Bob Marley and an official association with his family to consolidate a huge chunk of the segment — and maybe even re-energize this type of functional beverage overall.

Marley sold two million cases of its ready-to-drink Marley's Mellow Mood sodas and teas last year, and Kevin McClafferty, president of the Southfield, Mich.-based brand, told brandchannel that he expects Marley to double that volume in 2013. In addition to other expansion plans, a new deal to distribute Marley's Mellow Mood in more than 2,000 Walmart stores nationwide will be key to fulfilling that goal.Continue reading...

traveling brands

Starwood's Eco-Conscious '1' and Elite 'Baccarat' to Join Booming Hotel Industry

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 6, 2013 05:34 PM

'1' hotels will rely on reusable materials in their construction, Starwood says...

...while the Baccarat brand will invoke the elegance of the longtime crystal manufacturer. 

It's been 13 years since private equity firm Starwood Capital Group got out of its investment in hotel giant Starwood Hotels & Resorts. But apparently, it misses the lodging business.

SCG, which is involved in many areas of global real estate, announced on Wednesday the creation of two hotel brands: Baccarat Hotels & Resorts and 1 Hotels & Resorts.

The announcement comes as the U.S. hotel industry shares a boom that is also occurring in many world cities. Many analysts expect the expansion will continue for at least a few years as supply attempts to catch up with demand.Continue reading...

brand wars

As Cracker Barrel Moves to Extend Its Brand, Kraft Says: Hold the Cheese

Posted by Dale Buss on February 5, 2013 04:55 PM

Kraft is moving to prevent Cracker Barrel restaurants from extending its store brand into American supermarkets, where Kraft's Cracker Barrel cheese brand has been a major player since 1954.

There was seemingly no big threat to Kraft or to its Cracker Barrel cheese trademark when Lebanon, Tenn.-based Cracker Barrel Old Country Store sold merely a few grocery items under the Cracker Barrel name at small general stores attached to most of its 600-some U.S. restaurants.

But now that Cracker Barrel has struck a major licensing agreement with the John Morrell Food Group to sell Cracker Barrel-branded food products through grocers and mass merchandisers, Kraft says it is concerned that the restaurant chain's brand expansion could create confusion among consumers — and thereby damage the Kraft line.Continue reading...

retail watch

Look Out, Lululemon: Nimble, Lower-Priced Ellie Aims to Make You Sweat [Updated]

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 5, 2013 11:12 AM

Editor's note: This article has been updated with comment by lululemon.

In the $14 billion women’s athletic apparel market, heir apparent Lululemon is facing a direct challenge by Ellie, the latest startup incubated by L.A.-based Science.

Pledging the same quality of workout gear at half the price, Ellie's approach eschews sophisticated tech in favor of consumer demand gauged by social media: items are first introduced on Facebook to gauge reaction and test trend strength.

“With an on-site pattern-maker, they can showcase designs they are testing across social media to get users/fans to decide if they like them, and if it’s popular, the outfit is manufactured within four days and available for mass market retail,” a rep told VentureBeat. “That’s lightning speed for clothing manufacturing.”Continue reading...

retail watch

Look Out, Lululemon: Nimble, Lower-Priced Ellie Aims to Make You Sweat [Updated]

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 5, 2013 10:55 AM

Editor's note: This article has been updated with comment by lululemon.

In the $14 billion women’s athletic apparel market, heir apparent Lululemon is facing a direct challenge by Ellie, the latest startup incubated by L.A.-based Science.

Pledging the same quality of workout gear at half the price, Ellie's approach eschews sophisticated tech in favor of consumer demand gauged by social media: items are first introduced on Facebook to gauge reaction and test trend strength.

“With an on-site pattern-maker, they can showcase designs they are testing across social media to get users/fans to decide if they like them, and if it’s popular, the outfit is manufactured within four days and available for mass market retail,” a rep told VentureBeat. “That’s lightning speed for clothing manufacturing.”Continue reading...

retail watch

Look Out, Lululemon: Nimble, Lower-Priced Ellie Aims to Make You Sweat

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 5, 2013 10:54 AM

In the $14 billion women’s athletic apparel market, heir apparent Lululemon is facing a direct challenge by Ellie, the latest startup incubated by L.A.-based Science.

Pledging the same quality of workout gear at half the price, Ellie's approach eschews sophisticated tech in favor of consumer demand gauged by social media: items are first introduced on Facebook to gauge reaction and test trend strength.

“With an onsite pattern-maker, they can showcase designs they are testing across social media to get users/fans to decide if they like them, and if it’s popular, the outfit is manufactured within four days and available for mass market retail,” a rep told VentureBeat. “That’s lightning speed for clothing manufacturing.”Continue reading...

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