2014 Brandcameo Product Placement Awards

sip on this

Starbucks Introduces Low-Cal, "Real Fruit" Refreshers Drinks With Friday Freebie

Posted by Shirley Brady on July 9, 2012 11:31 PM

Will Starbucks customers give a cold shoulder to the company's new iline of green coffee Refreshers drinks? Hopefully they'll get a better reception than the VIA instant beverage mix that was panned when it launched in 2010, and which resurfaces with a new twist here.

The fruit-flavored iced coffee beverages, produced with unroasted green arabica beans, are rolling out in the U.S. and Canada on July 10th, with a global rollout to follow.

According to the Huffington Post, "The drink line will be offered in three formats: handcrafted (made by baristas), ready to drink and VIA. VIA is Starbucks' newest drink format, brought to market three years ago, and is best described as a microground product that dissolves when emptied into water."

The Refreshers sub-brand page states that all three are made with green coffee extract as their base for a "boost of natural energy" and are made with either "real fruit" or "real fruit juice":Continue reading...

brand extensions

Spoon Boom: Why PepsiCo is Dipping Into US Yogurt Craze

Posted by Dale Buss on July 9, 2012 03:01 PM

It may be too early to say the cola wars are over, although it's clear that PepsiCo is ready and willing to take on another archrival. Following years of competing with Coca-Cola with its array of beverage and snack food brands in the U.S., PepsiCo is now getting into the red-hot yogurt market and adding Dannon to its competitive set.

Faced with a U.S. yogurt market that is more crowded than ever with brands, and demonstrating almost no growth except in the Greek yogurt category, PepsiCo announced Monday that it's introducing a fresh brand to yogurt-loving Americans — and one that isn't focusing on Greek — via a new partnership with the Theo Muller Group, Germany's largest privately held dairy

That's the prospect for Muller Quaker Dairy when it finally enters stores in northeastern and mid-Atlantic states with three lines of yogurt products birthed by the joint venture. Muller Quaker promises "innovative premium" products that aim to create differentiation and taste excitement in a U.S. yogurt category that PepsiCo executives believe is lacking both.

"It's been an 'I gotta have it because it's good for me' kind of a product," Dr. Mehmood Khan, who oversees PepsiCo's global research and development, commented to the New York Times. "The 'wanna have it' was missing."Continue reading...

retail watch

'Not About Ego': Tesco CEO Eyes US Retreat as Fresh & Easy Proves Neither

Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 3, 2012 02:07 PM

UK supermarket giant Tesco is trying to stake a claim in the U.S. market with its Fresh & Easy grocery chain on the west coast, but it hasn’t done well, even after a “major revamp.” Now the company may just give up on making it in America, according to the Telegraph.

“If we see there is no chance of success, we’ll do as we’ve just done in Japan” and pull out, Tesco CEO Philip Clarke told shareholders, the Telegraph reports. “It is not about ego. We are businessmen.”

It's been a money-losing brand extension for some time. Fresh & Easy had losses last year of £153m ($239 million) and lost £186m ($291.5 million) the year before that.Continue reading...

sip on this

Starbucks Expands Beer and Wine Sales

Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 28, 2012 04:04 PM

Starbucks has always been good for a pick-me-up in the morning. And now it is aiming to be a good place for a bring-me-down at day’s end.

The coffee chain has been experimenting with serving wine, beer, and small plates of food in select Pacific Northwest locations. Now the practice is getting its first test run elsewhere.

Starting Friday, visitors to its spacious (4,500 square feet) Woodfield location in the Chicago suburb Schaumburg, Ill., will be able to order a glass of wine or beer and warm rosemary cashews, among other things, according to the Chicago Tribune. By year’s end, five more stores in the area will do the same.Continue reading...

china breaking

New York Times Launches China Edition Online

Posted by Shirley Brady on June 27, 2012 10:15 PM

The New York Times today unveiled its first Chinese-language website, which will publish "about 30 stories a day," according to assistant managing editor Jim Roberts on Twitter. According to a note to readers, "The goal of the new site is to provide China’s growing number of educated, affluent, global citizens with high-quality coverage of world affairs, business and culture. The site will be edited specifically for readers in China, presenting translations of the best of The Times’s award-winning journalism alongside original work by Chinese writers contributing to The Times."

retail watch

Starbucks Brings Retail Love to Sub-Brands

Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 21, 2012 03:03 PM

Starbucks has been spreading its wings in recent months. First the news came that some of its outlets would start serving beer and wine. Then Starbucks opened its first Evolution Fresh juice bar in suburban Seattle. Earlier this month, the ubiquitous coffee chain purchased the Bay Area's La Boulange bakery for $100 million in a bid to upgrade its food offerings. (That deal was done in cash, by the way. No word if the money was in a briefcase handcuffed to anybody’s wrist.)

That’s a lot of wing-spreading, but Starbucks execs over there must be cranking down extra double espressos these days because now comes word that Starbucks is giving more love to another sub-brand by opening its first Tazo tea store this fall in the hopes of doing for tea what the company has done for coffee drinking.

The plan is for the Tazo store, located in its corporate hometown of Seattle, to “sell more than 80 varieties of loose-leaf tea and other tea products,” Reuters reports, and “also offer hot and cold tea drinks, brewing equipment, pastries, packaged chocolates, infused sugars and honey.” As it is now, Tazo is a $1.4 billion brand for Starbucks, but the company would like to grow it since it estimates that the global market for tea is $95 billion.

And today Starbucks announced its first Seattle's Best Coffee "commuter concept" store in Brooklyn, near the NYC borough's new Barclays Center sports arena that will be home to the Brooklyn Nets this fall.

According to a press release, SBC's "concept menu, which debuted as a test in Chicago in March, boasts delicious coffee beverages, and commuter-friendly sandwiches and snacks that will appear for the first time on the East Coast." We assume that Brooklyn Nets co-owner Jay-Z will approve.

luxury watch

Hautel Check-In: Luxury Labels Extend Brands to Hotels

Posted by Barry Silverstein on June 21, 2012 12:09 PM

Maybe we haven't seen the return of the roaring global recovery everyone has hoped for. The U.S. economy is sputtering, and the European continent isn't looking very bullish at the moment. But none of this seems to be terribly concerning to the luxury hotel market. There has been a spate of recent openings — hotel extensions of luxury brands — to prove it.

Bulgari, which operates a luxury hotel in Milan, a luxury resort in Bali, and restaurants in Tokyo, has just opened the doors of its fourth Bulgari Hotel, with its latest five-star property opening in a chi-chi pocket of London.

Located in the city's prestigious Knightsbridge section, its well appointed rooms (such as the one above) are opening just in time to take bookings for the London 2012 Olympic Games. Bulgari gushes about the property: "It is a perfect expression of the Bulgari aesthetic of timeless glamour. Innovative artistry and a lavish use of precious marble and silver blend harmoniously, exuding an understated elegance. The quality of the service, magnificent elements such as the spa, pool and private screening room, and the distinguished location beside Harrods and Hyde Park all contribute to an uncompromising sense of excellence."Continue reading...

brand extensions

Liquid Branding: Lemmy Pour You a Motörhead Bastards Beer

Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 15, 2012 04:17 PM

It seemed a little odd last year when punk metal icons Motörhead decided to do a little brand extending and it took the form of a red wine, Motörhead Shiraz. Fans of the band aren’t exactly known for playing polo and collecting antiques.

According to Gibson.com, though, the vino sold well enough that the band has decided to expand on its alcohol-based brand extensions. So prepare ye, world, for Motörhead Bastards Lager, a beverage that aligns with the popular perception of the group’s heavy metal fan base.

One small problem, thöugh — the new brew is only available in Sweden (it debuted at the recent Sweden Rock festival).Continue reading...

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