brands under fire
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 16, 2012 10:52 AM
When Jack Norworth and Albert Von Tilzer wrote the words and music to “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” way back in 1908, neither one of them had ever been to a professional baseball game. The pair didn’t mind making some bucks, though, and were surely pleased when the tune caught on.
If they were writing the song today, of course, they’d probably charge Cracker Jacks a product-placement fee for giving it a mention. Frankly, Cracker Jack brand owner Frito-Lay should probably give Major League Baseball a bit of earnings since a good chunk of the product’s sales likely come from soft-hearted baseball fans who want their kids to experience the game like it was in the old days.
In those olden days, of course, Major League games were played during the day so getting sugared up with Cracker Jacks wouldn’t keep anybody up into the night. That didn’t happen till 1935 when the Cincinnati Reds shone a light down on a game against the Philadelphia Phillies. Now, of course, most professional games are played at night in order to rake in more dollars. Some of those games, especially in the postseason, can go well into the night.
And if you’re having trouble staying awake for the ninth inning, Cracker Jack is about to introduce a product that can help you out, with an extra twist that certainly snapped a few folks to pay attention. A hue and cry has been raised over Cracker Jack'D, which includes a "Cocoa Java" flavor that's just rolling out to stores. Cue a PR kerfuffle — not what Frito-Lay execs had in mind as the iconic brand celebrates its centenary.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 7, 2012 12:41 PM
Thanksgiving is coming up. And while cans of vegetables will last for years, Del Monte decided that the timing couldn't be better to remind American consumers about the easiest way to elbow onto the Turkey Day table with side dishes worthy of the buxom bird: get them out of a can. Preferably a can of Del Monte vegetables.
So the brand is launching its most extensive and expensive ad campaign in a decade, under the tagline "Bursting with Life." The idea is to emphasize the freshness of Del Monte vegetables — an attribute that consumers don't naturally associate with foods that have been preserved in a cylinder of metal for weeks or months.
While they're not trying to make eating your veggies (let alone canned veggies) sexy, Del Monte hopes to claim a bigger share of mind stomach of a collective American household that at least is thinking more about vegetables these days, and the nutritional value of consuming them.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 7, 2012 12:01 PM
While it may not rule the morning everywhere, the once family-owned Weetabix cereal brand has been ruling British breakfast tables since the 1930s and now it's turning its powers onto another region of the world: Asia. Earlier this year, China’s Food Group Co Ltd agreed to shell out $1.12 billion to secure a 60 percent stake in the company and distribute the cereal all around the region. Marketwatch hears that the company “is considering listing Weetabix … on the Hong Kong stock exchange.”
"The Weetabix brand will have access to all of Bright Food's distribution channels, including our more than 100,000 retail outlets, which will allow it to be brought to Chinese households more quickly," said Wang Zongnan, chairman of Bright Food, according to China Daily.
“Bright clearly has a distribution capability in China that is very robust and much more than Weetabix could organically hope for,” said Clive Black, director and head of research at Shore Capital, according to Bakery and Snacks. “Therefore, assuming that the Chinese pallet for cereal-based breakfasts exists and grows, then this could be, should be, a material source of long-term growth for Weetabix.”
Still, it won’t be the same old Weetabix hitting breakfast tables in China.Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Dale Buss on November 6, 2012 05:08 PM
For a while, the notion of regulating genetically modified organisms (better known as GMOs) included in food seemed like a good idea, and anti-Big Food advocates in California attracted a lot of support in a state where residents like to be on the cutting edge of just about everything. Calfornians have never minded serving as a bellwether on new regulatory initiatives that end up sweeping the rest of the country, such as automotive emissions.
But the closer today's vote on Proposition 37 loomed, the more that initial support of the idea waned. And this U.S. Election Day, even backers of the anti-GMO initiative seemed resigned to its defeat, although it's still being closely watched. (Update: Prop 37 was indeed defeated at the polling booth.)
What happened? Well, a combination of huge contributions by moneyed CPG brands battered Prop 37's drive to label GMOs in a massive advertising and PR blitz with a "No on 37" drive. And backers of the added regulation alleged dirty tricks by the competition as they sought to sway voters (despite scientific evidence to the contrary) that GMO-containing products are hardly the stuff of "Frankenfood" that really harms consumers.Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Dale Buss on November 5, 2012 05:03 PM
One of the main reasons for Kraft to split into its new Kraft Foods and Mondelez International units was to free the latter to pursue the beckoning opportunities in the global snacking business without being tied down to the slower-growth, mature North American groceries business, which now alone comprises Kraft Foods.
But in the early going, at least, both newly independent entities are pursuing something of the same strategy to tap into their separate growth opportunities: paring back non-performing, small or relatively insignificant brands, and applying innovation resources and expansion ambitions to brands that have a chance to make the most of them.
Mondelez, for example, already has said that it may divest some products as it seeks to streamline its range. The company will pursue a "simplification agenda," Tom Cofer, head of Europe for Mondelez, confirmed to Bloomberg.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 2, 2012 03:03 PM
Procter & Gamble and other diaper-makers may be cheering the news that Kimberly-Clark is abandoning Europe with its diaper business. But the move by the American giant, also maker of Kleenex and other paper products, also will land yet another blow to the fragile economy. Kimberly-Clark confirmed in its latest earnings release that it plans to eliminate up to 1,500 European jobs with the move and its broader restructuring plan in Europe, or about 2.6 percent of its global workforce.
The way CEO Tom Falk put it, the company didn't have any choice after banging its head against a wall in Europe for its disposable diapers. P&G controls 44 percent of the market with Pampers, while Kimberly-Clark's Huggies brand had garnered only a 12-percent share over more than two decades in the market. Private-label diaper brands combined have a bigger share than Huggies.Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on November 2, 2012 11:17 AM
Makers of name brand products beware: Store brands continue to be accepted and embraced by consumers.
Last July, we reported on a study by Accenture indicating that 64 percent of shoppers' grocery carts were at least half full of store brand products -- and 39 percent said they had bought more store brands in recent years.
Now a new study by marketing agency The Integer Group, in association with the market research firm M/A/R/C Research, shows that consumers increasingly believe store brands can match brand names in quality. In fact, in the 2012 study, 64 percent of shoppers said brand names are not better quality products, versus 57 percent in 2010. Only 51 percent of shoppers say they continue to buy brand name products over store-brand alternatives because they trust the brand name, according to the study. Only 20 percent of shoppers agree that they go right for their brand name choice and get what they want.
Just as important, there seems to be a broad change in the perception of store brand or private label products. As store brands have grown in popularity, groceries and retail chains have created their own branded lines. Target, for example, sells its own Archer Farms brand, and Whole Foods pitches its 365 Everyday Value line.
In recent years, such retailers have paid more attention to packaging so their products can be competitive on store shelves. It must be paying off. Only a year ago, 68 percent of shoppers agreed that brand name packaging was more attractive than store brand packaging, according to the study. This year, the percentage dropped to just over half — 52 percent of shoppers.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 1, 2012 04:33 PM
Depending where you were, you may have celebrated Halloween on Oct. 31st. At Procter & Gamble, they've been celebrating the company's 175th anniversary.
That's right: P&G – mother of such consumer packaged goods icons as Tide, Pampers, and Comet, among others – is now 175 years old, but a look back at the company's history reveals that the whole endeavor might not have started if an errant flame and a rapscallion hadn’t done their dirty work all those years ago — or if an opinionated father and father-in-law hadn't intervened.
Or put another way, Mr. Procter's failures in England led to P&G's global success today — and Procter took a Gamble that paid off.Continue reading...