brand strategy

PepsiCo Snacks Win, Beverages Lose in US as Peltz's Merger Proposal Looms

Posted by Dale Buss on July 25, 2013 01:39 PM

PepsiCo is riding high on snacks and trying not to be brought low by its soft-drink business. But that doesn't mean the company is accepting the logic behind activist investor Nelson Peltz's attempts to get PepsiCo to spin off beverages and buy snack-happy Mondelez International.

Second-quarter food revenue in the Americas grew by 5 percent for PepsiCo while beverage revenues slumped by another 2 percent. Brands including Doritos and Tostitos, by Frito-Lay, drove PepsiCo's overall domestic growth, while its European business only chugged along and revenues in Asia, Africa and the Middle East combined, both beverages and food, grew by 6 percent.

Also, more evidence surfaced this week to bolster concerns recently expressed by PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi about the future of artificial sweeteners in beverages. Larry Young, CEO of Dr Pepper Snapple, agreed in a conference call that consumers "have concerns about artificial sweeteners." His company has lowered its sales outlook for the year.Continue reading...

brand evolution

Cracker Jack Focuses on Improving Central Product in Brand Update

Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 28, 2013 11:43 AM

The first batch of Cracker Jack rolled off the line in 1896, the same year that Utah was admitted as a state, the first modern Olympic Games were held in Greece, and racial segregation was declared constitutional by the Supreme Court.

In other words, it's a pretty old brand--117 years to be exact--but owner Frito-Lay doesn't want the famous snack to be left behind in yesteryear. The brand is seeking a modern update thanks to new prizes and new flavors, though its main focus is to improve upon its central, caramel-coated product. The brand will be adding more peanuts to its original flavor while also introducing Cracker Jack Kettle Corn and Cracker Jack Butter Toffee flavors. The new additions will build upon a growing offering which include caffeine-infused Cracker Jack'd Power Bites and hearty flavors like peanut butter and chocolate and cheddar BBQ.Continue reading...

chew on this

Regulators Get Wrigley to Pull Caffeine Gum, but They're Not Scaring Monster

Posted by Dale Buss on May 9, 2013 06:33 PM

Just several days after being called out by the Food & Drug Administration over concerns about caffeine in its Alert Energy Caffeine Gum, Wrigley folded the product and announced that it was going to take the gum off the market at least temporarily. However a caffeine purveyor that's already well established, Monster Beverage, is continuing its aggressive defense of its energy drinks over the issue of caffeine poisoning of American youth.

The Obama administration has grown increasingly restive over the extension of caffeine content to more and more functional foods beyond its traditional places in coffee (naturally), soft drinks (added) and energy drinks (fundamental). The proliferation of new types and food products introduced recently includes Cracker Jack'd, a line of new snacks by Frito-Lay based on the traditional brand but including two out of nine SKUs that contain ground coffee and caffeine; a variety of Kraft's MiO drink powder that contains caffeine; and Jelly Belly's Extreme Sports Beans.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Apple, Monster, Twitter and more

Posted by Dale Buss on May 1, 2013 09:15 AM

In the News

Apple sells largest corporate-bond offer in history.

Monster sues to halt effort to curb energy drinks.

Twitter opens up self-serve ad platform to all businesses.

Chrysler Group auto sales rose 11 percent in April; Ram truck sales were up 49 percent.

Coda Holdings electric-vehicle maker files for bankruptcy.

College Football Playoff unveils new (and quite boring) logo. 

Domino's results ride pan pizza wave.

Fisker Automotive fell apart because it sought too much, too fast.

Ford says sales of Lincoln MKZ have shaken off supply and launch problems.Continue reading...

sip on this

PepsiCo Keeps Marketing Top-of-Line Despite a Dip in Earnings

Posted by Dale Buss on April 19, 2013 02:43 PM

PepsiCo continues to ramp up marketing investments for its core brands including Pepsi, Gatorade, Lay's and Quaker. And so while first-quarter earnings showed a drop of 5 percent from a year earlier, the increased advertising outlays may be the harbinger of future top- and bottom-line payoffs from brands that critics say were underexposed for years.

Besides, PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi said this week, the additional marketing investments—which she promised for last year to the tune of an additional half-billion in global expenditures on core brands—are being offset by the fruits of the company's $3-billion productivity program.

"With the productivity we're unlocking, we're able to invest in growth drivers like advertising and new-product launches to simultaneously drive margin improvement," she told analysts on a conference call, according to Advertising Age. But, she cautioned, "Any growth we achieve in one area takes from another area where we compete."Continue reading...

trademark wars

Frito-Lay Loses Trademark Battle Over Popular Corn Chip

Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 15, 2013 11:50 AM

PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay Scoops Corn Chips may identify itself as “a unique combination of great taste and good fun rolled into one great snack,” but a jury in Texas has a few quibbles with just how unique its name is.

Frito-Lay North America came after Medallion Foods and Ralcorp Holdings for their Bowlz and Cupz chips that appeared in Walmarts and Krogers, respectively, around the time of this year’s Super Bowl, FoodProductDesign.com reports. Frito-Lay was not amused and wanted $4.5 million for their troubles as well as the disappearance of any products that come close to looking like Scoops.

After just five and a half hours, the 10-person jury ruled against Frito-Lay. “This was a very complicated trial, and we were fortunate to have an extremely smart jury that understood the issues and delivered a just verdict,” said John Ward, whose firm Ward & Smith helped represent Medallion, according to IPWatchdog.com. “This jury digested almost 40 pages of complex instructions and returned a verdict in our clients’ favor on all issues submitted.”Continue reading...

event marketing

Big Brands Take Over SXSW to Mixed Fanfare

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 11, 2013 03:30 PM

SXSW epitomizes how the cutting-edge becomes the status quo and eventually (but not yet) borders on the edge of passé. This year, “the event has a different feel, nearly as much a marketing event as it is about tech,” notes Digiday

The week-long festival in Austin, Texas is ever more a breeding ground for flashy campaigns, giveaways and concerts, a far cry from the festival's roots as a geeky tech meet-up. Brian Solis, principal analyst at Altimeter Group told CNET, "The original posse is probably aghast at what [SXSW] has turned into." While there is still plenty of tech and start up presence, the event is now, more than ever, a joint digital venture between the marketing teams of the biggest brands and emerging tech stars peddling cool products and innovations.Continue reading...

brand strategy

Doritos Crashes the Stage with SXSW, Taco Bell and Global Branding Trifecta

Posted by Dale Buss on March 7, 2013 05:08 PM

Emboldened by the performance of its ads during the Super Bowl, riding the wave of the massive marketing push for its Doritos Locos Tacos partnership with Taco Bell and bolstered by PepsiCo's increasing moves toward global brand platforms, Doritos is adopting a new, more consistent look across the 37 countries where the chips are sold and is launching a new worldwide marketing campaign.

Doritos is planning to punctuate its new plans with a four-story-high, Twitter-controlled rap concert (hashtag: #boldstage) on its boldly branded vending-machine stage at SXSW next week.

"For the Bold" is the tagline for Doritos' first global marketing campaign. It'll start with the U.S. launch of a new ad on cable TV networks beginning in mid-month.

Called "Best Summer Job," the commercial will tell the story of a "college-aged valet making bold choices which lead to an epic joyride, inspired by Doritos chips," as Ram Krishnan, VP of marketing for PepsiCo's Frito-Lay North America, told Ad Age.Continue reading...

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