Best Global Green Brands 2014

chew on this

General Mills 2013 Mantra: Improve Yourself Through Better Snacking

Posted by Dale Buss on December 20, 2012 03:01 PM

If innovation is the lifeblood of business, then General Mills will be pumping hard in the new year. The CPG giant released news about more than 100 new products that it will launch in its U.S. retail portfolio alone during its fiscal 2013.

General Mills would like to generate between 4 percent and 5 percent of its sales from new products "and we think we will be very much in that range," CEO Ken Powell told Wall Street analysts during a conference call this week, according to Ad Age. "We want to make sure that we are launching products that are bringing new consumers into [their brand] franchise, and we have steadily improved that number."

The new products range from new varieties of Fiber One products to a Snickerdoodles flavor of Chex Mix Muddy Buddies. And if there are some underlying themes to the whole list, they would be peanut butter and chocolate, along with fiber and protein, according to a General Mills blog post detailing the roster of new products.Continue reading...

cause celeb

Tostitos Rallies Football Fans, Celebs to Welcome Home US Troops

Posted by Dale Buss on December 14, 2012 05:01 PM

If ever a non-alcohol brand has been associated with partying, it's Tostitos. The brand always promotes itself heavily for Super Bowl consumption and sponsors its own college-football bowl game, the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, every year, including a campaign last year.

The Frito-Lay-owned sibling brand of Doritos also has associated itself with "homecomings" for U.S. military members over the last few years.

So now Tostitos, as you can follow along on its Facebook page, has joined those interests into a huge new promotion that combined partying and homecoming. It sponsored a football-field "surprise party" for selectd U.S. military veterans who only thought they had shown up to play a flag-football game for charity.

Instead, the 28 unsuspecting service men and women were greeted at the Cerritos College stadium near Los Angeles by more than 12,000 "fans", legendary college coaches Urban Meyer and Bobby Bowden, NFL veterans Kurt Warner and Marcus Allen, actors Owen Wilson and Eric Stonestreet, and chart-topping band Gym Class Heroes. And they all had their roles in the game.Continue reading...

sip on this

"Drinkify" This: PepsiCo's Food-Beverage Hybrid Vision Includes Drinkable Oatmeal

Posted by Dale Buss on December 13, 2012 03:18 PM

For PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi, the driving force of her reign has been a desire to transform the company into a purveyor of better-for-you foods and beverages for the masses as well as the classic "junk" food brands such as Pepsi soft drinks and Frito-Lay corn chips.

In this quest, Nooyi already has wheeled PepsiCo into fruit-based snack chips, all sorts of healthier beverages and, most recently, a new yogurt brand. But there's another big initiative up her sleeve that Nooyi believes will advance the company still further down her chosen, more nutritious track: "drinkifying."

That's PepsiCo-speak for the R&D push to "drinkify" snacks and "snackify" beverages — creating liquid snacks out of food and vice versa. Nooyi cited a drinkable oatmeal, Leche con Avena, produced by its Quaker brand in Latin America. And Naked smoothies have plenty of food content.

"A way to grow the beverage business is to take foods and drinkify them," Nooyi said at an industry conference sponsored by Beverage Digest this week, according to the Financial Times. "There's a whole range of products we have in the pipeline that are value-added products that can be snacks made into beverages."Continue reading...

brands under fire

PepsiCo's Frito-Lay Cracker Jack'd by PR Flap Over Caffeine

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...

brand news

In the News: 5-Hour Energy, BP, Best Buy and more

Posted by Dale Buss on November 15, 2012 09:04 AM

In the News

5-Hour Energy consumption cited for possible involvement in deaths.

Abercrombie & Fitch credits faster reaction times for bump in results.

BBC scrutiny continues as broadcaster celebrates 90th.

BP nears settlement with federal government on Gulf spill.

Best Buy battles skeptics with turnaround plans.

Checkers opens restaurant in a Walmart.

Chick-fil-A ranked No. 1 chicken chain in new survey.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Sandy Whacks Google, Penguin/Random House, Honda Hit and more

Posted by Dale Buss on October 29, 2012 09:04 AM

In the News

Google Nexus NYC tablet launch delayed by Hurricane Sandy, sells out online.

Pearson and Bertelsmann strike deal to combine Penguin and Random House publishing houses, thwarting News Corp.

Honda cuts full-year outlook over anti-Japan sentiment in China.

Audi repeats goal to match 2011 operating profit in 2012.

British Airways launches customer recognition program.

Burger King third-quarter net income falls, still beats estimates.

Burt's Bees "deflakes" with billboard and video campaign.

Cadillac raises prices in bid for luxury credibility.Continue reading...

no kidding around

Cheetos Crunchy Flamin' Hot Chips Come Under Fire

Posted by Shirley Brady on October 19, 2012 05:25 PM

Frito-Lay's Cheetos brand Crunchy Flamin' Hot chips may be free of gluten-free and trans fats, but some school officials feel it's free of any redeeming value whatsover and are moving to ban it. The New York Times Well blog reports that "School districts in three states are waging a battle against (the) spicy snack that is so laden with artificial ingredients it leaves a trail of red fingerprints behind."

What has school administrators in Pasadena, Calif., Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Rockford, Illinois, up in arms?

...some school districts say the chips are too high in calories, salt and fat, and too spicy for most children. Teachers and parents have complained that the artificial coloring has children leaving behind bright red fingerprints in their classrooms and on their clothing. And emergency room doctors say they have seen patients complaining of stomach pain after eating hot Cheetos, and they warn that eating the chips in excess – because of the bright food dye they contain – may cause discolored stool that can lead to unnecessary hospital visits.

The PepsiCo-owned Frito-Lay brand "has said that it does not specifically market Hot Cheetos to small children, nor does it sell its snack products directly to schools." A current promotion with Ubisoft's Just Dance Game featuring its Chester Cheetah mascot, for instance, is aimed at kids 13 and older.

Below, watch a video tribute ("Hot Cheetos & Takis") by some kids, which has racked up more than 3.5 million views on YouTube since it was posted in August:Continue reading...

start your engines

Doritos Crash the Super Bowl Returns With Michael Bay

Posted by Shirley Brady on September 20, 2012 10:19 AM

The Doritos Crash the Super Bowl user-created ad contest is back for the seventh consecutive year, this time around with a big Hollywood ending — the chance to work with director Michael Bay on the next installment of the Transformers movie franchise.

The pitch: "The great Super Bowl ad-venture is back. This year, if you make a DORITOS ad you might see it air on the Super Bowl and win not just $1 Million but a prize that's twice as explosive: a gig with high-octane Hollywood hit-maker Michael Bay on Transformers 4," which opens June 27, 2014. Submissions open on Oct. 8; more details in PepsiCo's press release and on Facebook.

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