Posted by Dale Buss on August 2, 2012 09:00 AM
AIG pushes plan for independence from U.S. government.
Burger King says that menu and marketing changes have boosted bottom lilne.
Campbell Soup creates limited edition to help food bank.
Chick-fil-A supporters (and Wendy's) show up for "Appreciation Day."
Christina Aguillera lends her voice to a good cause.
Costco experiences strong U.S. sales.
Crocs celebrates milestone a little too exuberantly.
DirecTV sees U.S. subscribers decline for first time.Continue reading...
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...
chew on this
Posted by Dale Buss on July 2, 2012 05:05 PM
Just because Chobani has opened up a huge lead in the Greek-style category it invented — and that is reshaping the U.S. yogurt business — doesn't mean that others can't try to chip away. Dannon has grabbed a significant share after sensing the opportunity with Chobani's rapid rise.
Other players, big and small, also are attempting to make more noise and get their stakes of a Greek-style market that has been calculated at about $1.5 billion a year now and still growing by strong double-digits — even coming up in discussions of Greece's Eurozone crisis. Yoplait, Hain Celestial and the Pinkberry chain are among the brands that are making their own plays. Ben & Jerry's just revamped its frozen yogurt line to make Greek Yogurt the basis of the line. Fage and Chobani have a friend in U.S. senator Chuck Schumer.
The most closely watched Greek yogurt brand is Yoplait. The General Mills line, which has shared the top of the U.S. yogurt market with Dannon for many years, got a particularly late start in the Greek segment. But now it's launching 40 new yogurt products, and Greek yogurt will be the centerpiece of that rollout this summer.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on July 2, 2012 08:45 AM
Apple pays $60M to end iPad trademark dispute in China, looks to secure ipad3.com domain.
Barclays scandal forces out chairman, saying "the buck stops with me."
Bristol-Myers agrees to buy Amylin Pharmaceuticals for $5B in cash, expands diabetes alliance.
Rupert Murdoch will rebrand the Wall Street Journal as WSJ as part of News Corp. split.
AMC parent ends AT&T U-verse TV dispute with long-term agreement, as Dish feud continues.
Applebee's rolls out fresh menu, look and campaign.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 27, 2012 11:04 AM
General Mills and Kellogg have been ruling the cold-cereal market for an eternity. Those two behemoths now own about 60 percent of a $9 billion U.S. market, but that doesn’t mean other companies aren’t finding some success cutting into their market.
One in particular, the 93-year-old MOM Brands Co., which was recently renamed from Malt-O-Meal, is producing such cereals as Tootie Fruities and Honey Nut Scooters, which bear more than a passing resemblance to Froot Loops and Honey Nut Cheerios.Continue reading...
truth in packaging
Posted by Dale Buss on June 22, 2012 04:01 PM
Supermarket Sweep was a TV game show that started in the Sixties in which contestants jammed as many high-value products into their shopping carts as possible in just a minute or two. For CPG brands, the contemporary version of supermarket sweep isn't so kind. It's one reason there are so many lawsuits against companies over "misleading" advertising about the nutritional value of their foods these days: plaintiffs' lawyers.
A common factor behind new and recent suits against brands including Nutella, General Mills, Kellogg, Kraft and Quaker Oats is that nutrition advocacy groups such as Center for Science in the Public Interest conduct "supermarket sweeps" (as CSPI has urged the FDA).
The goal is to find ordinary American consumers in the grocery aisle who are willing to complain — or join a lawsuit — about language on their labels that might be less than completely forthcoming about how healthy the product is. And they turn over their leads to their litigious partners.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on May 22, 2012 08:48 AM
Alibaba regains control of future with purchase of Yahoo stake.
Audi will bundle SiriusXM traffic subscriptions in select 2013 models.
Best Buy tops profit estimates on smartphone sales.
Comcast leads U.S. cable operators to create nationwide CableWiFi network of hot spots, and launches integrated local ad sales.
Crocs taps bloggers to promote new styles.
DC Comics intends to bring a major character out of the closet.
Facebook's 11 percent drop on Monday sees fingers pointed at Morgan Stanley, raises more questions about its mobile strategy and creates schadenfreude moment for News Corp.'s ill-fated MySpace acquisition.
General Mills announces layoffs.
Google seals acquisition of Motorola Mobility.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 5, 2012 10:01 AM
There was a time, not so long ago, that every athlete in the land dreamed of seeing his or her face on a box of Wheaties, "the Breakfast of Champions." Wrestler Stone Cold Steve Austin has been there. Hall of Fame catcher Johnny Bench has been there. Soccer legend Mia Hamm has been there.
Probably the most famous Wheaties box, though, was the one featuring Olympic decathlete Bruce Jenner, who won gold in Montreal in 1976 and of course went on to be the step-patriarch of the Kardashian family. In all, hundreds of athletes have been on a Wheaties box since the practice began in 1934. It’s not looking good for the athletes of tomorrow to get the same pleasure. In fact, most athletes of tomorrow aren’t likely eating Wheaties for breakfast.
General Mills, the maker of Wheaties and a slew of other cereals, may be responsible to 32% of the cereal market domestically, but Wheaties is only bringing in 0.5% of the market these days, according to CNBC’s Darren Rovell. Back in the ’60s, Wheaties was powerhouse as it took care of 6.5% of all cereals, he notes.
"Wheaties had a clear brand identity," stated Lloyd Moritz, the editor of cereal blog The Breakfast Bowl, on CNBC. "The problem was they rested on their laurels."
Rovell points out that Wheaties has made efforts to expand with Honey Frosted Wheaties in the mid-90's, Wheaties Energy Crunch in 2001, and the two-year-old Wheaties Fuel — but none of them caught on.Continue reading...