Burger King Hopes New Healthier 'Satisfries' Let Consumers Have it Their Way

Posted by Dale Buss on September 24, 2013 12:52 PM

With fast-food sales still sluggish in the US market, the timing could be pretty good for one of the most important new products from Burger King in years: "better-for-you" french fries.

Mired in a fight with Wendy's for the No. 2 spot in American QSR, and in an environment where only important new items seem to move the same-store-sales needle (and then sometimes only for a while), Burger King today is pursuing "lapsed users" of fries with a new variety called Satisfries that have about 20 percent fewer calories and 25 percent less fat than its regular fries—and 30 percent fewer calories and 40 percent less fat than McDonald's fries.

"It's not realistic to ask people to replace french fries with carrots or celery sticks," Keri Gans, a Burger King dietitian, told USA Today. "This is like meeting people halfway."Continue reading...

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Coca-Cola Carefully Navigates Anti-Obesity Messaging as it Combats Falling Sales

Posted by Dale Buss on September 23, 2013 01:36 PM

While Coca-Cola has never acknolwedged being part of the problem of rising worldwide obesity, it sure is working hard at being part of the solution.

The beverage giant noted today—in a new TV commercial and with a press release—its vast efforts to get people moving during a summer of initiatives linked to a series of grassroots events it kicked off in May, called the Get the Ball Rolling initiative. It extended a broad effort that Coke kicked off in January with a commercial playing down its role in promoting obesity and encouraging physical activity as the most important antidoate to the problem.

Nutritionists are united in believing that caloric inputs are far more important in determining obesity than lack of physical activity per se. But moving around clearly helps offset too much intake, especially in children, so Coca-Cola has focused its Get the Ball Rolling initiatives on kids. Those efforts are highlighted in the new TV ad.Continue reading...

Major Food Brands Back $50 Million Campaign to Push Facts Up Front Labeling

Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 5, 2013 04:39 PM

The ongoing battle over the increasing girth of American consumers is heating up—again.

Marketers have joined forces on a $50 million campaign plugging front-of-pack labeling called Facts Up Front, dually motivated by bettering their image among consumers and getting federal regulators off their backs. The Facts Up Front initiative actually began in 2011, displaying stats such as calories, saturated fat, sodium and sugar content, but it was promoted lightly and had little effect on consumer sentiment. 

The latest campaign, funded by members of the Grocery Marketing Association and the Food Marketing Institute is being helmed by BBDO, Edelman and FoodMinds. Major food companies including General Mills, Kraft Foods Group, Mondelez International, Kellogg and Hershey will participate in the program which GMA estimates will include 70 to 80 percent of products from participating companies by year’s end.Continue reading...

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McDonald's Tries 'Less Is More' with New Menu Reductions

Posted by Dale Buss on May 22, 2013 10:38 AM

When you're stuck in neutral as McDonald's has been lately, you begin to try a little bit of everything. Expanding the menu. Focusing on value options. Sacking your chief of US operations. And, now—reducing the menu.

On the heels of its elimination of the Angus Burger, Fruit & Walnut Salad and Chicken Selects, there are reports that other McDonald's U.S. menu items are on the chopping block too as the chain scrambles for ways to maximize traffic and revenues while minimizing costs to deal with stubbornly reluctant consumers. It's also part of how the chain hopes to woo back millennials, as CEO Don Thompson is expected to outline at the company's annual general meeting on Thursday.

Caesar Salad, McSkillet Burrito and the Southern Style biscuit may also disappear, according to a franchisee e-mail obtained by Bloomberg. These would be further cutbacks in McDonald's core menu at a time when the company increasingly has been emphasizing the traffic-building value instead of "limited-time" items such as popcorn chicken and McRib sandwiches.Continue reading...

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Coca-Cola Pledges To Cut Ads to Kids, Display More Calorie Information

Posted by Dale Buss on May 9, 2013 09:47 AM

Coca-Cola broadened its pledges to provide more calorie information to consumers and to stop advertising to children around the world, but the media was quick to scour the fine print of the company's promises as the beverage leader tries to win over consumers. 

CEO Muhtar Kent announced on Wednesday, the brand's 127th anniversary, that the company was taking a four-pronged approach to battling obesity, an issue that it has acknowledged lately in many ways but at the same time has attempted to deflect blame from its iconic sugary sodas.

As part of an initiative it's calling Coming Together, Coca-Cola wants to communicate that it's part of the solution, not the problem. The beverage giant and its local partners will label all packages with calorie details on the front, expand the availability of low- and no-calorie beverages in every market, support more physical activity programs, and stop advertising to children under 12.Continue reading...

corporate citizenship

Danone, Unilever Rank High on Global Nutrition Index

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 12, 2013 03:38 PM

Danone, Unilever and Nestlé top the list in the first edition of the global Access to Nutrition Index as the three best global brands offering products that address obesity and poor nutrition.

The report reviews 25 of the world's major food and beverage manufacturers across corporate nutrition-related policies, formulation of healthier, affordable products, informative nutrition labeling and responsible marketing.

"Obesity and undernutrition affect billions of people and threaten a global health catastrophe,” said Inge Kauer, Executive Director of ATNI. “The Access to Nutrition Index is an urgent call to action for food and beverage manufacturers to integrate improved nutrition into their business strategies.” 

The Index, developed by the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, a non-profit with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Wellcome Trust, ranked the top 10:Continue reading...

branded entertainment

LUNA Rebrands to Lead Discussion on Issues Related to Women's Nutrition

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 6, 2013 02:04 PM

LUNA Bar is rebranding itself as a “thought leader” on women’s nutrition, and expanding its reach to include dieters.

Its six "Debunking the Diet" webisodes, hosted by "Funny or Die" writer/actor Erin Gibson and nutritionist Tara DelloIacono Thies, premiered this week with a focus on weight gain and late-night eating.

The spots support the brand's new tagline, "Feed Your Strength," and are appearing on Luna's Facebook and YouTube pages as well as health-related websites, The Huffington Post and Daily Candy.  Other campaign messages include “Moderation, not deprivation” and “Strong beats skinny.”Continue reading...

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American Beverage Giants Start Counting Calories on Vending Machines

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 8, 2012 06:25 PM

When Jon Stewart and Bill O’Reilly faced off Saturday in a mock debate, the topic of whether the government should decide what size soda consumers should drink was brought up and summarily dismissed, but there are plenty of other folks — like New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg — who aren’t letting the issue go.

The just-passed law that Bloomberg pushed to help keep New Yorkers healthy by making it illegal to sell sodas larger than 16 oz. in many New York establishments will go into effect on March 12. And Bloomberg isn’t alone. A soda-tax measure was put on the ballot in Richmond, California, that would discourage consumers from drinking soda and collect money through a soda tax “for neighborhood gardens, recreation and other youth projects that would help fight childhood obesity,” BeyondChron.com reports.

Sick of being called a bad guy in the war against obesity, the American Beverage Association (and the soda giants it represents) today launched a "Calories Count" vending machine program that will start being distributed in the new year. The ABA's new initiative will help consumers identify lower-calorie sodas in vending machines by placing soda calorie counts right on the buttons of vending machines.Continue reading...

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