Posted by Dale Buss on February 24, 2012 04:32 PM
When it comes to product strategy, Campbell Soup has gone through more twists and turns over the last several years than one of the noodles in its classic Chicken Noodle Soup.
The world's leading maker of soup has come up with heartier flavors and lighter flavors, chunkier textures, new ingredients, heart-healthy blends — you name it. The company also has infamously tacked back and forth about sodium reduction in its soups, firset embracing the idea as a major new platform and then, recently, trimming back its salt-cutting ambitions in the interests of taste.
Once again, Campbell is stirring the pot, this time under new CEO Denise Morrison, who presented her strategy to analysts in New York this week that the Campbell Soup Company has a few things cooking to jump-start growth.
Her new approach "requires moving from a high dependence on line extensions to more disruptive innovation, new and differentiated products, packaging and category segments that create new pathways for growth."Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Shirley Brady on February 20, 2012 11:51 AM
In honor of Presidents Day in the U.S. today, here's a look back at McDonald's 2005 Super Bowl spot, "The Lincoln Fry," which featured a likeness of Abraham Lincoln found in an iconic McDonald's French fry and a viral campaign that included a fake blog.
Seven years later, McDonald's is trying to be Honest Abe with more corporate transparency in a bid to boost its brand perception, including being more open about its treatment of animals, as the cover of Ad Age this week attests. Read our coverage of McDonald's transparency moves below:Continue reading...
sip on this
Posted by Dale Buss on February 15, 2012 04:29 PM
With all the pontificating about the performance of traditional PepsiCo beverage brands such as Pepsi, it's easy to lose sight of a bright spot shining forth from the company's voluminous beverage portfolio, and one emanating from its controversial stable of better-for-you products as well: Trop50.
The low-calorie juice brand, sweetened with stevia and marketed in a campaign featuring 30 Rock's Jane Krakowski that originated in Canada, is headed to $300 million a year in sales after only three years on the market — a pittance, revenue-wise, compared with conventional orange juice, where PepsiCo's Tropicana brand is one of the leaders. But it's been an impressive ramp-up for a new product in a mature segment where all sorts of things have been tried before.
"We went after a segment who love the goodness of juice without also limiting calorie consumption," Kate Keller, Trop50's director of marketing, told brandchannel. "And they don't want to sacrifice the great taste of juice. They're getting the goodness of juice and taste and sugar at half the sugar and calories — it's pretty simple for them."Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on February 14, 2012 04:01 PM
McDonald's is taking another step to mollify critics as it agrees to push its pork suppliers to stop confining sows in small pens. These "gestation stalls," as explained above, are "not a sustainable production system," the chain said, and there are alternatives that "are better for the welfare of sows."
The move is the latest by McDonald's to engage some of its many critics, demonstrate concern about issues such as animal welfare where it's deemed possible for the business, and make some changes. Recently, for example, McDonald's decided to stop using ammonium hydroxide in its burgers after celebrity chef Jamie Oliver criticized the use of the filler ingredient as "not fit for a dog."
McDonald's announced its move in conjunction with the Humane Society of the U.S. The stalls confine adult female hogs whose offspring are raised and slaughtered for bacon and sausage, giving the sows enough room only to stand up and sit down. They're among the practices criticized by Chipotle on Sunday in its lengthy ad during the Grammy music awards.Continue reading...
brand vs. brand
Posted by Dale Buss on February 13, 2012 06:06 PM
As it implements a global re-set of its Pepsi brand and corporate priorities, PepsiCo is girding for even more pitched battle with a re-energized Coca-Cola. And if only because PepsiCo plans to boost spending on its major brands by at least a half-billion dollars this year, the competition between the two giants should be the sharpest in some time.
PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi and the company's board announced strategic investments during their business review last week that are aimed at the major pressure points being applied lately by restive PepsiCo investors and others. In the meantime, Coca-Cola also announced massive overall cost cuts as well as a decision to use the savings of up to $650 million in extra marketing and brand buildling.
The boost in marketing outlays announced by PepsiCo will be devoted to the largest beverage brands, especially struggling Pepsi, as well as snack brands. But many of the agencies that have been serving the brands to date are being swept out in a massive 65% reduction in the number of partners used by the beverages business. And Pepsi will be culling many of the non-performers from its 400-plus global brands.Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on February 9, 2012 06:15 PM
Built on the back of its ubiquitous retail operation, Walmart has become the largest grocer in the U.S. That position carries with it a certain responsibility, and Walmart is rising to the occasion. The company, for example, has been publicly acknowledged by the first lady, Michelle Obama, for its work in helping to encourage healthy eating and fight childhood obesity.
As we noted here earlier, Walmart's latest entry into the nutritional battlefield is a product labeling strategy it calls "Great for You." As the company explains, this "nutrition icon" will begin appearing this spring on foods that "meet rigorous nutrition criteria informed by the latest nutrition science and authoritative guidance from the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Institute of Medicine (IOM)."
At first, the green "Great for You" labels, depicting a non-descript person with arms raised, will appear only on products within Walmart's own brands, Great Value and Marketside. Walmart claims, however, that it will allow other brands to make use of the label on products adhering to the same criteria with no licensing fee. In theory, this would help level the playing field between Walmart branded products and other brands sitting on Walmart shelves. But does it?Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 9, 2012 10:02 AM
The Food and Drug Administration said in 2009 that it was going to develop standards for what food products can claim to be healthy and what can’t. But there hasn’t been any kind of report as of yet, and Walmart has decided to stop waiting and make one of its own.
A year after pledging to develop a front-of-pack label that would give its customers an easier way to identify healthier food, and a month after a public commitment with First Lady Michelle Obama to putting nutrition front and center in its stores, the nation’s largest food retailer this week unveiled a “Great For You” icon to create a visual system to educate customers.
The Arkansas-based grocery behemoth announced this week that the seal will appear on a variety of house brand food items, with a WalmartGreatforYou.com website supporting the effort.
The green and white seal, "which shows the stylized outline of a human figure with its arms spread toward the sky, is part of a multiyear campaign the world’s largest retailer is undertaking to promote healthier products and fight childhood obesity," the Associated Press reports.
Walmart says it will adapt to whatever the FDA’s regulations are whenever that list actually is produced, but will for now add the icon to products with lower levels of fat, sugar, and artificial additives. Plus, the seal will appear on signage in the fruits and vegetable section of its grocery area.
“It helps customers see very, very quickly what healthier choices are for them,” stated Andrea Thomas, SVP of sustainability for Wal-Mart Stores. More details are in its press release below.Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Shirley Brady on February 8, 2012 04:23 PM
"McDonald's USA does not use ammonia-treated beef in our hamburgers. The decision to discontinue its use was not related to any particular event, but rather a result of our efforts to align our standards for beef around the world," commented Todd Bacon, the quick-serve brand's aptly-named senior director of quality systems for supply-chain management, in a recent statement to brandchannel. (Bacon is also McDonald's US point person on animal welfare issues.)
The ammonia-free beef message is now rolling out to China with five regional spots tailored to Shanghai, Shenzhen and other markets in a campaign that translates to "Manly Man Beef." Watch another spot below.Continue reading...