Best Global Green Brands 2014

London 2012

London 2012 Watch: Coca-Cola Stays On Message, Defies Critics

Posted by Dale Buss on July 9, 2012 12:01 PM

While many global marketers are aiming Olympics-related campaigns at young consumers, the real core of TV watchers of London's Summer Olympics are expected to be older Gen X-ers and boomers. Those generations also struggle more than younger ones with obesity and other health issues.

All of that may be why Coca-Cola is using its Olympics sponsorship to do more than promote its new global "Move to the Beat" campaign, which is aimed at teens. Another new initiative by Coke is highlighting active lifestyles by centering on an "eight-pack" of athletes even though the first one revealed — Shawn Johnson — won't be competing in London following her recent surprise retirement from the sport.

In a challenging time in America for soft drink brands, led by New York City's proposed ban on large soft drinks, Coke is hoisting a healthy living banner into the London 2012 Olympics with a campaign which claims that — despite being dismissed as overcaloric sugar water by many health critics — the brand actually has an association with healthy lifestyles.Continue reading...

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NYC Soda Wars: US Beverage Giants Swat Back at Bloomberg Proposal

Posted by Dale Buss on July 3, 2012 01:11 PM

If the battle between New York and Big Soda were a sumo wrestling match, it might shake the entire Eastern Seaboard. The two giants have only begun squaring off in a titanic battle for the gullets and obeisance of Manhattan residents and the moral high ground too, after Mayor Bloomberg's proposed ban on selling carbonated soft drinks above 16 ounces in regulated outlets in Gotham.

The American soft-drink industry is ramping up its campaign to fight New York's proposed restrictions on large sugary drinks. Now the city is in the midst of a public-comment period on the proposal ahead of a scheduled July 24th public hearing, and PepsiCo, Coca-Cola and allies aren't sugar-coating their words in letting it be known exactly what they think of Bloomberg's idea.Continue reading...

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Life, Liberte and the Pursuit of US Greek-Yogurt Market Share

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...

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Butter is Back, But Don't Blame Paula Deen

Posted by Dale Buss on June 29, 2012 01:01 PM

Lest traditional June Dairy Month close before dairy products get their well-deserved day in the marketing sun, let's turn our attention to a rising star in the milk-products firmament: butter.

That's right — congealed animal fat. The traditional Public Health Enemy No. 1 — cue the Paula Deen references — when it comes to clogged arteries. The iconic dairy product that you thought was a goner long before Oldsmobile. Butter is actually enjoying a renaissance these days — perhaps a halo effect from the popularity of bacon, and certainly thanks in part to efforts by the leading U.S. butter brand, Land O' Lakes.

Whether margarine or butter actually is more healthful has been a confused issue for decades now after margarine took an early lead. "People have become concerned about industrially produced trans fatty acids found in margarines, which increases risk factors for heart disease," Gregory Miller, EVP of the National Dairy Council, told brandchannel. And "we have learned that saturated fat intake is not as important a risk factor for heart disease as previously thought."Continue reading...

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"Shazam!" Stonyfield Creates "Food Superhero" Corps to Fight Obesity

Posted by Dale Buss on June 28, 2012 12:02 PM

Stonyfield Farms CEO Gary Hirshberg continually stresses the rationale for organic eating and frequently mentions that avoiding diseases caused by pesticides and other factors in the diet is a huge part of it. But it's a strong message that isn't digested easily by American consumers who aren't true believers in organic, so the brand must continually develop more palatable ways to spread the gospel of organic eating.

The brand's new "Be a Food Superhero" campaign attempts to make that message more fun. The Londonderry, N.H.-based leader of the U.S. organic-yogurt market — majority-owned by Groupe Danone — is pitching the light-hearted campaign on Facebook to draw folks to a microsite.

Once there, they can virtually assume the identity of a "superhero" and use that persona to explore baby steps that they can take to improve their diet and the sustainability of organic agriculture. Along the way, the brand will kick in a contribution by Stonyfield to FoodCorps, which builds "healhty school food environments in high-obesity, limited-resource communities," as Stonyfield put it in a statement.Continue reading...

long arm of the law

NYC War on Big Soda Hotly Debated by New Yorkers, and The New Yorker

Posted by Dale Buss on June 13, 2012 02:02 PM

As New York City enters a period of public comment on Mayor Michael Bloomberg's proposed ban on large soft drinks, it seems that everyone already has had a lot to say about it. What's left?

There's the contingent who's backing the entire idea, including the city's health commissioner, Dr. Thomas Farley. He heads NYC's Board of Health, which voted unanimously on Tuesday to put Bloomberg's controversial (and lampooned on the current cover of The New Yorker) proposal to the public.

Other avowed fans of the proposed ban include ex-Coca-Cola marketing executive Todd Putman, who has gone on a mea culpa tour to oppose the soft-drink industry and expose his earlier 'dirty' work.

"How can we drive more ounces into more bodies more often" was how Putman described what he perceived as his mission as a Coke marketer.

Meanwhile, however, the proposed ban has fallen flat with New Yorkers in a new poll by Quinnipiac University. Slightly more than half — 51 percent — are against the idea, led by older voters, with 57 percent of those aged 50 to 64 raising their hands as opposed. Manhattan lodged the highest geographic support.Continue reading...

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Quaker, Nestle Invest More in Research

Posted by Dale Buss on June 8, 2012 09:15 AM

Remember the old aphorism about eating oatmeal because it "sticks to your ribs?" Quaker Oats now plans to find out whether that is at least metaphorically true — and, if so, whether there might be a new "satiety" benefit to eating its oatmeal products that could help promote the brand.

That's just one of the objectives of the new Quaker Oats Center of Excellence, a research nexus announced this week by the PepsiCo brand. The company is streamlining and accelerating research around other potential health and nutrition benefits of oats besides it well-documented, government-approved claim to help lower cholesterol levels and thus mitigate heart disease.

Also, Nestle announced that it has centralized its clinical-research efforts at a new unit in its headquarters city of Lausanne, Switzerland, with the aim of rationalizing the planning and management of clinical trials and fundamental research projects so that it's better positioned to gain health claims by the European Food Safety Authority. The new Nestle unit also is expected to help it expand its global reach and better adapt products to gloabl needs, a Nestle executive told NutraIngredients.com.

Both efforts are significant as mainstream CPG giants seek much bigger gains in the world of better-for-you products, just as they for so long have dominated markets for mainstream foods and beverages.Continue reading...

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Hey, Joe Likes It! Kirin Mets Cola Pitches Men as "Fat Busting Health Drink"

Posted by Dale Buss on June 7, 2012 11:55 AM

The last major food that promised to cut weight by inhibiting digestion of fat after ingesting it was potato chips that contained Olestra. And we know what happened with that.

Now, Japan's Kirin Holdings is selling a beverage called Kirin Mets Cola that claims to reduce fat absorption by the body if it's consumed with a meal. Launched in Japan in April in 480ml bottles, Mets Cola became the first cola to receive clearance under Japan's strict new food-regulatory regime, according to BeverageDaily.com.

While it has nothing to do with the New York Mets or baseball, it certainly has a pitch as a "fat busting health drink" for men. No surprise, the cola drink is a runaway hit in Japan.Continue reading...

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