brands under fire

Size Matters, Gets Pepsi and Coke Pulled From Shelves in UAE

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 20, 2012 04:02 PM

Coke and Pepsi have irked the United Arab Emirates’ Ministry of Economy to the extend that the country has kicked their soda cans from local store shelves, according to

At issue: UAE officials claim that the two cola companies reduced the size of their cans that sell for 1.50 Dirham (41 cents) and continued charging the same amount without informing consumers, which the UAE's consumer watchdogs sees as tantamount to "consumer fraud."Continue reading...

afternoon snack

Ben & Jerry's Launches Frozen Greek Yogurt

Posted by Shirley Brady on February 15, 2012 05:01 PM

Frozen yogurt? It's all Greek to Ben & Jerry's, evidently, as the Unilever-owned brand is jumping on the Greek Yogurt craze with a line of frozen Greek yogurt.

The Junk Food Guy blog got the scoop by sampling B&J's new Strawberry Shortcake Greek frozen yogurt flavor after spotting it at his local supermarket. His verdict: "very soft, fluffy, CREAMY, and not super sweet. The strawberry flavor was present but not overwhelming, and the little bits of strawberries added an accent here and there."

The description on the package, which features the brand's iconic jersey cow wearing a Greek laurel wreath and Greek yogurt as the second listed ingredient:

Sweet Eureka! It's our most epic Fro Yo yet & it's uniquely Greek! Made with real Greek Yogurt, it's all the creamy richness of Greek yogurt, and Ben & Jerrily loaded with all the flavor boldness and fun chunks you expect. We think it's really Greekin' good & it'll pretty much rock your acropolis. 

According to the On Second Scoop blog, the brand's updated Fro Yo line launches next week. Besides Strawberry Shortcake, other flavors apparently include Raspberry Fudge Chunk, Blackberry Vanilla Graham Cracker, and Banana Peanut Butter.

Take a closer look at the packaging, as photographed by the Junk Food Guy, below.Continue reading...

sip on this

Tropicana's Low-Cal Trop50 is a Rising Star for PepsiCo

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...

brand commentary

Walmart's New Healthy Labels: Great for You, or Great for Them?

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...

health matters

Walmart's "Great for You" Icon Promotes Healthier Food Choices

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 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

SunChips All-Natural? One Man Doesn’t Think So

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 31, 2012 06:07 PM

If you get all puffed up with double scoops of self-righteousness whenever you put your pennies toward munchies with “all-natural ingredients,” such as Frito-Lay’s Tostitos or now-quieter SunChips, instead of the alternative, a New York man is suggesting that you might want to chill out.

New Yorker Chris Shake has filed a “proposed class-action lawsuit” that claims “snacks actually contain corn and oils made from genetically engineered plants.” Shake says in the suit that he paid an extra dime per ounce so he could have all-natural products, but then “independent testing conducted on samples of Frito-Lay products labeled ‘all natural’ uncovered the presence of ingredients — including corn and vegetable oils — made from genetically modified plants,” according to Reuters.Continue reading...

package design

Kangaroo Cigarette Pack Swings at Australia’s Tobacco Laws

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 31, 2012 11:01 AM

Australia is getting tough with tobacco companies. The government there recently voted to ban branded packaging for cigarettes and only allow them to be sold in plain packages that only contain graphic warnings against smoking.

Several tobacco companies have taken legal action against the law and now a different form of payback has emerged: British American Tobacco's Winfield brand cigarettes sold in France “feature a picture of a kangaroo on the front, with a map of Australia and the words ‘An Australian Favourite,’” according to the Telegraph. The health warning, "Fumer tue," translated to "Smoking Kills."

The Aussie packaging, of course, is not sitting well with Australia’s Health Minister, Nicola Roxon.

“Many Australians are going to be outraged that a big tobacco company all the way round the world is using Australia's healthy lifestyle to market their deadly products," she stated. "What I think it's really showing is the sneaky levels that tobacco companies will go to encourage people to buy their products."

The legal case against the Australian government is set to be heard in April.

The Australian Society for Kangaroo Lovers probably isn’t happy about it, either.


Brands Risk Consumer Fallout From Green Logo Overload

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 26, 2012 12:29 PM

As the world becomes more and more aware of environmental issues, pretty much everybody and their brother is thinking globally and acting locally.

And marketers, of course, have taken plenty of notice and are more than willing to share just how great their product is for the environment or how great the production of their product is good for the environment (or at least isn’t that harmful). The incredible growth of these little notices to consumers, which generally come in the form of stickers of symbols and little logos stuck to their products, are starting to seemingly mean nothing.

The Seattle Times notes that the government has not set up “one central eco-labeling system” because it “would be extremely expensive and complicated to operate.” Instead, there are numerous eco-labeling programs that are generally dedicated to one industry.Continue reading...

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