brands under fire
Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 21, 2013 11:48 AM
Australia’s smokers had to start purchasing cigarette packs with extremely graphic images on the front last December, which did not sit well with the world’s Big Tobacco companies, whose lawyers have been set loose to try and repeal the Aussies' anti-smoking efforts. Now, New Zealand is ready to enact a similar effort that will remove branding from cigarette packages and sell them with plain wrapping.
New Zealand, however, won’t push forward with the practice until it sees how all that legal wrangling works out for its larger neighbor.
“This announcement demonstrates that the New Zealand government recognizes the significant international trade issues with standardized packaging and will not implement it until the pending international legal challenges to Australia’s law are resolved,” Philip Morris said in a statement. “There is no credible evidence that standardized packaging will lower smoking rates, but strong evidence that it will jeopardize jobs, benefit the black market for cigarettes, and is a breach of international trade rules that have already made Australia’s policy subject to WTO action.”
The WTO actions were set in motion by a few nations that happen to be—surprise!—big producers of tobacco: Ukraine, Zimbabwe, Honduras, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and Indonesia.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 15, 2013 12:56 PM
Coca-Cola has spent plenty of bucks on making iconic ads in the past, but its latest 60-second spot is coming from a low-priced source—a fan of the brand—while the company just revealed a trio of new cans designed by global creative director Marc Jacobs. The details on the latest moves in the cola wars:Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 15, 2013 10:25 AM
Babies, toddlers, and kids love ‘em, so why shouldn’t adults? At least that’s what a few manufacturers of packets filled with pureed fruits and vegetables are thinking.
Happy Family, Buddy Fruits, and GoGo squeeZ “are experimenting with larger portion sizes, simpler designs and sophisticated flavors like cranberry or açaí,” the Wall Street Journal reports. Those aren’t flavors that the diaper set would likely be interested in, but for adults who spend a lot of time in their cars and on the go, squeezable food may have found itself a receptive marketplace. They are certainly popular with babies, even though the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry isn’t a big fan.
Plum Organics reports that “sales of pouch-style baby food more than doubled in the last three months, while baby food in jars and tubs was down 15%,” the Journal notes. Benjamin Punchard, senior global packaging analyst at Mintel, tells the paper that 40 percent of new baby food products or flavors introduced last year came in pouches, up from two percent in 2007.
And why not? Baby foods are a $1.5 billion industry and the pouches help extend the lifespan of the products. “It’s allowing us to age up,” said Maureen Putman, chief marketing officer for the Hain Celestial Group, maker of organic brand Earth’s Best, according to the Tennessean. “Where moms may have stopped baby food at 9 to 12 months, the pouches have really helped extend the shelf life of baby food. We see growth for a long time to come.” Continue reading...
sip on this
Posted by Dale Buss on February 13, 2013 03:23 PM
Coca-Cola just wants to Open Happiness around the world, in keeping with its ongoing marketing theme, including rolling out a Valentine's Day video this week that was shot in New Zealand to thank its multitude of fans. It's just that global consumers haven't been as happy lately to open a Coke.
A slowdown in sales in Europe and China joined essentially stagnant sales in the United States to undermine Coke's fourth-quarter results. Global sales volume rose just three percent even as the beverage giant's earnings rose by 13 percent during the period.
Ongoing struggles in Europe were a main drag, with volume falling by five percent. Even sales in China, another key market, fell by four percent as Chinese consumers increasingly feel crimped. Meanwhile, the U.S., pushing an anemic economic recovery, yielded just a one percent sales gain during the quarter, though CEO Muhtar Kent said on Tuesday's earnings call that the American market "could get better."Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on January 31, 2013 07:55 PM
The Old Spice Man is no longer on a horse, but he's got a few other creatures at his back.
The latest W+K effort by director Tom Kuntz for the P&G-owned brand promises unbridled (yet elegant) animal magnetism with The Wild Collection, a trio of manly new scents: Wolfthorn, Hawkridge and Foxcrest. The tagline, naturally, is "Answer the smell of the wild."
Watch the first two spots, featuring tuxedo-clad gents and their wolf and hawk companions, along with their social messaging, below. Update: According to Ad Age, the Wolfthorn spot will run during the Super Bowl — but only in Alaska, home to America's biggest wolf population.Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 31, 2013 02:02 PM
In an unusual move by a major brand, CPG giant Nestlé responded this week to a $5 million U.S. class action suit over trans fats in its frozen pizza brands by posting a video on YouTube that pushed back against the claims.
The video, posted Wednesday on Nestle USA's corporate YouTube channel, was removed without explanation on Thursday (update: it's now back online).
The suit, filed by Katie Simpson of San Diego, Calif., claims that Nestle’s frozen pizza brands—DiGiorno, Stouffer’s, and California Pizza Kitchen—are a danger to public health because they contain trans fats. The ingredients are legal in U.S. packaged goods, though the state of California, New York City and Philadelphia have banned their use in restaurants.
"Katie has two young children and she likes to make pizza for them, and all kids love pizza," her attorney, Greg Watson, told ABC's Good Morning America. "It shouldn't have a toxic food additive that's been banned all around the world."Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 23, 2013 03:58 PM
It’s been slightly more than a year since Coca-Cola failed quite publicly in attempting to help fight climate change — an effort that made plenty of consumers unhappy with the beverage company's embrace of a controversial political cause.
But Coke hasn't backed down, continuing its partnership with the World Wildlife Fund to help keep the Arctic ice intact and protected from melting — and help save its iconic polar bear.
To help the cause, Coke will hand over $4 million to the WWF for its Arctic Home project over the next three years. Further, 300 million Coke products will feature the image of a mother polar bear and her two cubs, according to a press release from the nonprofit Responding to Climate Change.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 17, 2013 03:01 PM
The Keebler Elves may make some fine crackers and cookies inside their massive treehouse, but Kraft Foods is hoping to force the Kellogg-owned Keebler and Sandies to find a new way to keep their products from going stale.
Kraft filed suit in Chicago federal court Wednesday with the claim that Kellogg “improperly uses one of its patents,” Reuters reported.
The dispute stems from the resealable packaging that Kellogg uses (and customers like). Kraft claims it's too similar to its “Snack ‘n Seal” packaging.
Another food packaging design dispute is moving through the Chicago federal court system. An inventor took H.J. Heinz Co. to court last summer claiming that the company's “Dip & Squeeze” packaging too closely resembled his patented design.
Kellogg and Kraft may be competing on another front this week as well.Continue reading...