Posted by Dale Buss on May 14, 2013 04:47 PM
Joining a long roster of freshened iconic-female CPG logos that includes Betty Crocker, Aunt Jemima and Wendy of fast-food fame, Little Debbie is getting a modern makeover. The face of the snack-cake brand is being tweaked by owner McKee Foods for just the third time since the iconic logo was introduced in 1960.
The difference between Little Debbie and the other three females is that she's the only real person who is still working in a key role with the company whose eponymous logo she inspired. Debbie McKee-Fowler is still an executive vice president of McKee, a family-owned, Collegedale, Tenn.-based company that was founded by her grandfather, O.D. McKee. Grandpa was inspired by the angelic visage of his three-and-a-half-year-old granddaughter to make her the fresh and appealing face of his new food enterprise.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on May 3, 2013 01:38 PM
Bowl by bowl, traditional ready-to-eat cereal is getting more nutritious and edging its way back into the healthful perimeter that more Americans are putting around their diets. Kellogg and General Mills, the industry giants, are making that a priority for their brands.
Kellogg, for example, plans to introduce new products infused with more nutrients to help bring back better-educated, higher-income adults to the traditional breakfast that so many of them enjoyed as kids. The new offerings include Raisin Bran with omega-3s and a multigrain version of Special K that will debut later this month in North America. Lately, Kellogg also has been promoting the simple goodness of some of its classic cereals because of their grain content.
CEO John Bryant told analysts that kids and lower-income adults are still spooning up plenty of cereal, according to the Associated Press, but higher-income adults have been cutting back. "I don't think they're really that price-sensitive," he said. "The real issue there is innovation."Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 2, 2013 03:36 PM
As Kermit the Frog taught an entire generation, “It's not easy being green.”
Clorox’s Green Works is a case study in the steep learning curve of green branding. The line of environmentally friendly housecleaning products launched in 2008 with an endorsement from the Sierra Club, which helped boost its market penetration and credibility.
That $1.3 million contract ends in December and the brand chose Earth Day to announce a strategic marketing revamp, including a new tone of voice (embodied by its new manifesto, posted on Facebook and its website) and the removal of the Sierra Club logo from all Green Works packaging, a clear sign of the times as green cleaning products have been forced to reduce their premium prices and re-position the sell to deflect declining sales.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on May 1, 2013 10:34 AM
Three heavyweights of American industrialism were among those who spoke at a Fortune's Brainstorm Green conference, and they had a lot to say about what they're doing to make their companies more sustainable.
GM CEO Dan Akerson, Procter & Gamble CEO Bob McDonald, and General Mills CEO Kendall Powell each held forth at the sustainability-focused confab.
Akerson was the most newsworthy. He is genuinely fond of the Chevrolet Volt and will defend it against all comers, Akerson threw a potential trump card on the table against critics of GM's groundbreaking plug-in hybrid who believe it's way too expensive for whatever environmental benefits it yields, especially given all the federal-government subsidies it gets: The company plans a price cut of $7,000 to $10,000 on the "next generation" of the car and even plans for Volt "to be profitable," Akerson said.Continue reading...
sip on this
Posted by Dale Buss on April 2, 2013 10:01 AM
Food giants General Mills, Kellogg and PepsiCo aren't the only companies competing to get Americans to drink their breakfasts these days. A startup called Oatworks also is tapping into the trend, and starting in New York City of all places.
Each 10.8-ounce bottle of Oatworks has the fiber equivalent to two bowls of oatmeal. Fruit purees and juices join the water-soluble fiber from oat components in the Oatworks formula, available at Duane Reade stores and independent natural-foods outlets, in pomegranate-blueberry, mango-peach and strawberry-banana flavors, at suggested prices ranging up to $3 a bottle.
The key to acceptance of Oatworks by Gothamites and beyond as the brand expands, is for consumers to taste the beverage and realize that it has a "good finish"—not a lumpy or even particulate mouthfeel as they might expect from a beverage chock full of oats.
"You wouldn't notice [the oats] at all," David Peters, CEO of the New York-based startup, told brandchannel. "A lot of consumers are pleasantly surprised at that."Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 15, 2013 05:46 PM
It’s been more than 1,500 years since Saint Patrick was laid to rest and could no longer use the shamrock to explain to Christians the idea of the Holy Trinity. Thanks to St. Patrick's Day every March 17th, his legacy inspires millions the world over to consume massive amounts of alcohol and shout “Top of the morning to ya!” to anyone who passes. With such a jovial reputation, you can bet that brands, alcoholic or not, take advantage of the built-in marketing ploy—and not just those participating in Pantone's color of the year for 2013.Continue reading...
sip on this
Posted by Dale Buss on March 4, 2013 06:22 PM
American ready-to-eat-cereal brands are coming along to help close the shrinking gap between breakfast solids and liquids with new "on-the-go" beverages aimed at helping Americans ingest the nutrition of a typical morning repast without having to sit at their kitchen tables to do so.
Kellogg plans to roll out its Breakfast To Go drink across the U.S. this year while General Mills has been testing a similar drink called BFast in Northeast markets. Both of them are milk-based but are fortified with fiber, more protein and other things that essentially give them the nutritional value of a bowl of cereal and milk. BFast relies on whole-grain quinoa and inulin, a root derivative for fiber, while Breakfast To Go includes whey-protein concentrate and soy-protein isolate.
"We're seeing a very good response to this," Kellogg CEO John Bryant said in a recent presentation, talking about the test of Breakfast To Go at a major retailer (it sells for $6/4 bottles at Walmart). "Still early days, but we see it as an opportunity to bring consumers in who otherwise would be skipping breakfast or skipping cereal and eating something else. So [it's] an opportunity for us to participate more in dashboard dining when it comes to a product that's actually hard to do that [with], traditional cereal."Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 28, 2013 11:27 AM
In what seems like impeccable timing, Nestlé CEO Paul Bulcke delivered a sustainability-focused keynote at the annual City Food Lecture in the U.K., ultimately challenging the accusations made about the company in a damning Oxfam report earlier this week.
The speech, which focused on the escalating perils of water scarcity, outlined that fresh water overuse poses a serious environmental, political and social hazard. Water is an issue near and dear to his heart, as the Swiss company is the world's No. 3 producer of bottled water, and looking to expand in water-constrained markets such as China.
“It is anticipated that there will be up to 30% shortfalls in global cereal production by 2030 due to water scarcity,” he said. “This is a loss equivalent to the entire grain crops of India and the United States combined.” What's more, he added, “We could produce what we produce today with half the water we use.”
In his address, Bulcke cited his company’s reduction of water usage by a third with 1,200 agronomists working with Nestlé to better manage its water use. Bulcke also commented that consumer acceptance of misshapen fruit and vegetables is necessary to cut waste of food products, as well as spoke out against the fuel industry for using food crops to create biofuels.
Bulcke also took the opportunity to further address the horse meat crisis affecting retailers such as IKEA and manufacturers in Europe, a crisis that compelled Nestle to pull some food products off store shelves last week. “Widespread fraud is being committed by a few across Europe. I understand that many consumers and many of you in the industry feel misled, I feel the same. This should not happen, it is unforgivable. We have let our consumers down.”Continue reading...