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brand challenges

For Kraft Foods, Recalling 2.4M Macaroni & Cheese Boxes Isn't the Only Challenge

Posted by Dale Buss on March 17, 2015 09:09 PM

As Kraft Foods' new CEO John Cahill commented on a quarterly earnings call last month, times are tough for the consumer packaged goods giant—and that was before the company voluntarily recalled 242,000 cases or 6.5 million individual boxes of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese today, or fell out with dietitians over a "Kids Eat Right" logo on Kraft Singles.

"Our brands can be found in 98% of the United States and Canadian households. They are some of the most well-recognized in our markets, if not around the world. Yet Kraft Foods hasn't gained share as a company for some time," Cahill told analysts on last month's earnings call. "And in 2014, we did not grow share in any individual category. We merely held flat at 60% of our US businesses, and lost share in the other 40%."

So if you’re Cahill or a fellow Kraft Foods executive these days, you realize that your competition isn't just other CPG giants such as ConAgra or Unilever or even Mondelez International, the Kraft spinoff where you’ve probably got several former colleagues.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Kraft, David Carr, Kanye West and more

Posted by Dale Buss on February 13, 2015 09:05 AM


Kraft CMO Deanie Elsner departs in big management shakeup.

Media industry mourns the loss of David Carr of the The New York Times.

Kanye West stages free concert in New York and unveils first collection with adidas to star-studded New York Fashion Week audience.

Nike celebrates Michael Jordan as part of NBA All-Star weekend marketing.

Renault, Calvin Klein and Revlon place cinema ads in UK around "Fifty Shades of Grey" as Renault profits are lifted by European sales.Continue reading...

chew on this

What McDonald's Could Learn from Popeye's—and Burger King

Posted by Dale Buss on November 7, 2014 05:04 PM

McDonald's might be able to take a lesson from another brand that seems to be turning things around: Burger King. Yes, Burger King—the fast-food industry's longtime No. 2 player now has McDonald's in its sights.

The North American quick-serve-restaurant category remains beleaguered by consumers' money woes and by competition from the likes of Chipotle and Panera.  

But it's McDonald's that's facing the greatest pressure right now, with sluggish sales, a fading brand reputation and struggles with everything from low-wage workers to speed of service. The chain continues to fight, though, recently launching a food transparency campaign and continuing to reshuffle top management, especially in its U.S. operations.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Alibaba, Apple, Electrolux and more

Posted by Dale Buss on September 8, 2014 09:23 AM


Alibaba kicks off road show today for potential largest IPO.

Apple nears launch of new iPhone as lines form and carriers' strategy of scaling back subsidies poses risks, while company gears up to market larger screens.

Electrolux buys GE appliance business.

Nissan wins real-time marketing with 7-minute Twitter response to Royal Baby news.

GM plans to launch hands-free driving by 2016.


Activision launches huge promotion to make a megahit out of "Destiny" game.

Amazon is in talks to sell Fire phone exclusively through Telefonica's O2 in UK.

Annie's organic brand sells to General Mills.

Boeing and Ryanair plan major fleet announcement.

Bud Light faces gripes at end of "Whatever" event in Crested Butte, Colo.

Campbell Soup swings to profit on higher sales.

Chick-fil-A observes death of founder S. Truett Cathy.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Coca-Cola, Target, Whole Foods and more

Posted by Dale Buss on July 31, 2014 09:43 AM


Bloomberg Businessweek's new cover story hits Coca-Cola in the stomach over obesity.

Target hires PepsiCo veteran Brian Cornell as new CEO.

Apple reportedly plans to cut 200 jobs at Beats as $3B acquisition gets EU approval.

Budweiser features Jay Z and Rihanna in new campaign as MTV lands Beyonce solo for VMAs.

Whole Foods Markets lowers sales forecast and plans major marketing push to reverse "negative narrative."


AMC, the Mad Men/Breaking Bad network, reportedly eyes stake in BBC America.

American Express pursues “first-ever” experiences for customers.

BlackBerry's new COO discusses his goals with WSJ.

BMW kicks the tires on Medium as its first advertiser.

Bud and Miller struggle to take on craft beer.

Chevrolet increases focus on China.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: McDonald's, Amazon, Apple and more

Posted by Dale Buss on July 30, 2014 09:22 AM


McDonald's told that it must address workers' complaints regarding protest discipline in ruling considered major victory for fast food workers.

Amazon plans to invest $2 billion in India as it calls for Hachette to lower e-book prices in their dispute.

Burger King follows Yum! Brands in cutting ties with China meat supplier.

Johnson & Johnson turns to social media to lure Millennial moms to baby products after cutting out controversial ingredients. 

Apple's iWatch patent approved, but launch may be pushed back


Best Buy CEO sees tablet sales "crashing."

Boys & Girls Clubs turns to fear in new campaign.

C-SPAN is headed behind the cable TV paywall

Chrysler is sued over Jeep ignition-switch failures.

Dunkin' Donuts partners with Discovery for Shark Week promo.Continue reading...

brand challenges

Darden CEO Steps Down as New Red Lobster Owner Outlines Comeback

Posted by Dale Buss on July 29, 2014 03:50 PM

Darden Restaurants is waving a white flag in front of activist investors such as Starboard Value, but it doesn’t appear to be big enough. The investment groups that are down on Darden still want to dismember it.

Darden CEO Clarence Otis said yesterday that he will step down at the end of the year, and the company invited opposing investors to fill as many as three of the company’s 12 board seats by saying it will nominate only nine directors at the next annual meeting. Previously, Darden jettisoned its Red Lobster chain, a deal that was finalized earlier this week, and has accelerated its ongoing overhaul of Olive Garden restaurants.

Nope, still not enough. “Significant change is required in the Darden boardroom,” said James A. Mitarotonda, CEO of another activist group, Barington Capital. Starboard called Darden’s moves “a token change.”Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Apple, Crocs, Time Warner and more

Posted by Dale Buss on July 22, 2014 09:07 AM


Apple is gearing up for bigger iPhones (and iPhone sales).

Crocs plans layoffs and store closures in major restructuring move.

Facebook introduces "Save" feature.

Herbalife faces Enron-like fraud claim.

Time Warner moves to thwart bid by Murdoch.


Aldi cofounder dies at 94.

AT&T commits to supporting STEM and chants up the New York Yankees.

Allergan cuts 13 percent of workforce and drug research. 

Campbell Soup Co. focuses on Millennial moms as it introduces organic items.

Chipotle keeps booming as it rides increased prices.

Dick's celebrates the everyday athlete in new emotional spot

Express CEO hands reins to company’s president.Continue reading...

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