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Posted by Dale Buss on May 9, 2013 09:47 AM
Coca-Cola broadened its pledges to provide more calorie information to consumers and to stop advertising to children around the world, but the media was quick to scour the fine print of the company's promises as the beverage leader tries to win over consumers.
CEO Muhtar Kent announced on Wednesday, the brand's 127th anniversary, that the company was taking a four-pronged approach to battling obesity, an issue that it has acknowledged lately in many ways but at the same time has attempted to deflect blame from its iconic sugary sodas.
As part of an initiative it's calling Coming Together, Coca-Cola wants to communicate that it's part of the solution, not the problem. The beverage giant and its local partners will label all packages with calorie details on the front, expand the availability of low- and no-calorie beverages in every market, support more physical activity programs, and stop advertising to children under 12.Continue reading...
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Posted by Dale Buss on May 8, 2013 07:21 PM
It just got more difficult to find a cup of coffee (and many other beverages) without Starbucks' imprint on it. The company vastly expanded its arrangement with an extension of its agreement with Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, tripling the number of branded items made for Keurig single-serve coffee machines.
Starbucks saved analysts and journalists the trouble of evaluating the deal by calling it a "global single-serve coffee industry game changer" and a "win-win-win agreement for both companies and for premium coffee consumers around the world" in its press release.
Specifically, Starbucks will add new single-serve cup cartridges for Keurig machines under the Seattle's Best Coffee, Torrefazione Italia coffee, Teavana Teas and Starbucks Cocoa brands in addition to Starbucks branded coffees. Sales of Starbucks coffee K-Cup packs rose more than 75 percent in March compared with the prior year.Continue reading...
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Posted by Dale Buss on April 24, 2013 05:57 PM
Coke has always been a brand skewed toward youth, but it's always been popular with the baby-boomer cohort and Generation Y that aged along with the brand. Now, Coca-Cola is attempting to repel itself away from its aging base in two dramatic ways—with a heavily teen-skewed new digital advertising campaign, and with a changing of the guard on its relatively ancient board of directors.
First, the exciting stuff: Coke has launched a new overall ad strategy for this year, and for years to come, under the tag line "The Ahh Effect," created by Wieden & Kennedy. The idea is to emphasize digitized content on mobile screens, as well as some crowdsourcing, to engage younger consumers in a myriad of ways in the experience of what it's like to drink a Coke—and say "ahh."
"Coke is the ultimate in refreshment, and ... your first response when drinking Coke should be a hearty 'Aah,'" Pio Schunker, Coca-Cola's vice president of integrated marketing communications, explained to reporters, according to Advertising Age.Continue reading...
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Posted by Dale Buss on April 19, 2013 02:43 PM
PepsiCo continues to ramp up marketing investments for its core brands including Pepsi, Gatorade, Lay's and Quaker. And so while first-quarter earnings showed a drop of 5 percent from a year earlier, the increased advertising outlays may be the harbinger of future top- and bottom-line payoffs from brands that critics say were underexposed for years.
Besides, PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi said this week, the additional marketing investments—which she promised for last year to the tune of an additional half-billion in global expenditures on core brands—are being offset by the fruits of the company's $3-billion productivity program.
"With the productivity we're unlocking, we're able to invest in growth drivers like advertising and new-product launches to simultaneously drive margin improvement," she told analysts on a conference call, according to Advertising Age. But, she cautioned, "Any growth we achieve in one area takes from another area where we compete."Continue reading...
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Posted by Dale Buss on April 16, 2013 04:39 PM
Coca-Cola took one step back a few years ago by acquiring large pieces of its bottling operations. Now the company plans to take two steps forward by handing back big chunks of its bottling system to selected independent bottlers as part of Coke's overall creation of a national bottling and distribution system that will give it far more control over sales, distribution and balancing of its brands.
Specifically, Coke disclosed a rough framework for handing off distribution in certain geographic areas to five established, independent bottlers either through an outright sale, a swap of territory or other arrangements. Closings, after more negotiations, are expected by year-end.
"We are intent to make the necessary changes in the format and architecture of production to achieve ... a coast-to-coast, nationally run production system," Coke CEO Muhtar Kent said on Tuesday's earnings call, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Under the new arrangements, the bottlers will be able to take part in that model by purchasing trucks, coolers and other equipment to distribute the products in their territories, the newspaper said. The national model also will enable Coke to be more responsive to large customers like Walmart because the company can make centralized sales and marketing decisions. PepsiCo similarly concentrated its bottling operations three years ago but Coke has moved first on the next step.Continue reading...
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Posted by Dale Buss on April 8, 2013 10:38 AM
There's nothing "new" about either aspect of Solixir energy drinks' product line or advertising campaign, but the Chicago-based beverage startup has created an original mashup of functional drinks and zombie-based marketing.
Solixir's four situation-specific formulas are Restore (for immune support), Think (for mental acuity), Relax and Awaken (for a "gentle" energy boost). It becomes the umpteenth beverage brand, ranging from startups to Fortune 500 behemoths, that lately have tried to snare American consumers with the promise of providing just the right two-ounce elixir for whatever nutritional or life challenge or circumstance that is facing them at a particular moment.
At the same time, basing a marketing campaign on zombie chic is like beating a dead ... well, whatever. As noted over the weekend by the Wall Street Journal, "interest in flesh-eating ghouls has far outstripped popular enthusiasm for vampires, wizards and hobbits." Even the federal government is using zombies to market these days in the wake of the mammoth success of AMC's The Walking Dead, buzz for the coming movie World War Z and other exemplars of the meme. And, of course, there's Zombie Blood and Zombie Jerky.Continue reading...
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Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 2, 2013 05:02 PM
Nescafé is turning 75 and promising even more gusto going forward. The grandfather of instant coffee, made by Nestlé, (the name is a portmanteau of the words Nestlé and café) it was introduced in Switzerland, April 1, 1938.
Now (as you can find out in Nestle's anniversary slideshow and Facebook celebration, among other festive touchpoints) more than 5,500 cups of Nescafé are consumed every second in variations catering to taste preferences around the world.
The brand is getting a big boost from the Chinese and Japanese markets and the imminent market availability of new Dolce Gusto systems for coffee pods and premium Nespresso machines. "Nescafe is a big brand with different faces," said CEO Paul Bulcke to Reuters. "Nescafe is growing very well in China, but also in Japan, which is an important market. For example in Asia, Nescafe 3-in-1 sticks with milk and sugar that are ready to be used, are very strong."Continue reading...
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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...