brand news

In the News: CES 2014, Mercedes-Benz, Yahoo and more

Posted by Dale Buss on January 6, 2014 09:07 AM

In the News

CES opens in Las Vegas.

Mercedes-Benz beats BMW in US luxury-car race.

Yahoo says some ads on its European sites spread malware last week.

Apple acquires Snappycam photo-app company.

Amazon's Jeff Bezos was lifted from a Galapagos Islands cruise after a kidney-stone attack.

Boeing sees workers narrowly approve major contract extension in economic win for region.

CNN plans to shake up its prime-time lineup this year.

Chrysler is scored by China over fires in imported Jeep Wrangler.

Curves lands Jillian Michaels for January workout push.

Dannon broadens target audience for Activia.

Fiat said likely to list new shares with Chrysler in New York.

Ford scored biggest US auto-market share gain in '13.Continue reading...

china

The Rise and Fall of KFC China

Posted by Abe Sauer on December 10, 2013 03:49 PM

A quarter century ago, Chinese consumers hungry for a taste of America formed hours-long lines in Beijing's Tiananmen Square outside a KFC, the nation's first. A year later, the opening of KFC's first restaurant in Shanghai was one of that famous city's most remarkable and memorable events of the year. More than a decade later, KFC was maybe America's most successful experiment in the new, open China; a China case study taught to MBA students in programs both prestigious and not. Investors hailed KFC's deft menu localization and aggressive locally-flavored marketing, tactics that had made it more successful in China than in its native land, a jewel in the Yum! Brands crown.

Then came 2012. KFC has never recovered. Continue reading...

china

The Week in China: Year of the Horse Brand Blitz, Bitter Bitcoin and more

Posted by Abe Sauer on December 6, 2013 12:38 PM

China is the second largest economy in the world and every significant brand's future is impacted by its growth (or collapse)—but who's got the time?! Here's the week's reads that will make you look like a keen China observer in case you find yourself immersed in a cultural conversation.

This week: The Year of the Horse commemorative products... Bitcoin vs.  China... Ford brings Mustang to China... L'Oreal gets Fan Bingbing... Carrefour grows... Volvo up... Suzuki gets "Authentic"... Toyota signals an end of Japan automaker woes... Qoros sells "made in China"... Arnie sees the sights... and more.Continue reading...

china

The Week in China: Starbucks Spreads Holiday Cheer, KFC Splits, China's 'Doorbusters' and more

Posted by Abe Sauer on November 29, 2013 12:18 PM

China is the second largest economy in the world and every significant brand's future is impacted by its growth (or collapse)—but who's got the time?! Here's the week's reads that will make you look like a keen China observer in case you find yourself immersed in a cultural conversation.

This week: Starbucks and Christmas time come (again) to China… Ford outpacing GM… KFC breaks up… Nissan turns to heartthrobs… Ferrari owner age… Twitter's Asia strategy… Hugo Boss woes… so long, cognac… how China does "door busters"... and more.Continue reading...

china

The Week in China: Single's Day Sham, Only-Child Law Loosened, GM Jumps Ship and more

Posted by Abe Sauer on November 15, 2013 05:25 PM

China is the second largest economy in the world and every significant brand's future is impacted by its growth (or collapse)—but who's got the time?! Here's the week's reads that will make you look like a keen China observer in case you find yourself immersed in a cultural conversation.

This week: Single's Day's billion dollar buyer's remorse… Lego boom… KFC less terrible… Moutai goes French… JPMorgan in hot water… stolen Rolls-Royces… GM going to Singapore… MomentCam app boom... Tesla sold a car… your garbage is gold… GOLD! and more.Continue reading...

chew on this

FDA Seeks to Vanquish Trans-Fats by Giving Them 'Non-GRAS' Status

Posted by Dale Buss on November 8, 2013 07:47 PM

Brands have been fleeing artery-clogging trans fats since a FDA labeling requirement for the stuff in 2006, but now the federal agency likely will finish off hold-out trans-fat products with a preliminary ruling this week that the primary source of the fats are no longer "GRAS."

GRAS means "generally recognized as safe," and it is the sine qua non for any ingredient that is going into a regulated food and beverage sold in the United States. The new FDA ruling made a preliminary determination that partially hydrogenated oils—the primary diet source of artificial trans fat in processed foods—no longer are GRAS for use in food. As Advertising Age noted, the next step is to find out from food makers how long it would take them to reformulate foods that contain extra trans fats if the ruling is finalized.

Trans fats have some inimitable qualities that help in food taste and texture, manufacturers say, including helping crisp french fries. Holdout brands have ranged from Pillsbury Grand! cinnamon rolls to Marie Callender pies from ConAgra to Diamond Foods' Pop Secret pocorn. So even though General Mills said that more than 90 percent of its US retail products already are retailed as zero grams trans fat, it called the ruling a "major development."Continue reading...

china

The Week in China: Gold Everything, Despicable KFC, iPhone Price War and more

Posted by Abe Sauer on November 1, 2013 01:46 PM

China is the second largest economy in the world and every significant brand's future is impacted by its growth (or collapse)—but who's got the time?! Here's the week's reads that will make you look like a keen China observer in case you find yourself immersed in a cultural conversation.

This week: Apple sales analysis… McDonald's minions rise and KFC's bucket demise… One Direction for Toyota.. e-commerce boost… infant formula vending machines… China's nuts for "土豪金" gold culture… Amazon wine… "China's Craigslist"…  Ashton Kutcher… Taobao encourages showrooming… 53,000 square foot Disney Store... and more.Continue reading...

china

New KFC Promotion Strives for Disaster Trifecta in China

Posted by Abe Sauer on October 30, 2013 12:42 PM

In China, sales of foreign fast food continue to slow. McDonald's, despite a huge hiring push and nearly 250 new stores in China this year, has recently seen regional sales decrease. KFC is doing worse, with sales continuing to tank despite the brand weathering a hormone scandal a year ago and a recent H7N9 bird flu scare.

And chinese fast food brands appear to be closing the gap. Whether it's pricing, food safety or just taste, more local names like Taiwan's Dicos and the Bruce Lee-branded Kung Fu Catering are drawing the eye of Chinese eaters.

And to help along local vendors, KFC seems to be going for a hat trick of PR disasters. In an attempt to boost sales, this week KFC launched a two week promotion in which its chicken bucket is half-price. Except, it shrunk the contents—and Chinese customers have noticed.

On the first day of the promotion, advertised as the "Half-Price Bucket," social network users on Weibo and elsewhere have kicked up a storm of complaints pointing out that the bucket is half-priced because it has nearly half as much chicken. In a Weibo post forwarded nearly 3,600 times, user "Happy张江" breaks down how the new "half-price" bucket contains a lot less than the old bucket meal, asking in the end, "这特么是半价?" or "So what's this special half price?"Continue reading...

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