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Alec Baldwin tweeted back into position as Wegmans’ celebrity spokesman

BY Michael Johnsen

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — In what might become an additional indicator as to the power consumers can wield across retail through social media outlets, Wegmans on Wednesday reinstated Alec Baldwin as the company’s spokesman.

Wegmans had pulled its Baldwin holiday advertising campaign in response to consumer complaints about Baldwin’s behavior on an American Airlines flight Dec. 6, a flight from which he was removed for refusing to turn his cell phone off.

However, after that decision to pull the Baldwin campaign went public, many more consumers tweeted Alec Baldwin’s way back into the spokesman’s catbird seat.

"We regret ending the Alec Baldwin holiday commercials one week earlier than planned in response to a couple of dozen complaints," stated Jo Natale, director of media relations at Wegmans. "Clearly, many more people support Alec, as evidenced by the hundreds and hundreds of tweets, emails and phone calls we have received. We enjoyed working with Alec Baldwin and his mom Carol, and would do it again. We appreciate all the kind things they have said about Wegmans and respect the good work they do for communities.”

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Survey: 1-in-5 QR codes scanned initiate a purchase

BY Michael Johnsen

BOSTON — As many as 20% of smartphone users made a purchase after scanning a QR code, according to a Consumer Pulse study released Wednesday by Chadwick Martin Bailey and iModerate Research Technologies.

“Consumers are curious about QR codes and the information they can get,” stated Jeff McKenna, senior consultant at Chadwick Martin Bailey. “But companies need to understand what consumers expect from a scan whether it’s more information, a coupon or exclusive offer. Companies who use QR codes successfully to drive engagement or sales will be those who meet customer expectations and offer compelling reasons to scan.”

The study also looked at ease of use, with 70% of those who scanned finding scanning to be a very easy process. However, only 41% reported the information they got to be useful.

Data was collected from 1,228 adults via a nationally representative online survey questionnaire within the United States by Chadwick Martin Bailey in October 2011.

A Chadwick Martin Bailey report with additional findings from this study is available here.

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Shoppers on a tighter leash

BY Barbara White-Sax

The recession has taken a toll on the pet category, according to some companies. A recent report from Cascadia Capital revealed that 35% of consumers said they curtailed pet expenditures in 2011 due to the economy. Spending on pets is expected to hit the $50 billion mark in 2011, an increase of 5% over 2010, according to the American Pet Products Association. Packaged Facts predicted that the industry will grow 5.9% in 2012.


The pet food category, which continues to get more crowded as segmentation increases, had limited growth. Growth in the super premium segment has slowed, according to 
Cascadia Capital.


Sales of meat treats, vegetarian treats and weight-control treats also were on the rise since 2008, according to a representative from the APPA. Nutraceutical treats are growing at a fast pace, particularly in the specialty channel.


According to the APPA’s 2011/2012 National Pet Owners Survey, among dog toys purchased in 2010, types that were purchased more often since 2008 included dental ropes, plush toys and hard/solid rubber toys. According to the survey, 39% of pet owners purchased solid/rubber toys versus just 28% in 2008. 


Grooming and health products also are growing segments in the category, and sales of dog beds were up last year, based on data from the APPA.

  

The article above is part of the DSN Category Review Series. For the complete Pet Care Buy-In Report, including extensive charts, data and more analysis, click here.

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