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Anheuser-Busch makes push into Latino market

BY Tara Smith

ST. LOUIS Anheuser-Busch’s latest marketing push is geared toward Latinos because of their growing number, expanded buying power and evolving tastes.

By chasing after Spanish-speaking drinkers, big brewers like Anheuser-Busch are benefiting from the Latino culture among non-Hispanic drinkers, as well.

“This [Latino] market is not a niche anymore—it’s a mainstream market,” said Ines Rodriguez-Gutzmer, Atlanta-based senior vice president at Ketchum, an international public relations and marketing agency. “Do you like Shakira? Do you eat tacos? The influence of Hispanic culture is everywhere.”

Anheuser-Busch is planning a 25 percent spending increase this year in Spanish-language advertising. Spending on such national outlets as Telemundo will increase 45 percent. Much of the “air cover” will push Bud Light and Budweiser, the company’s No. 1 and No. 2 beers in the United States. Additionally, the company last year launched an extension to the Bud family to appeal to Latino drinkers. The premixed tomato cocktail, Chelada, is aimed primarily at Mexican-American drinkers, many of whom already were mixing similar cocktails.

Anheuser-Busch expects its broad advertising campaign casting Budweiser as the “Great American Lager” will resonate with Latino aspirers itching to upgrade their beer selections. “Contrary to a lot of people’s thoughts, Budweiser can grow,” said Dave Peacock, vice president of marketing at Anheuser-Busch’s U.S. beer division.

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Frito-Lay’s snack production goes green

BY Tara Smith

CASA GRANDE, Ariz. Frito-Lay’s parent company, PepsiCo, is attempting to get its Casa Grande plant, used in the production of Doritos and Lay’s potato chips, to generate its own power and recycle water at the facility, a step toward “green” snack production.

“Our ultimate goal will be to get the plant off the water, natural gas and electricity grid … Creating a ‘net-zero’ environmental impact,” said Al Halvorsen, the energy and utilities manager for Frito-Lay.

Though company officials don’t have a cost estimate yet, they say the expense will be justified in what they learn about conservation. Though the company may not build another net-zero plant, they plan to take what they learn at the Casa Grande plant and apply that knowledge to its 37 other facilities in North America. Currently, the Arizona plant reuses its water to grow feed crops on some of its surrounding acreage.

To further conservation efforts, the plant will install a water-cleaning system that will allow it to reuse most of its industrial water to wash vegetables, a solar-power project is planned and the plant will incorporate a biomass-burning energy generator. Details as to whether Arizona Public Service or Frito-Lay will run the power facilities still are being worked out, according to Halvorsen. The final plan for the plant will be submitted to PepsiCo in March, with a “net-zero” operation expected to start running in 2010. The effort will add some marketing mileage for the company—the plant will add SunChips to its lines, providing a good tie-in for its solar project.

Some of the company’s other plants currently employ some efforts to save energy, including a Texas plant that burns landfill gas to heat its boiler and one in Connecticut that recaptures some of its heat to make steam. The company’s largest distribution center in the country, located near Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, recently added a solar-power system. Dedicated to conservation since 1999, the company also is developing hybrid delivery vehicles.

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Kellogg introduces weight-conscious Special K variety

BY Tara Smith

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. Breakfast cereal manufacturer Kellogg Co. has developed the new Special K Cinnamon Pecan cereal to help consumers better control their weight.

The company on Wednesday stated that this latest offering from Special K is a combination of light and crunchy cinnamon-flavored flakes mixed with real pecans that provides great taste while helping people manage their weight.

According to Jennifer Garrett, director of nutrition marketing at Kellogg, Special K Cinnamon Pecan “reinforces the brand’s commitment to providing weight managers with great-tasting foods that help them meet their goals without the feeling of sacrifice.”

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