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Cheez-It celebrates election season with Facebook contest

BY Allison Cerra

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — Cheez-It is tapping consumers to vote for their favorite Cheez-It cracker flavor.

Getting into the spirit of Election 2012, Americans have the opportunity to select their favorite flavor of Cheez-It crackers, including colby, Italian four cheese, white cheddar, pepper jack, hot and spicy, baby swiss, mozzarella and cheddar jack, on the brand’s Facebook page. The consumer who casts the most votes for the winning flavor in the "Vote for the Top Cheese" election will win a four-year supply of Cheez-It crackers and get their likeness on a future Cheez-It box. To earn votes, consumers can vote for their favorite candidate throughout the election, as well as participate in "Vote for the Top Cheese" activities on the brand’s Facebook application, such as playing campaign-themed games, watching debates between the candidates and participating in online polls. Seven runners-up will receive a one-year supply of Cheez-It crackers. Voting ends April 5.

"While election years are historically a very divisive time, the Vote for the Top Cheese campaign is aimed to bring Americans together around a platform everyone can support — great flavor," said Todd Penegor, president of Kellogg Snacks. "Through the eight Cheez-It cracker candidates and online debates, our goal is to leave Americans with a positive taste and perhaps expanded palate this election season."

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Walgreens checks in with Foursquare on mobile coupon program

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens on Tuesday announced the availability of an exclusive new offering for customers that check in at any Walgreens store nationwide through Foursquare.

The drug store chain said customers that check in via Foursquare instantly will receive a unique scannable coupon via their smartphone, which is redeemable in the store and does not require texting, reply or other steps.
 
“We’re using mobile technology and social media to better engage Walgreens customers, to give them convenient channels to interact with us and to deliver products, services and savings they truly value,” stated Sona Chawla, Walgreens president of e-commerce. “Foursquare shares our commitment to innovation and together we’ve developed some unique, breakthrough offerings that cater to today’s tech-savvy consumers.  With this program, it’s just check in and the coupon is displayed instantly.”
 
The first coupon offering, available now through March 10, is for 50% off all varieties of AriZona Iced Tea cans.
 
"Walgreens has been an innovative partner on the Foursquare platform and this is a perfect opportunity to test our new functionality," stated Eric Friedman, director of business development for Foursquare. "We are excited that Walgreens is the first to test unique codes in a Foursquare Special, providing a seamless experience for customers."
 
Walgreens first introduced mobile coupons through its mobile applications in November. One of the largest retail mobile coupon offering in the United States was launched on “Black Friday,” with point-of-sale scanning available at all of Walgreens locations. The mobile initiative helped generate more than 500,000 downloads of Walgreens’ mobile application in December, the pharmacy operator reported.

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SodaStream introduces new flavors sweetened with stevia

BY Allison Cerra

AIRPORT CITY, Israel — SodaStream has launched a new line of flavors sweetened with an all-natural plant-based sweetener.

SodaStream said its stevia-laden flavors initially will launch in Europe, with U.S. sales expected to begin this summer. The initial flavors, with less than five calories per serving, include pink grapefruit, peach-pear, orange, lemon-lime, cranberry-apple and others.

"Diet flavors sweetened naturally with Stevia are another key milestone in our commitment to provide healthier alternatives to pre-packaged carbonated drinks," SodaStream CEO Daniel Birnbaum said. "Consumers can now make a smarter beverage choice, not only for the environment and their wallet, but also for the wellness of their family. We remain committed to continue empowering consumers with better, more innovative products."

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