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Harris Interactive: M&M first in brand equity among youth

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — Harris Interactive on Thursday released the 2010 results of the first annual "Youth EquiTrend" study, which asked 8-to-24-year-olds to rate brands on several key elements of brand equity, including familiarity, quality and purchase consideration.

"Today’s youth are not just tomorrow’s consumers; they are already consumers in their own right with their own money to spend,” stated Regina Corso, SVP youth and education researcher at Harris. “What companies need to remember is that if brand loyalty is built in these early years, that brand loyalty will remain for years to come. At this stage, the brands that resonate the most with youth are mostly ones that involve food — 6-of-the-top-10 are candy, snacks or restaurants."

M&Ms ranked first in brand equity, according to the study, while Google ranked second and is the only online organization among the top 10 brands overall. “As kids age, their tastes, and therefore their favorite brands, change with them,” Corso noted. “Tweens are all about Disney and Nick, as well as gaming, where teens add more technology to the mix. For young adults, the snack foods are still there, but technology takes an even stronger presence in their top 10.” 

Following are the complete “top 10” rankings:

Based on Equity Brands rated by all respondents
1 M&Ms 
2 Google 
3 Reese’s peanut butter cups
4 Oreo
5 iPod 
6 Target 
7 Subway 
8 Hershey’s milk chocolate
9 Doritos 
10 Pixar 

Based on Equity Brands rated by 8 to 12 year olds:
1 Nintendo Wii 
2 Doritos 
3 Oreo
4 M&Ms 
5 Disney Channel 
6 Nickelodeon 
7 Nintendo DS 
8 McDonald’s 
9 Toys"R"Us
10 Cartoon Network 

Based on Equity Brands rated by 13 to 17 year olds:
1 Reese’s peanut butter cups
2 iPod 
3 Google 
4 M&Ms 
5 Oreo
6 Subway 
7 Hershey’s milk chocolate
8 Target 
9 Sprite 
10 Microsoft 

Based on Equity Brands rated by 18 to 24 year olds:
1 Google 
2 Facebook 
3 iPod 
4 Gatorade 
5 Target 
6 Subway 
7 Apple 
8 iTunes 
9 Reese’s peanut butter cups
10 Oreo

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Trident chews on vitamin C claim in new gum flavor

BY Rozanne Gelbinovich

CHICAGO — Trident, which is owned by Kraft Foods’ Cadbury unit, is rolling out a new gum lineup called Trident Vitality that includes a new flavor, Vigorate, which contains "10% of the daily value of vitamin C" in each piece, according to the company.

The gum line, which will be introduced early next year, also will include Rejuve, a blend of mint and white tea; and Awaken, a peppermint flavor with a "dash of ginseng," the company said.

Kraft is incorporating health into its marketing, saying the gum adds a "little piece of delicious well-being," and is targeting an audience in their 20s and 30s who are into wellness. "One thing we found is that as people age, the gum flavors may be less relevant with their lifestyle," Kraft spokesman Basil Maglaris said. "This is an opportunity that we saw [to be] relevant with consumers in the 25 to 34 age range." The message of the new line will focus "more on the experience associated with the gum," Maglaris said, emphasizing that only one variety has the vitamin.

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Coca-Cola donates to Toys for Tots

BY Allison Cerra

ATLANTA — Coca-Cola is looking to spread holiday cheer by asking consumers to donate their My Coke Rewards points to help generate gifts for unprivileged children.

By logging onto MCR.com/holiday, registered My Coke Rewards members can donate their points to Toys for Tots by entering codes found on 13 participating Coca-Cola products. The points will be awarded to Toys for Tots. Coca-Cola also is donating $120,000 to Toys for Tots; the money will be divided between eight cities across America.

“Coca-Cola has been an uplifting and magical part of the holiday season for decades, just like Toys For Tots,” said Stuart Kronauge, VP Coca-Cola trademark brands for Coca-Cola North America. “With our My Coke Rewards points donation drive, we’re offering people a simple way to support Toys For Tots and celebrate the spirit of giving. Through the generosity of My Coke Rewards members, together we’ll help make the holidays special for families in need.”

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