Kraft Foods extends partnership with NASCAR, Stewart-Haas Racing
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Kraft Foods said it will continue to serve as official partner of NASCAR, while two of its brands will continue to serve as associate sponsors for Stewart-Haas Racing teammates Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
Kraft said its Oreo, Nilla and Nutter Butter brands serve as the "official cookies" of NASCAR, while its Ritz and Wheat Thins brands will serve as the "official crackers" of NASCAR. The Oreo and Ritz brands also will continue to serve as associate sponsors of Stewart-Haas Racing.
Kraft has been an official NASCAR partner since 2000.
“NASCAR has been one of our strongest strategic partnerships, and we are very pleased to continue our relationship with both the sanctioning body and with Stewart-Haas Racing,” said Michael Tilley, associate director of Kraft Foods consumer engagement. “NASCAR has been a much respected partner, aiding us in connecting with its many ardent fans across the nation. We look forward to a great year in 2012 with exciting activation plans.”
Kids, over-40 crowd drive growth
More than two-thirds of moms who participated in a recent Abbott Nutrition survey revealed they have a picky eater, and 9-out-of-10 of these moms indicated they are unsuccessful at getting their picky eater to eat healthy and nutritious foods every day. To aid moms in their pursuit of healthy eating habits and restore order to the dinner table, Abbott earlier this year launched the PediaSure Mom Brigade, a team of real mom experts with experience in children’s health and nutrition.
Good-for-you snack items for kids certainly are important to moms, as evidenced by the more than $117 million in revenue that the PediaSure brand generated in the past year, representing 17% dollar growth for the 52 weeks ended Sept. 4, according to SymphonyIRI Group across food, drug and mass (excluding Walmart).
The PediaSure Mom Brigade is designed to connect with moms, and provide tips and expert advice to help them ensure that, even with picky eaters, they are feeding their children’s potential throughout the year.
Like children’s nutrition, adult nutritional shake items also are in demand, and that heightened interest ought to continue building the category in the coming year. Abbott has been targeting the increased protein needs associated with the over-40 crowd. Clinical research showed that beginning around age 40, people can start to lose 8% of muscle mass per decade, which can lead to loss of strength and mobility.
“There are approximately 140 million Americans currently over the age of 40, … which represents a significant opportunity for our Ensure product line,” John Thomas, Abbott VP investor relations and public affairs, told analysts earlier this year.
Healthier snacking raises the nutritional bar
The business of nutritional bars is booming, with 9-of-the-top-10 brands trending at a double-digit annual growth rate. And that one bar not growing in double digits is the No. 1-selling bar — General Mills’ Fiber One — by a margin of more than $60 million in annual sales. Sales of Fiber One are up 7.3%, according to SymphonyIRI Group for the 52 weeks ended Sept. 4 across food, drug and mass (excluding Walmart).
Some of that significant growth can be attributed to increased interest in healthier snacking, which may explain why Clif’s mainstay bar, No. 2 in the category, contributed by far the most incremental annual dollar growth (more than $17 million). According to a February 2011 Mintel report, young adults are consuming the most nutrition and energy bars as meal-replacement solutions, and older adults are looking to nutrition bars as a healthy way to improve their overall diet.
The substantial growth is attracting new players. Joint Juice recently announced its acquisition of the Premier Nutrition Brand as that company’s entry into the sports nutrition and weight-loss category. “What is especially exciting about the brand is the wide breadth of consumers who purchase high-quality protein products, ranging from sports enthusiasts to dieters to healthy, busy people,” stated David Ritterbush, Joint Juice CEO, in announcing the acquisition.
And at least one of those new players is targeting pharmacy-friendly disease-state niches. NuGo Nutrition recently introduced a diabetic-friendly meal-replacement bar product line called NuGo Slim. The line is being billed as the first almost-sugar-free, high-protein bar made without maltitol or artificial sweeteners — the 2 g of sweet goodness comes naturally from real dark chocolate, the company stated.