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Oreo continues accelerated global growth

BY Allison Cerra

NORTHFIELD, Ill. — Although its Oreo cookie brand turned 100 years old this year, Kraft Foods said the brand’s global presence is greater than ever.

Oreo grew double digits in North America during first quarter 2012 and nearly 40% in Europe and developing markets, the company said. Sales of Oreo also grew nearly 25% in 2011, Kraft Foods said.

The company said that its continued expansion efforts, as well as its social media outreach via Facebook — which originally debuted to English language community in 2009 and now reaches fans from more than 200 countries in 10 different languages — has helped bring the brand to a whole new level.

"The twist, lick and dunk of an Oreo brings people together with a universal ritual cherished in more than 100 countries where Oreo is sold," Kraft Foods chairman and CEO Irene Rosenfeld said. "We’re delighted to bring the joy of the world’s top-selling cookie to more people than ever. In fact, Oreo has had average growth of more than 17 percent annually since 2006. It surpassed $2 billion in annual revenues in 2011 — doubling sales over just five years ago."

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Tostitos looks to rescue parties everywhere with new website

BY Allison Cerra

PLANO, Texas — Tostitos has launched a new online resource in partnership with entertaining expert Courtney Dial-Whitmore.

Housed on Frito-Lay’s Facebook page, Tostitos Fiesta 411 is designed to provide consumers with ideas for planning and creating perfect at-home cantina-style parties, complete with the perfect snacks. The resource’s debut is in line with launch of the limited-edition Tostitos Thins tortilla chips, which are exclusively available at Target stores through mid-July.

"Tostitos knows how to party, so bringing the brand’s social flare together with an expert like Courtney Dial-Whitmore is the perfect way to prepare for a fun-filled summer," Frito-Lay North America senior director of marketing Christina Menendez said. "Combining expert party pointers with our new Tostitos Thins chips is a sure way to bring the fiesta home."

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PepsiCo partners with estate of Michael Jackson

BY Allison Cerra

PURCHASE, N.Y. — As part of its "Live for Now" global campaign that launched this week, PepsiCo announced on Thursday its exclusive global partnership with the estate of Michael Jackson.

The partnership coincides with the 25th anniversary of Jackson’s multi-platinum "Bad" album and record-breaking tour. As part of the partnership, Pepsi will feature iconic silhouette imagery of the King of Pop on cans with the launch of collectible limited-edition can designs. Pepsi also will run contests in markets around the world, giving fans the opportunity to win such merchandise as a limited number of jackets inspired by the original "Bad" tour staff jackets and tickets to "Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour" by Cirque du Soleil. In the United States, Pepsi also will kick off a nationwide retail campaign that includes a limited-edition 16-oz. King of Pop Pepsi can, as well as initiate a retail, music-themed promotion later this month.

Michael Jackson had a longstanding relationship with Pepsi spanning more than 25 years. He starred in his first Pepsi campaign alongside his brothers in 1983, as part of the Pepsi "New Generation" campaign, followed by Pepsi’s sponsorship of the Bad tour. Most recently, Pepsi featured Jackson in the "Music Icons" commercial that premiered during "The X Factor" last year.

"Pepsi has always been at the forefront of pop culture, helping to shape the music landscape. This unique global partnership, around such a legendary music milestone, invites Pepsi fans from around the world to experience Michael Jackson’s music in an engaging and very ‘now’ kind of way — it’s a model example of how Pepsi’s ‘Live for Now’ campaign can manifest itself in a way that resonates the world over," said Brad Jakeman, president of global enjoyment brands and chief creative officer for PepsiCo Global Beverages Group.

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