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Quaker Oats encourages healthy breakfasts with new products and campaign

BY Melissa Valliant

CHICAGO One of America’s most popular cereal companies is tackling the challenge of reshaping Americans’ breakfast choices. In an effort to instigate healthier eating habits, Quaker Oats, a division of PepsiCo, is introducing two new hot cereal lines, as well as an improved version of its instant oatmeal, and is launching a nationwide marketing and advertising campaign with help from health and fitness expert Bob Harper.

Available nationwide this week, Quaker Hearty Medleys Instant Multigrain hot cereal and Mix-Up Creations cereal target adults and kids, respectively. Hearty Medleys contains oats, wheat, barley and rye for a heart-healthy source of fiber, and is loaded with real nuts and fruits. Mix-Up Creations puts breakfast into kids’ hands with half-pouch servings that give kids the ability to mix five oatmeal flavors into their own combinations.

Also available nationwide this week is Quaker’s improved instant oatmeal, which now has larger whole-grain oats, all-natural flavors and 25% less sugar.

On Sept. 1, Quaker is asking the country to rethink the question “Does your breakfast make you amazing?” with a nationwide marketing and advertising campaign that will appear on national television, and in print, digital, social media and promotional offerings.

“We all inherently know breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and in fact nearly two-thirds of Americans say they feel satisfied after eating it — but still only about half of Americans eat breakfast every day,” said Jaya Kumar, president of Quaker Oats. “We see a universal need for education and motivation to help Americans make breakfast a daily, healthy habit.”

To support the new products, Quaker has joined forces with Toronto-based ad agency Juniper Park and Bob Harper, fitness trainer and co-host of NBC’s “The Biggest Loser,” to launch the “Amazing Mornings” marketing campaign. Through Facebook, traditional publicity and motivational outreach to consumers, Harper will encourage healthy eating habits and promote beneficial changes in consumers’ daily morning regimens.

“With Bob’s ability to motivate and encourage positive change in people, we have an ambassador who will connect with Americans to help reset their daily morning routines in a more positive way,” said Kirsten Lynch, Quaker’s chief marketing officer.

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Nestle wins Innovation Award

BY Alaric DeArment

GREENWICH, Conn. An environmentally friendly water bottle made by Nestle has won an award in Connecticut, the international food conglomerate said Monday.

Nestle Waters North America announced that it received the 2010 Gold Connecticut Quality Improvement Award’s Innovation Prize for its Eco-Shape half-liter bottle. The bottle uses 25% less PET plastic than the earlier Eco-Shape bottle, and the company called it among the most environmentally responsible packaged drink choices on the market.

The CQIA is the oldest state-level quality award that uses the criteria of the federal government’s National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Malcolm Balridge National Quality Award for Performance Excellence, named for the Reagan-era commerce secretary.

“Winning the CQIA prize is a testament to Nestle Waters’ leadership in innovation,” Nestle Waters director of health and environmental affairs Kevin Mathews stated. “As a company that depends on natural resources, sustainability is an integral part of our values and business, and we understand that reducing the amount of plastic in our bottles — or ‘lightweighting’ — is the best thing a beverage company can do to reduce its environmental impact.”

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Shoppers ‘layout’ desire for deals, simplicity, coherence

BY Barbara White-Sax

SKU rationalization is a hot topic in consumables. With space at a premium, and pressure to make every inch of shelf space profitable, retailers are rethinking their grocery assortments.

French grocery chain Carrefour SA recently announced plans to cut 15% of the company’s food products in an effort to simplify shopping and boost profits. As part of its Customer Centric Retailing program, Walgreens also is simplifying its assortment and enhancing product adjacencies. A recent report, “The Next Generation of Shopper Marketing,” from SymphonyIRI Group, cautioned that trimming selections can be tricky and noted that several retailers, including Walmart, have reduced product assortment “only to reinstate some products in response to unfavorable shopper response.”

Trip mission as % of dollar sales by channel

Source: SymphonyIRI Group for the 52 weeks ended March 28
  GROCER MASS AND SUPERCENTER DRUG
Special purpose (1-5 items) 12.0% 20.9% 29.6%
Quick trip (2-10 items) 18.4 16.0 53.5
Fill-in (5-15 items) 19.2 23.6 15.7
Pantry stock-up (15+ items) 50.4 39.4 1.2

SymphonyIRI’s research revealed that consumers are more focused on deals and promotion than on assortment—a key point for retailers whose formats can only accommodate a limited selection. And while the drug channel has been steadily expanding the space devoted to consumables, retailers who give more thought to what they are putting on the shelves and how it’s merchandised will have the most profitable consumables sections.

Research indicated that consumers want to simplify their shopping experience—in fact, SymphonyIRI’s report revealed that 80% of consumers said they want a “simple shopping experience,” and 71% are looking for easier-to-find in-store specials.

Manufacturers are working with drug stores to help them make the most of their space with better-merchandised sections. When drug retailers merchandise baked beans next to cornflakes, they are missing the message. “Our research showed that 33% of consumers want displays that include all the ingredients for a meal,” said Sue Viamari, editor of Symphony IRI’s Times & Trends. “Drug stores can’t do that, but they can merchandise a handful of quick, easy meal solutions on an endcap and tie that endcap into their circular.”

Campbell Soup Co., for example, is working with stores to make the soup category easier for consumers to shop, with new layouts and improved labeling. “Consumers want the ability to very quickly buy what they need,” said Phil McGee, director of category management and shopper insights at Campbell. The company’s redesigned labels on condensed soups and IQ Maximizer cards make the soups easier to identify.

When consumers shop drug stores for food, McGee said, they either have an urgent need for an item or are looking for convenience. “Some consumer purchases in drug stores are value-driven, simply a response to good deals the store is offering. Consumers may come to the drug channel as a convenience just before they go to the grocery store for a larger shopping trip. The drug channel has an opportunity to preempt that second trip and be more than a light fill-in occasion.”

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