Consumers bite into classic, new cookies
After several lackluster years, cookie sales were up in 2011 and are likely to show slight gains this year. The category was buoyed largely by sales of basic cookies, according to a recent report from Mintel, while premium cookie sales were hurt by a tight economy and increased media attention on America’s obesity epidemic. Mintel forecasts more growth for the premium segment from 2013 to 2016.
New products have given the category a lift. Kraft Foods, which is the category’s leading company in terms of sales, recently introduced its new Nabisco belVita breakfast biscuit. While the product is targeted to consumers looking for a convenient morning meal, belVita is merchandised in the cookie aisle.
The category also got a lift from Kraft’s large media spend on Oreo’s 100th anniversary. As part of the anniversary campaign, Kraft ran a new ad daily for 100 days to the more than 27.9 million people who “liked” Oreo on Facebook or who viewed the ad on Oreo.com, Pinterest or Twitter.
Oreo also has kept the brand exciting with seasonal, limited-edition introductions to the category, such as a Candy Corn Oreo for Halloween and a Candy Cane version for Christmas.
Private label performs well with 34% of cookie/cookie bar users reporting that they believe store brands are the equal of name brands, according to Mintel. Sales of private-label cookies, like many other segments of the category, were down slightly last year.
The article above is part of the DSN Category Review Series. For the complete Snacks Buy-In Report, including extensive charts, data and more analysis, click here.
Frito-Lay’s new caffeinated line of Cracker Jacks elicits criticism from CSPI
PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay has stirred up controversy with its plan to launch an extended line of Cracker Jacks snacks, called Cracker Jack’d, which includes a caffeinated snack called Power Bites.
The new line will include snack mixes and popcorn clusters, as well as two flavors of Power Bites, which contain coffee as an ingredient, a Frito-Lay spokesman told Ad Age. The product is still being finalized, but the spokesman informed Ad Age that each 2-oz. Power Bites package is expected to "contain approximately 70 mg of caffeine from coffee."
The Center for Science in the Public Interest — a health advocacy group that has a history of contesting big brands it believes pose a threat to consumers’ health — worries the snack is a risk to children, who could suffer from potential side effects of caffeine, such as anxiety, restlessness, irritability, excitability and insomnia.
"Boxes of Cracker Jack are famous for having a toy surprise inside. But what parent suspects that Cracker Jack might come with a surprising dose of a mildly addictive stimulant drug?" CSPI said Wednesday. The organization wrote a letter to the Food and Drug Administration concerning the product, saying, "Caffeine is generally recognized as safe only in cola-type beverages and only at concentrations of 0.02% or less (about 72 mg per 12 oz.)."
The Frito-Lay spokesman, however, insisted that the Power Bites line has been specifically developed for adults and will be marketed toward only adult consumers, and that the packaging and appearance will differ from that of Cracker Jacks to prevent confusion.
"We stand by the safety of all products in the Cracker Jack’d line, including those that contain coffee. It is worth pointing out the regulation referenced in CSPI’s letter to [the] FDA speaks to caffeine — not coffee — and is not an exhaustive list of the safe uses of caffeine in foods and beverages," the spokesman said. "Rather it represents one particular recognized safe use."
Makers of Aquatina introduce new collapsible water bottle
LONDON – The makers of Aquatina, the collapsible pocket drinks bottle, have launched its successor, Ohyo, the company announced on Thursday.
Ohyo, currently available from Ohyo.me, has a pop-out spout so the product can be used one-handed, making it suitable for children, commuters and gym users.
Designed and made in Britain, the collapsible bottle is made from toxin-free plastic, and is a reusable and safer alternative to disposable plastic bottles. The name of the product is derived from the French word for water, "eau," and a reference to the word "yo-yo," in reference to the up-and-down action of the bottle.
"Ohyo is the product I always wanted to make, and the continuing success of Aquatina meant that we were able to design and manufacture its successor here in Sheffield. The average person in Europe buys 85 bottles of mineral water a year … last year, we threw away 150 billion bottles, enough to stretch to the moon 50 times and back," said Guy Jeremiah, creator of Ohyo. "Ohyo is another step toward reducing this."
Ohyo retails for a suggested price of GBP9.98 for two bottles.