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Eagle Snacks may see a comeback

BY Jenna Duncan

CHICAGO Reserve Brands, a small Chicago-based start-up, has obtained the exclusive license to market Eagle Snacks, a brand whose familiarity is known by retailers and consumers across the country.

But what many consumers do not realize is that Eagle Snacks are not currently on the market, and haven’t been since Eagle was purchased from Anheuser-Busch by Procter & Gamble in 1996. Though the brand name is still easily recognized, its line of snacks hasn’t been in production for some time. The fact that Eagle’s absence has seemingly gone unnoticed might actually be a great “comeback” strategy for the brand, Reserve said. It plans to reintroduce Eagle Snacks to grocery and retail shelves later this year.

“When people say, ‘I didn’t even realize you can’t buy Eagle Snacks any more,’ you know you’ve got a business opportunity,” Reserve Brands president and chief executive, Scott Lazar, said.

Many consumers remember Eagle as the first brand to have snack nuts on airplanes, company spokespersons said. The name recognition will be a good thing, they said, for the company to introduce new products. Eagle plans to roll out two new product lines into Chicago-area Dominick’s stores later this year; Eagle Bursts and Poppers.

Reserve Brands’ goal is to reach $50 million in sales in its first year and to reach $100 million in sales in the next two to three years. After that, the company said, it plans to sell to a bigger player.

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Nestea announces new flavors, new bottle

BY Jenna Duncan

ATLANTA Nestea is getting a makeover, producer Coca-Cola said Friday. The beverage maker said that it plans to add new flavors and revamp the Nestea brand’s packaging to beat competition in the U.S. tea market.

New Nestea bottles will land in stores this month with bold labels and a slimmer design. Coke said the design change was geared to make the tea stand out from soft drinks. New Nestea flavors, Green Tea Citrus and Diet Green Tea Citrus, are being rolled out with 50 percent more antioxidants than the Nestea green tea currently on the market.

Senior vice president and general manager of coffee and tea for Coca-Cola North, Penny McIntyre, said, “You could sum it up to say we changed pretty well everything that we could to make sure we had the strongest proposition for consumers.”

The take-home sales totals for tea rose 20.5 percent in the U.S. in 2007, reported Beverage Digest newsletter recently. According to the report, Nestea ranked fourth, following competitors Arizona Tea, Lipton and Snapple. Nestea held 8.5 percent of the market.

The new Nestea marketing campaign will get under way during the next few months, Coke said. To promote the new flavors and packaging, Coke will distribute more than 1 million free samples of Nestea.

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San Francisco drug stores face possible ban on tobacco sales

BY Jenna Duncan

SAN FRANCISCO A proposed ordinance to ban the sale of cigarettes and other tobacco items from San Francisco drug stores could be in place by the end of this week.

The law, proposed by Mayor Gavin Newsom last Tuesday, would put a ban on tobacco sales at any stores with pharmacies, but would not include big box chain stores, like Costco, or grocery stores. A spokesperson for the mayor said that this ordinance is part of a series of actions supported by Mayor Newsom to promote independent healthy living.

“The spirit of this is that pharmacies are places people go to get better,” spokeswoman Giselle Barry said. “They shouldn’t be selling products that cause cancer.”

The new law would go into effect on Oct. 1. The San Francisco Department of Public Health [the regulator of tobacco sales in San Francisco] would be responsible for enforcement of the law and those in violation would have to pay fines of $100 to $1,000.

The proposed ordinance must have the approval of the Board of Supervisors. The topic is on the agenda for the Board’s City and County of San Francisco City Operations and Neighborhood Services Committee special meeting on Thursday.

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