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Marcal’s Small Steps package now includes Environmental Facts panel

BY Allison Cerra

ELMWOOD PARK, N.J. A new feature can be found on the front of Marcal’s Small Steps packaging.

The paper towels now will include a nutrition facts-style Environmental Facts panel detailing information like recycled paper content (100%), how much chlorine bleach was used for whitening (0%) and use of chemical-based additives like fragrances and dyes (0%). It is the first of its category to include the panel. The Environmental Facts panel spearheads Marcal’s Right to Know initiative, geared to help consumers navigate green product claims and manufacturing practices.

“The Environmental Facts panel grew out of our discussions with consumers, who are consistently shocked to learn 98% of household paper goods are made by cutting down trees, even with today’s blue bin recycling,” said MJ Jolda, Marcal’s SVP marketing.  “It helped us realize shoppers wanting to make better choices need better information.”

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Barilla, Disney make pasta magical with multiplatform partnership

BY Allison Cerra

CHICAGO “The choice of Italy” just got magical.

Barilla’s Piccolini pasta has formed a new partnership with Disney, in which Barilla-sponsored games will be on Disney’s website for children’s use. For the first time, an advertiser has been integrated into the Create Tool’s Digital Painter feature with the Play it with Pasta function where children can build custom works of art with pasta-inspired stamps, brush strokes and textures to help bring a child’s artistic vision to life, the companies said.

Additionally, with the multiplatform promotion, parents and family members also can schedule 1-of-6 themed, personalized phone calls from such popular Disney characters as Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy for their little ones.

“We believe that our partnership offers a variety of activities to help a child thoroughly enjoy all aspects of mealtime, including a special surprise with a personal phone call from a Disney character,” said Kirk Trofholz, president of Barilla America. “Barilla is pleased to partner with Disney on this effort. Our miniature-sized Piccolini pasta was created with children in mind. With Disney’s help, we will create more magic for kids and parents this summer.”

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New product innovation works best without boss, Nielsen study finds

BY Allison Cerra

LAS VEGAS As the Consumer 360 Conference continues, market research firm Nielsen has unveiled a study that investigates why some manufacturers see more success from their consumer packaged goods products than others.

Nielsen’s research of the innovation processes at 30 large CPG companies operating in the United States revealed that companies with less senior management involvement in the new product development process generated 80% more new product revenue than those with heavy senior management involvement. Companies that employ this and other best innovation practices derived on average 650% more revenue from new products compared with companies that do not.

Nielsen’s evaluation showed that CPG companies with the most successful new product innovation records tend to have:

  • Two to three stage gates that are followed strictly across the organization. The first stage gate typically is designed to identify ideas that then will be developed into a concept and prototype, while the last stage gate usually is designed to determine whether a product should be committed to production and market;
  • A focus on growing brands, not ones acquired or designated by senior management;
  • A development focus two to three years out;
  • A formal scorecard to provide structure to organizational learning;
  • A standardized and required post-mortem on all new product development efforts; and
  • A knowledge management system to retain learnings from previous product launches.

“New product innovation is a top priority of every major company CEO, yet success varies so widely that it’s absolutely critical to understand what drives successful innovation and what undermines it,” said Tom Agan, SVP and managing director for Nielsen. “Once you understand it, then you need to ask yourselves, ‘Are we living it?'”

“One of the keys to successful new product innovation is to manage new ideas lightly,” Agan added. “While we don’t dispute senior management’s strengths and good intentions, they are often too quick to get involved in the creative process, especially when things are not going well, and their mere presence can stifle free-thinking and boundaryless ideas — which can doom the new product development process to failure.”

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