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Pepsi revamps Web site, boosts digital media presence

BY Jenna Duncan

PURCHASE, N.Y. Pepsi-Cola North America has given its Web site, pepsi.com, a total makeover.

The purpose of the Pepsi site re-launch was to simplify the visitor experience, the company said. Pages were designed so users can easily select links to four main features, including: the Design Our Pepsi Can promotion contest, Diet Pepsi Max information pages, the Pepsi Racing page featuring NASCAR tie-ins and Pepsi Stuff, the site’s merchandise page.

“Lots of assets live on our pages,” John Vail, director of interactive marketing group for Pepsi-Cola North America said. “We wanted to make an easy way to find so consumers don’t have to hunt and peck.”

Pepsi.com was launched in 1996 and gets a facelift about every two years. The company said that the site receives about a million unique hits per month.

Each year, Pepsi North America seems to move even more of its marketing efforts to digital media. In 2007, the company spent about $17.5 million on digital media for its beverage brands, nearly doubling the amount spent in 2006 ($9.4 million), according to reports.

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Smucker buys Knott’s Berry Farm

BY Jenna Duncan

Knott’s Berry Farm, maker of jams, jellies, preserves and gift sets, has been bought out by J.M. Smucker, ConAgra Foods today announced.

Details of the transaction have not been released, but ConAgra has said that the sale will not affect its 2009 sales and profit growth projections. The acquired business is expected to add approximately $40 million in annual net sales to the J.M. Smucker portfolio.

The buyout does not include the Knott’s Berry Farm amusement park, located in Anaheim, Calif. That property is owned by Cedar Fair L.P., a publicly-traded company based in Sandusky, Ohio.

Sources said that production of Knott’s Berry Farm food products will transition to Smuckers’ facilities during the course of the next four months.

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Wish-Bone dressing giveaway aimed at encouraging healty eating

BY Alaric DeArment

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J. Not everyone was raised by dieticians, but parents who exhort their children to eat their greens still have a point.

Wish-Bone wants to encourage people to eat more vegetables by giving away bottles of its new Bountifuls salad dressing between May 30 and June 1.

After buying bottles of Bountifuls at supermarkets, people can download a mail-in rebate form and send it in with their receipts. The form is at www.wish-bone.com/Digital-Garden.aspx.

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