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Snack maker names Tim McGraw the new face of Fritos

BY Jenna Duncan

PLANO, Texas Frito-Lay is launching a marketing campaign starring country music star Tim McGraw. The brand has even designed a special limited edition flavor, Tim McGraw Spicy Jalapeno Fritos, to promote the snack chips in the U.S.

Tim McGraw Spicy Jalapeno flavored Fritos corn chips will have a limited distribution launch at select locations during May and a nationwide launch following later this year.

“As a true family man who values the important things in life, Tim McGraw was a natural fit for our new ad campaign,” Frito-Lay North America vice president of marketing, Ken Partyka, said. “Tim shares our passion for life’s simple pleasures, and has his own fond memories of growing up with Fritos corn chips.”

Fritos is the official snack of Tim McGraw’s Live Your Voice 2008 Tour.

Tim McGraw Spicy Jalapeno Fritos retail for 99 cents per 3.875 oz. bag and $2.49 per 9.75 oz. bag.

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Coca-Cola gears up for Olympics

BY Jenna Duncan

ATLANTA Coca-Cola is launching a new “Connect with the world over a Coke” campaign, with ads starring six American, to be launched May 19 and run during the Olympics in August. The campaign consists of ad spots, limited-edition Coke cans and a new Web site, MyCoke.com.

During the Olympic Games this summer, Coke will run ads featuring basketball player LeBron James; U.S. gold medalist for swimming, Natalie Coughlin; triathlon runner Andy Potts, and others, to form a “six-pack” of athletic stars.

Coke said it will alternate the can designs every 2-3 weeks, something competitor, Pepsi, often has done in the past. Additionally, fridge packs of Coke, bottle labels and individual cans will feature the Coke logo in different languages, such as Ethiopian, Mandarin and Russian.

Hendrick Steckhan, president and general manager of sparkling beverages of Coca-Cola North America, said, “By combining Coca-Cola cans in different languages with six amazing athletes, we’ve created a program that celebrates global communities coming together and the unifying spirit of the Olympic Games and Coca-Cola.”

Targeting teenagers, MyCoke.com will become an “online Olympic destination” where guests can download digital assets, design virtual Coke bottles and enter a sweepstakes to spend times snowboarding with Gretchen Bleiler, Olympic gold medalist.

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Fewer retail chains stocking cigarettes

BY Jenna Duncan

SAN FRANCISCO A couple of weeks ago, Mayor Gavin Newsom proposed a ban forbidding drug stores from selling cigarettes and other tobacco products and the proposal seems to be gaining popularity with Northern California government, as well as across the nation.

Newsom said he was confident that the San Francisco Board of Supervisors would approve his legislation to ban tobacco product sales from drug stores this month or in June. The proposed ban would then go into effect Oct. 1. Similar bills are now pending in states like Illinois, New Hampshire and Tennessee. A proposed bill in New York covers not only all pharmacies, but also big box stores, like Wal-Mart.

New York assemblyman, Sam Hoyt, indicated that it didn’t make sense for drug stores, places designed to promote health and wellness, should stock cigarettes. “It just seems inappropriate that on the other hand, they sell something that kills,” he said.

The majority of U.S. pharmacies no longer stock tobacco products. But many drug stores currently dominate the market.

That is changing lately, however, as more and more retailers are deciding not to sell tobacco products. Target stopped carrying tobacco products in 1996, Wegmans ended its sale of the products in February, and New York-based Budwey’s and DeCicco Family Markets, have followed suit as well.

So far in San Francisco, locally-based Andronico’s stopped carrying tobacco products in February, and a number of San Francisco-area ShopRites ended their tobacco sales in March.

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