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Shamrock Farms launches new product line nationally

BY Melissa Valliant

PHOENIX Arizona-based dairy brand Shamrock Farms is releasing a new single-serve “mmmmilk” line throughout select national markets in October. The company’s popularity has been on the rise recently due to its role as the official milk of SUBWAY restaurants, and its various flavored lines have been increasingly appearing in vending machines all over the country.

Shamrock Farms currently produces portable, 12-ounce containers of whole white, whole chocolate and 2 percent reduced fat white, chocolate, strawberry and vanilla. On-the-go Shamrock Farms milk will be available through Kroger and Marsh in Charleston, W.V.; Raleigh-Durham, N.C.; and Roanoke and Richmond, Va.

“We have a strong brand with on-the-go functionality, compelling graphics, and even a sassy spokescow, Roxie,”” said Sandy Kelly, direcot rof marketing for Shamrock Farms Dairy Division. “This product delivers fun flavors and the great taste kids love without compromising the nutrition parents demand. Our single serve milk line has proven to be a real stand-out in the dairy case.”

The company plans on utilizing print, radio and in-store POS advertising to gain national interest in the new line, sampling the product at high-traffic locations and promoting it through sponsored sporting events.

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HEB reorganizes management, names Loeffler company president

BY Jenna Duncan

SAN ANTONIO, Texas HEB has promoted Bob Loeffler to lead as president, the company announced this week.

Loeffler has served HEB as chief operating officer since early 2003.

Other resulting shifts in HEB management include Craig Boyan following Loeffler in the position of chief operating officer and Martin Otto moving to the position of chief financial officer and executive vice president of merchandising and procurement.

HEB chairman and chief executive officer Charles Butt said that all three men have made important contributions to HEB’s management. He told the press that “their strategic thinking skills, experience and strong commitment to community will ensure that we continue to exceed the expectations of our customers.”

HEB operates grocery stores in communities through Texas and in Mexico.

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Diamond Foods acquires Pop Secret, makes plans for marketing

BY Melissa Valliant

SAN FRANCISCO Diamond Foods, marketer of Emerald brand snack nuts, is popping into the microwavable popcorn segment with its recent $190 million acquisition of Pop Secret, currently the No.2 microwavable popcorn brand.

Emerald brand snack nuts transformed the snack nut category in 2004 with resealable lids, different packaging, new flavors and heavy ad spending. Diamond Foods has the opportunity to do the same with Pop Secret. Diamond Foods chief executive Michael Mendes plans on catering the new advertising campaign to younger consumers through different flavors and packaging, and, according to Investor’s Business Daily, a series of national TV ads will be aired soon. The company intends to spend between $26 million and $29 million on advertising this year and expects to gain $85 million to $90 million in annual sales with the addition of Pop Secret.

“The microwave popcorn market has been pretty stagnant over the past few years, with little money spent on marketing,” analyst Mark Argento of Craig-Hallum Capital Group said. “There’s a big opportunity to re-grow the category with some marketing dollars and product improvement.”

Diamond Foods’ microwavable popcorn possesses high selling potential because of its location in the snack aisle, often adjacent to the snack nuts, and because retail buyers often have control over the purchasing of both snack nuts and popcorn. Both products also have a long shelf life and do not require refrigeration.

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