Friday, January 29, 2010

How Much Sugar in Mountain Dew Throwback?

Mountain Dew has always been a guilty pleasure of mine, so I was intrigued to taste some made with cane sugar. Then I noticed the amount of sugar in the product...

There are 73 grams of sugar in a 20oz single serve bottle.

Innovation Slowing

Unsurprisingly, Mintel is reporting that the rate of rate of innovation of food and beverages is slowing, with 30% fewer new product entries in 2009 over 2008. After a decade of massive growth from innovation retailer's category management, a reduction corporate resources and the focus on value is taking its toll.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Its That Most Wondeful Time of the Year...

Well maybe for statistical geeks like me. It is that time when annual numbers for 2009 are solidified and we start to get a better picture of the American consumer and the retail marketplace.

Today we have been provided data on consumer use of coupons. With the recession, it was likely that coupon use would be up - but the results are jaw dropping. Coupon use is +27% worth over $35B in retail sales.

A quick quote from the article...

“There has been a noticeable increase in page count over the past year,” said News America Marketing EVP of Marketing, Jesse Aversano. “Manufacturers understand that in a tough economy, coupons are an effective and efficient way to spend their advertising dollar.”

“Brands saw coupons as a key to maintaining brand strength,” adds Matthew Tilley, Director of Marketing for Inmar’s promotion services division. “If they reduced their promotional presence, they stood to lose sales to lower priced competitors and store brands – so they doubled down hoping to create brand loyalty once the economic dust settles.”

Hmm. Coupons as a source of brand building? Sorry, nice try. Coupons have become a way to keep retailer prices high (ie not give back the hard won price increases of 2007) but still give price motivated consumers a promotional reason to buy their product. Coupons have become the path of least resistance and greatest motivation in a market place full of easily duplicated products.

I could buy that these are tactics to gain share, but in 2009 these were tactics of survival - and not cunning plans for brand domination.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

90s Are Back

At least in waist-lines.

Apparently the combination of eating out less and fewer dollars to spend has reduced American obesity to the levels of 1999. See the Wall Street Journal for info.

The Next Decade...

I was recently asked by an industry group to provide a perspective on successful beverage innovation and the future of beverages... Here is the paper I gave.