Seeing Red

Snapple beverages long have been touted as “The Best Stuff on Earth,” but a new launch aims to make the products the best for you. Snapple Red Teas are a line of naturally caffeine-free teas with protective antioxidants and vitamin C which also contribute to a healthy immune system.

The first national brand to bring a ready-to-drink red tea to market, Snapple is adding to its “good for you” platform. That effort launched in 2006 with White Teas and a line of Green Teas which promised to boost metabolism with the natural antioxidant epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG).

Snapple Red Teas are made from the Rooibos plant (found only in South Africa), an herbal tea that is sweeter and fruitier than black or green tea. Snapple, therefore, is introducing the line in flavors that complement the Rooibos taste: Acai Mixed Berry, Peach Pomegranate and Mandarin Tangerine.

Match Point

The Kellogg Company is entering uncharted waters with its latest launch. Nutri-Grain Fruit & Nut Bars are its debut in the fast-growing trail-mix granola bar segment.

The company promises more fruit and nuts than the leading competitor and also specifies the region of source for many of the ingredients. The peanuts are grown in the Virginia-Carolina region, and the almonds are from California.

The effort is a first for the Nutri-Grain brand, matching the popularity of granola-based snacks with natural, premium ingredients in a bar. Plus, the bars answer the consumer demand for healthiness: the package claims each is a “good source of fiber,” providing 3g. The bars are available in two flavors: Berry & Almond and Cranberry; and Raisin & Peanut.

Me Marketing

In the digital age, marketers have learned an important lesson when it comes to online advertisements: consumers do not want to be force-fed ads. They have to be engaged. Doing so properly will actually lead the consumer to pass along the message to others.

This has led many companies to create games on their websites, but there is such a proliferation of those on the web now that even they are not incredibly unique.

For its M&Ms brand, Masterfoods opted to bring the consumer right into the website in its latest campaign. The new website features a “character creator,” allowing visitors to create a likeness of themselves. The site works something like a Mr. Potato Head toy, where users digitally stick eyes, hair, mouths and glasses on an M&M to create their own personal M&M. The company says there are roughly 27 million possible combinations, and the created character can be e-mailed to friends, thereby spreading the fun…and brand.

Spinning off ... or Just Spinning?

The news of the spinoff of Kraft Foods from parent Altria Group had long been expected. The date finally was set in late January, and as of March 30, Kraft will be on its own once again, with some headaches to go with the newfound independence.

Another change at the company received less attention. After the spinoff, Louis Calilleri will no longer serve as chairman at Kraft, and chief executive Irene Rosenfeld will take the additional responsibilities. She will head a company that just saw its 4Q income dip 19%.

This is not to say the move will not have its advantages: proponents note the spinoff will enhance Kraft’s ability to make acquisitions, take on debt and recruit executives. Still, the company will find operating on its own (with a variety of incremental and ongoing costs) to be a challenge, not to mention recent difficulties with its brands and strategies.