Chick-fil-A leads the way with a buffet of healthy menu changes
Recently, we wrote about how the world’s largest soft drink manufacturer (Coca-Cola) is stepping out as an industry leader by at least acknowledging consumer fears about artificial sweeteners. Those fears also include concerns about high fructose corn syrup, food dyes and all sorts of other unnecessary ingredients in our food.
One fast food restaurant is going beyond simply acknowledging the issue by actually addressing it with changes to its menu. Chick-fil-A, with more than 1,700 restaurants in 38 U.S. states, recently announced a host of healthy upgrades, including:
- Removing high-fructose corn syrup from its white buns
- Removing artificial dyes from its sauces and dressings
- Removing yellow dye from its chicken soup
- Testing a new, healthier peanut oil
The buns are currently being tested in 200 Georgia locations with the sauces and dressings slated for testing in 2014. The new yellow dye-free chicken soup will be unveiled in all Chick-fil-A locations this month.
What’s especially refreshing about the chicken restaurant’s changes is what spurred the action. The seed was planted in 2011 after food blogger Vani Hari wrote an article titled “Chick-fil-A or Chemical-Fil-A?“ The article revealed more than 100 ingredients in the chain’s chicken sandwich, including TBHQ (a chemical made from butane). In response, Chick-fil-A invited Hari to its Georgia headquarters to chat with execs about how to fix the issue. Read more...
Want more Likes and shares on Facebook? Try an emoticon! :)
Simply having a Facebook page for your brand and populating it with 20 to 30 updates per month isn’t enough. You also have to know how to write those posts in order to 1) provide content your fans will appreciate and, 2) provide content your fans will interact with.
The specifics of goal number two (creating content your fans will interact with) was the subject of a recent Fast Company article titled “7 Powerful Facebook Statistics You Should Know About.” We won’t rehash all seven of the stats, but we can offer some insight on a few of the more interesting ones. And, as always, if you need some help jumpstarting your brand’s Facebook copy, just give us a call and we’ll be more than happy to help out (just like we’ve done for brands like Turkey Hill Dairy, Yuengling, Ortega and others).
“PHOTO POSTS GET 39 PERCENT MORE INTERACTION”
Fast Company cites data from KISSmetrics that shows that photos get 53 percent more Likes and 104 percent more comments than text-only posts. It’s a result that we’ve noticed with our social media clients and one that should work for your brand, too. That doesn’t mean you need to force a photo into every Facebook update, but if you have a good, relevant image, you’d be wise to use it. Read more...
Beer losing ground with men as favorite beverage, but gaining with women
Beer has been Americans’ favorite adult beverage since, well, probably since beer was invented (which was long before America was). But that number one status might slip to number two in a few years if current trends continue.
According to data from Alcoholic Beverage DemandTracker and Consumer Edge Insight, 39 percent of adults aged 21 and older who drink alcohol at least once a week named beer as their favorite alcoholic beverage. That’s down from 41 percent just one year ago. Wine is nipping at beer’s heels at 30 percent, followed by spirits (28 percent) and flavored malt beverages (4 percent).
While beer marketers might not lose too much sleep over that 2 percent drop, what might keep them up at night is the changing tastes of their core audience. Among men, 51 percent named beer as their favorite, a 3 percent decline from one year ago. Beer lost the most share among 21-27 year olds (from 39 percent to 33 percent) and 39-54 year olds (47 percent to 41 percent). Interestingly, beer gained ground among the 55-and-older crowd, surging from 31 percent in 2012, to 38 percent in 2013. Read more...
Ben & Jerry’s (Anchorman 2) vs. Subway (Hunger Games): A tale of two movie co-promos
Good marketing is all about recognizing potential partners and then leveraging those partnerships to create a win-win for both sides. In the CPG world, it happens all the time – one brand teams up with another brand (milk and Oreo, for example) on a marketing campaign that just feels right.
And while it’s often two food and beverage brands that join forces, lately we’ve seen plenty of brands coming together with major motion pictures to create mutually beneficial campaigns.
Anchorman 2 (which ADWEEK says is “changing the way movies are marketed”) has partnered with Ben & Jerry’s to create “Scotchy, Scotch, Scotch“ – a butterscotch-overloaded ice cream flavor based on a famous line uttered by the film’s main character, Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) in the first movie.
“Scotchy, Scotch, Scotch is a delicious ice cream and I hope Ben and Jerry consider my other suggestions,” said Ron Burgundy, in a press release. “Malt liquor marshmallow, well liquor bourbon peanut butter, and cheap white wine sherbet.”
The Ben & Jerry’s/Anchorman partnership works because both brands are fun, sometimes irreverent and they generally play very well together. (After all, what’s better while watching a raucous comedy than a big bowl of ice cream?) Read more...
Lack of healthy options tops financial concerns as reasons for declining restaurant traffic in 2014
U.S. Census Bureau data has found that restaurant spending per person in 2013 was steady over the previous year — $108.67 per month in 2013 versus $108.11 per month in 2012. That’s not great news for the restaurant category, which expected receipts to increase along with post-recession consumer confidence.
Next year doesn’t look much better, either. As reported in Nation’s Restaurant News, those who plan to dine out less in 2014 cite a lack of healthy options – not cost – as the number one reason they’ll cook at home more often in 2014.
“Want to eat healthier” was a concern among 60 percent of diners surveyed while 59 percent pointed to a need to cut back on personal spending. According to Nation’s Restaurant News, “When they do dine out, however, consumers say they plan to spend less, in part because they’re still looking for meal deals and promotions.”
What’s this mean for restaurants? It means they’ll have to provide exclusive deals and promotions that offer healthier options at a price that’s healthier for diner’s budgets. It’s not easy to do both, but if restaurants want to win back customers in 2014, they’ll have to figure out a way to make it happen. Read more...