Frito-Lay Promotes Nut Line

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Frito-Lay Promotes Nut Line

Frito-Lay thinks its Boomer-targeted snack line, True North, is "a truly inspired natural nut snack," according to a report in Brandweek.

Though a TV, print and online campaign talks up taste and prominently features almonds, the aim is to go a bit deeper than the usual snack ads, said Michelle Rule, director-marketing for True North.

"We're defining it as a purpose in life or a calling," she told the magazine. "Our calling was to bring inspiration to the nut category."

Frito-Lay is hoping its line, which reinterprets nut snacks as Pistachio Crisps and Peanut Crunchers, will inspire others to redefine their own lives as well.

Ads play up the Zen-like nature of the pitch. A TV spot shows almonds falling in rows like dominos that present the image of flowers when they land. A print ad showing another nut mosaic explains: "Some movements start with a rally. Others, a concert. Ours started with an almond."

Online advertising takes a similar tack. Noting that Boomers are more likely to search for information than download viral videos, Rule said Frito-Lay has bought up several search terms that are more aligned with inspiration than nuttiness. (She declined to disclose to the magazine which terms, exactly, that the PepsiCo unit bought.)

The campaign coincides with a national rollout for the line which has been in various markets since February, Brandweek reported. A nut-based snack, which provides more protein and fewer empty calories than carbohydrate-laden items like potato chips, fits in with Frito-Lay's health and wellness platforml.

"It's a good idea," said Ken Harris, president of Cannondale Associates, Evanston, Ill. "Every area of snacking is being examined for benefits beyond food satiation and snacking for snacking's sake." Still, Harris said it remained to be seen if the line would succeed.

Rule declined to disclose sales information, but said the company has been "very pleased" with sales so far. Rule also declined to name a budget for the campaign except to say it would be "significant."

Frito-Lay spent $136 million on measured media in 2007, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus. Those figures do not include online spending.