Supplier Spotlights: Mondelēz, Tyson & Johnsonville
NATIONAL REPORT — While it's important for convenience store retailers to market themselves, new products, services, promotions and other initiatives by c-store industry suppliers are a major part of capturing consumer interest. Convenience Store News will regularly highlight such efforts in this roundup.
Here are the latest supplier spotlights:
Dunkin' Brands Group Inc.
Dunkin' Brands published Broadening Our Horizons, the company's third corporate social responsibility (CSR) report, which outlines its ongoing commitment to sustainability efforts to meet the needs of its franchisees, employees and guests, while serving local communities responsibly and protecting the interests of the planet.
The report details Dunkin's progress over the past two years against goals outlined in its 2012 CSR report, and sets new goals for the future in the areas of sustainable building, packaging, product sourcing, nutrition, supporting local neighborhoods, and more.
"Broadening Our Horizons represents our progress in sustainability efforts over the past two years, as well as our commitment to our stakeholders to continue to do more in the future," stated Karen Raskopf, Dunkin' Brands' chief communications officer and co-chair of The Dunkin' Donuts & Baskin-Robbins Community Foundation. "We are proud of our accomplishments, such as launching DD Green Achievement, announcing plans to source 100 percent sustainable palm oil in the U.S. by 2016, committing to exploring the feasibility of going to 100 percent cage-free eggs, and working with our franchisees to donate millions of dollars to support our local communities. We also recognize there is more to be done, and remain dedicated to addressing new challenges to meet the needs of our employees, our franchisees, our guests and our planet."
The full report is available to download here.
Johnsonville is making it easier to alert family and friends when a grilling gathering is about to start through the Brat Signal, the company's new web-based app. Users can visit www.BratSignal.com to send out a virtual "smoke signal" with the grilling location and menu to Twitter followers and Facebook friends.
To keep the brand top of mind for summer cookouts, Johnsonville is also partnering with the Crowdtap marketing platform to inspire user-generated content and sharing around its Grillers line, as well as its brats, Italian sausages and summer grilling promotions.
Johnsonville is celebrating 20 years of gathering brat lovers this summer with the return of the Johnsonville Big Taste Grill, the world's largest traveling grill. Tailgate dates for the grill are available at www.Johnsonville.com.
The official snacks of U.S. Soccer are encouraging soccer lovers across the country to #PassTheLove. Mondelēz International, maker of the Ritz, Chips Ahoy and Trident brands, launched a socially charged campaign to rally consumers and fans across the country to share a message of support for the U.S. Women's National Team as it prepares to compete in the world's largest women's international soccer tournament in June.
"The U.S. Women's National Team has inspired the entire country with some of the most memorable performances in sports history, so our brands want to return the favor by rallying consumers behind the 2015 team," stated Stephen Chriss, senior director, North America consumer engagement and marketing services at Mondelēz International. "We hope #PassTheLove becomes a rallying cry for fans and a way for these amazing athletes to see how much support they have here at home."
The campaign is backed by retail displays, shopper marketing programs, breakthrough real-time social content, adaptive advertising, interactive consumer events, and in-stadium and in-person consumer engagement at U.S. soccer games before the team departs to Canada for the tournament.
Fans are encouraged to take part in creating an interactive digital "Fan Wall of Support" and #PassTheLove. They can go to www.PassTheLove.com to share a message of support from their social media channels. Posting a message allows them to automatically enter to receive instant-win prizes, awarded hourly all the way up to the competition.
In a separate effort, Mondelēz is infusing new life into its more-than-a-century-old Newtons biscuit brand with the launch of "Now We're Newtons," its first-ever original content series. The episodic comedy premiered May 11 and observes a company in transition from "being run by the Figs" to "not just figs anymore."
"At Mondelēz International, we pride ourselves on being fearless marketers and setting ourselves apart," said Gary Osifchin, portfolio lead, biscuits, North America. "Breaking through the clutter requires creation of engaging content that gives the viewer some value beyond just product information. Now We're Newtons is a humorous vehicle to tell our product and social giving story in a visually compelling and lighthearted way, poking fun at our brand to increase awareness about our partnership with Feeding America."
The new series, viewable at www.Youtube.com/newtons, continues the large-scale rebranding effort that began in 2012 and included changing the name of Fig Newtons to just Newtons, adding varieties of different fruit flavors, and making the brand relevant to younger audiences as well as existing loyalists.
Oberto Beef Jerky
On May 18, Oberto unveiled "Heroes of Summer," a new digital campaign spotlighting four individuals whose personal achievements and determination can inspire people: Seattle Seahawks defensive back Richard Sherman; blind marathoner/mountain climber Randy Pierce; Boston Marathon bombing survivor Adrianne Haslet-Davis; and leukemia survivor Brady Wein. Having overcome life's challenges and obstacles, they personify the Oberto brand mantra, "You Get Out What You Put In."
Oberto worked with each of these individuals to create emotionally charged mini-films that will be showcased at the official Oberto "Heroes of Summer" microsite, Heroes.Oberto.com. Highlights include:
- Following Pierce on a quest to conquer all obstacles in a grueling Tough Mudder and overcoming one of "SoCal's most rugged extreme sports venues" with a cast of thousands cheering him on as he makes history.
- Enabling Haslet-Davis, an aspiring dancer who lost her foot in the Boston Marathon bombing, to bring her dream of ballroom dancing in public to life, stopping traffic as she foxtrots at the site of the Boston Marathon finish line.
- Arranging for Sherman to make a surprise visit back to his Compton, Calif., high school, which turned emotional during a speech to students about reaching for more in life.
"Heroes of Summer" will be driven by paid social media engagement across Facebook, Twitter and YouTube and receive support through Oberto-branded point-of-purchase displays at major retailers across the United States. Consumers will also be able to share their own stories of personal triumph or inspiration through the "Heroes of Summer" contest, where they will have the chance to win a Toyota 4-Runner.
"Oberto is honored to shine a light on everyday heroes across America — from those overcoming overwhelming obstacles to those supporting their communities — that embody our brand message of 'You Get Out What You Put In,'" said David Lakey, vice president of marketing at Oberto Brands. "Our 'Heroes of Summer' program aims to inspire Oberto consumers with diligence, perseverance and optimism, that they can achieve their personal goals and overcome life's hurdles."
PepsiCo has teamed up with the NBA in a multiyear agreement that makes it an official marketing partner of the NBA, WNBA, NBA Development League and USA Basketball starting next season. PepsiCo will leverage its Mountain Dew, Aquafina, Brisk, Doritos and Ruffles brands to engage NBA fans through PepsiCo's world-class sports marketing and high-profile activation, according to the announcement.
"Uniting the passionate fans of the NBA with the power of PepsiCo's food and beverage brands is a slam dunk for the league and for our company," said PepsiCo Chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi. "The NBA has established itself as one of the most exciting and innovative sports leagues in the world. We look forward to working together to redefine the meaning of sports marketing partnership by taking the fan experience to new heights."
As the lead brand of the partnership, Mountain Dew will introduce several new fan and community activities, highlighted by a commitment to expand the NBA's three-on-three (NBA 3BX) basketball program. Additionally, the Aquafina brand will support programs around the NBA's youth, health and wellness initiatives.
In other PepsiCo news, the company also announced that it will remove aspartame from Diet Pepsi in the United States and replace it with the artificial sweetener sucralose. The move comes in response to consumer surveys that show the presence of aspartame is the No. 1 reason Americans are cutting back on diet colas.
Although the company said it continues to stand behind the safety of aspartame and will continue to use it outside the U.S., it will begin shipping Diet Pepsi without aspartame in August.
Tyson Foods Inc.
Tyson Foods will seek to eliminate the use of human antibiotics from its U.S. broiler chicken flocks by the end of September 2017. Starting with its fiscal 2015 sustainability report, the company will report annually on its progress. Tyson has already stopped using all antibiotics in its 35 broiler hatcheries, requires a veterinary prescription for antibiotics used on broiler farms and has reduced human antibiotics used to treat broiler chickens by more than 80 percent since 2011.
"Antibiotic resistant infections are a global health concern," said Donnie Smith, president and CEO of Tyson Foods. "We're confident our meat and poultry products are safe, but want to do our part to responsibly reduce human antibiotics on the farm so these medicines can continue working when they're needed to treat illness.
Tyson is forming working groups with independent farmers and others in its beef, pork and turkey supply chains to discuss ways to reduce the use of human antibiotics on cattle, hog and turkey farms. They will begin meeting this summer.
"Given the progress we've already made reducing antibiotics in our broilers, we believe it's realistic to shoot for zero by the end of our 2017 fiscal year," Smith said. "But we won't jeopardize animal wellbeing just to get there. We'll use the best available treatments to keep our chickens healthy, under veterinary supervision."