Posted By: Rachel Pankiw l AAF Kent Social Media Director
The holidays are just around the corner and that means delicious, amazing food and more delicious, amazing food! My last post touched on questionable ads, which included KFC’s new bunless chicken sandwich promotion. With food on my mind, I became curious and started looking into other trends within the food industry. It seems that KFC isn’t the only food service that is changing things up. Here’s what I found:
The fast-food chain Wendy’s recently launched a new advertisement featuring founder Dave Thomas’s daughter Wendy. According to an Ad Age article, the promotion is for a new test cheeseburger called Dave’s Hot ‘N Juicy Cheeseburger, named after Mr. Thomas. The commercial is designed to fit in with the new “You Know When It’s Real” campaign. Test markets for the new ad include Las Vegas, Virginia Beach, and Mobile, Alabama. Wendy’s will determine its next step based on customer feedback. According to the article, the new promotion will focus on measuring sales, customer transactions, and consumer appeal.
In other fast-food news, McDonald’s is facing some trouble in California as the San Francisco board of supervisors voted to ban the happy meal toy. The veto-proof bill, which passed November 2, will forbid restaurants from giving away toys with meals that have a high caloric, sugar, or fat count. According to a Los Angeles Times article, the ordinance would also require restaurants to provide fruits and vegetables with all meals for children that come with toys.
McDonald’s is obviously upset with the decision and argues that it’s not what their customers want. According to the LA Times article, the ordinance will take effect December 2011. Once it takes effect, restaurants may include a toy with a meal if the food and drink combined contain fewer than 600 calories, and if less than 35% of the calories come from fat.
Companies obviously want to sell products, save money, and above all satisfy their customers, but it seems like they just can’t win. Let’s take a look at what Sun Chips is doing. Sun Chips is known as a healthy brand of chips that gives back to the community so naturally having eco-friendly packaging makes sense. The company launched a line of biodegradable bags in April 2009, but recently scrapped them because customers complained the bags were too noisy. According to a USA Today article, Sun Chips will only keep the biodegradable packaging for its original flavor, while the other five flavors will return to the previous packaging.
It kind of reminds me of when Starbucks launched its Skinny drink line, featuring sugar free syrups and skim milk. Many people complained that their custom coffee creations were too fattening so Starbucks responded by creating a healthier alternative. Needless to say, many people didn’t like the new drinks because they didn’t have as much flavor or taste. Starbucks still offers these healthy options but has limited promoting them.
So what is a food company supposed to do? Over the next six weeks, we will be indulging in delicious food and thinking about all the calories we’ve consumed. Come January 1st, we will be reintroduced to all of the healthy foods out there and figure out a way to have our cake and eat it too. In the meantime, check out the new Wendy’s commercial and tell us what you think!
Wendy’s Commercial Link: http://adage.com/article?article_id=147097