Eating / Food and Cooking

TRENDS: Decreasing SKUs; Peeps multiplying; soup lie detector

From The Wall Street Journal:

“HJ Heinz Co. ceo William Johnson said Feb. 17 that consumers have settled into a money-saving mind-set, including using coupons substantially more than in the past and preparing more meals at home. He said the behavioral changes, particularly prominent among families with children, would benefit Heinz and other packaged-food makers. “This is not a temporary phenomenon, but rather a new behavior,” he said, speaking at a food-industry conference in Florida.  Johnson also said that consumer-goods makers and grocery retailers have to work to trim the variety of products from shelves in order to match consumers’ shift “back to basics.”

— America’s most popular marshmallow candy has paired with the nation’s largest Italian ice company to unveil a Peeps-flavored Italian ice.Rita’s Italian Ice will start selling Peeps Ice on March 20, the first day of spring. It will be colored bright yellow, like Peeps candies, and taste like the marshmallow candy made by Just Born which is introducing Peeps new chocolate-covered marshmallow chick on April 4.

From The Wall Street Journal:

For two years, Campbell researchers studied microscopic changes in skin moisture, heart rate and other biometrics to see how consumers react to everything from pictures of bowls of soup to logo design. This “neuromarketing” approach is a fresh attempt among consumer-good companies to understand how consumers really respond to marketing and advertising. Researchers interviewed about 40 people at their homes and later in grocery stores. The team also clipped small video cameras to the 40 testers at eye level and had them later watch tape of themselves shopping for soup. The researchers found that warmth and other positive attributes people associated with Campbell’s soup at home evaporated when they faced store shelves. In interviews, participants also said the soup pictured on the can and shelf labels didn’t look warm. And the big spoon holding a sample of soup on each label provoked little emotional response. Campbell’s three biggest sellers—chicken noodle, tomato and cream of mushroom, the soup can labels immortalized by Andy Warhol—will remain the same. But on other labels, steam will rise from larger, more vibrant pictures of soup in more modern, white bowls. And those unemotional spoons will disappear.



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