Oct 9 2015
The food world mourned the passing yesterday of famed Louisiana chef Paul Prudhomme. Even if you don’t recognize his name, you’ve probably enjoyed the benefits of his influence at some point, as he is noted for having made Cajun cuisine, especially blackened redfish, famous and popular across the country in the early 1980s. Today, spicy pan-seared “blackened” proteins of every kind dot the menus of mainstream chains from BJ’s Brewhouse to California Pizza Kitchen.
Thinking about this bit of history reminded me of how I first became fascinated by the world of chefs and cookery – maybe some of you reading this have similar experiences. Around the same time that Prudhomme was serving plates of the real deal to folks lucky enough to be in New Orleans, I was a tween learning about crawfish and andouille sausage by watching “Louisiana Cookin’” with chef Justin Wilson on PBS on Sunday afternoons. There was no Food Network and the culture of celebrity chefs hadn’t really arisen yet, so educational TV programming about cooking tended to be what we today derisively call “dump and stir” demonstrations on unrealistic-looking kitchen sets in studios. Except for the…
Oct 6 2015
It’s the boldest move from Burger King since it stunned rival McDonald’s with its proposal to create a McWhooper – a mashup of the Whopper and the Big Mac – to commemorate Peace Day on September 21. McDonald’s passed on the idea.
It’s commonly said that we eat with our eyes. So does Burger King’s black-bun burger have some customers seeing red … or in some cases, green? Numerous media outlets are reporting that the new burger has an unusual side effect – green poop.
Not surprising, social media’s reaction to the Halloween Whopper has run the gamut from curiosity to delight to dismay. But one thing is certain, Burger King’s new marketing campaign is garnering buzz.
This black burger isn’t completely out of left field for Burger King. It’s similar to a burger it offers in Japan. However, the Japanese burger…
Sep 16 2015
I don’t like taking a public stance. It’s not that I’m lacking opinions – I’m full of them. It’s because I could alienate people and I like to avoid that risk.
Many alcohol beverage brands are also driven by this fear. It’s equivalent to a brand identifying their target audience as “men and women over the age of 21.” They want to cast their nets far and wide to capture anyone and everyone that might possibly buy their product.
Yet in doing so, they often appeal to no one. It’s like a generic online dating profile. How am I supposed to know how to feel about a person who doesn’t express clear interests, goals, likes or dislikes? Where is the point of connection?
As a marketer, I challenge brands that want to be universally appealing to ask themselves one question: “How am I to build a meaningful dialogue with consumers when my brand personality is watered down and, frankly, boring?”
Put a stake in the ground
Sep 11 2015
When Chris Pratt ran with velociraptors and fought colossal dino-beasts on the cineplex screen this summer, moviegoers munched popcorn nostalgically and cheered “rah!” in celebration at the revival of a beloved movie franchise. Now, as summer begins to wane, we see in the pages of food industry news that a well-known single-cup coffee brewing machine and a renowned canned soup company have joined forces to launch a “brewed on demand” soup cup that sorta reminds me of the dorm room cooking hacks in which nearly anything, but especially ramen noodles, could be “cooked” in a standard drip coffee pot, for lack of real kitchen equipment.
Everything old is new again.
But as the protagonists of the original movie franchise-starter Jurassic Park debated:
John Hammond: “I don’t think you’re giving us our due credit. Our scientists have done things which nobody’s ever done before…”
Dr. Ian Malcolm: “Yeah, yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn’t stop to think if they should.”
What is this genetically modified brewing beast that wrought noodle soup whence the nozzle…
Aug 26 2015
According to Global License, food and beverage licensing grew 9.5 percent representing $8.04 billion in licensed merchandise in 2010. It remains to be a growth segment today and increasingly you see it in brand extensions in the craft beer industry.
From Fulton Brewery and New Belgium Brewing to Brewery Ommegang and 21st Amendment Brewery, a number of breweries are partnering with big brands like Wheaties, HBO, Ben & Jerry’s, and Count Chocula to create craft beers to reach broader audiences.
Here are three ways your brand can improve consumer brand awareness with a strategic beer partnership:
1. Get creative and forge authentic partnerships.
Just listen to these creative beer descriptions: 21st Amendment’s homage to Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts with its release of Toaster Pastry, an India-style Red Ale, New Belgium’s Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream inspired Salted Caramel Brownie and Fulton’s Wheaties and Hefewizten beer, HefeWheaties.
Although not technically a licensing deal, the Wheaties brand extension didn’t come out of nowhere. The idea for the limited-edition HefeWheaties came about because Fulton has close ties to General Mills, which owns Wheaties. It also doesn’t hurt that the two Minneapolis companies use…
Aug 20 2015
Holy August – Fall is coming! And with it, a Pumpkin Spice Latte (PSL) that has been revamped since your last sip in 2014. If you haven’t heard, Starbucks announced this week that they’re changing their PSL recipe to include REAL PUMPKIN. I’ll let that sink in, because it’s big news and everyone is freaking out.
But how did this happen and why would Starbucks change a recipe with such a massive cult following?
One of the most interesting parts about this story to me is that it started with a popular food blogger, Vani Hari aka Food Babe, and her community. It’s a pretty awesome example of consumers standing up and taking control of the food they put in their bodies. Consumers are demanding healthier, real food, and big companies are being forced to listen. (Quick disclaimer: Hari has gotten some flack for not always backing up her claims with science, but it appears this story hit home with a lot of truth. Bear with me on this one.)
Here’s the back story. As Hari explains, she started digging…
Aug 19 2015
Attending TEXSOM has been on my bucket list, and this year, I finally made it. In its 11th year, the 2015 conference brought together more than 1,000 attendees, including roughly 25 percent of all industry pros who have earned the title of Master Sommelier.
Below are five takeaways from the “BevLab: Ideas and Issues in the Modern Beverage Industry” session, a panel discussion of current wine trends. Moderated by writer Jordan Mackay, the panel featured John Blazon MS; Levi Dalton (host of podcast “I’ll Drink to That” and wine columnist for eater.com); award-winning restauranteur Shelley Lindgren, and Antony Moss MW AIWS. These five beverage trends were worth noting:
1: Restaurant Costs Skyrocket: Ready-to-Drink Wines Benefit
As the economy improves, restaurant rents are skyrocketing. Lindgren, who is in lease renewal negotiations now, said her landlord proposed a 43% increase over her last contract. How does this affect food and wine programs? Dalton suggested that restaurants can’t expect to be 20-30 year propositions any longer. That affects how wine directors buy wine and build restaurant cellars – there is not as much inventory, and…
Aug 12 2015
Over the past week, people in wine PR have witnessed a dispute between glass manufacturer Riedel and Ron Washam, the man behind the wine-based satire blog “The Hosemaster of Wine™.” It started on August 3 when Washam, a comedy-writer-turned-sommelier, released a satirical piece about Riedel on the blog of his Master Sommelier friend Tim Atkin. In the column called “Riedel Me this,”Washman had a field day with Georg Riedel, the Austrian who pioneered different shapes of glassware for different grape varieties. You should know that people either love or hate the concept of varietal-specific wine glasses (VinePair addresses the debate). Some think the concept is bogus, some – among them Robert M. Parker Jr. himself – think it’s genius.
Riedel was – in my mind understandably – unhappy. At that point, the Goliath of stemware (over $300 million in sales in 125 countries) had a lot of options to choose from how to react to the article. From a PR perspective, I think they had an amazing opportunity to open up a real dialog with consumers and influencers about wine glasses. Having a special glass for each type of…
Aug 5 2015
Summer’s quickly coming to a close, but at PadillaCRT, the roster of refreshing beverages is still very much in full swing. After a two week stint in Italy during one of the country’s hottest summers on record, my drinks of late have been chilled Italian white wines, bottles of Peroni beer, and the occasional Aperol Spritz, the traditional Italian aperitif, or happy hour, cocktail. The drink is usually a combination of sparkling wine, such as prosecco, with a splash of the liquor Aperol, club soda, and garnished with an orange. These were all great options to combat the intense late July heat (glasses of ice water also occasionally made an appearance).
Post-vacation, wonderfully chilled red Beaujolais wines have made their way into my rotation, such as those from Les Vins Georges Duboeuf. For our third installment of “What Are We Drinking?” a few of our staffers offer some drink suggestions to end your summer with a boozy bang.
Kirsten Lesak-Greenberg, Senior Account Executive and Whiskey Enthusiast
These days, I’m sticking to my old standby, a Jack and Coke, which isn’t too sweet and I can get anywhere. My dad has always…