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Digital Marketing

Social Responsibility for Future Generations

We are paying a very high price for our kids losing touch with the real world. Listen, I’m on my iPhone too much, but that doesn’t mean it’s a behavior that should be passed down to the next generation.  As a brand, you want to drive consumers offline – in store, of course. What if you could do more? What if you could encourage them to rethink their behaviors for them and their family?

Nature Valley Granola Bars are trying to do just that with their new “Rediscover Nature” campaign which seeks to put childhood back outdoors. So they produced a spot where they asked three generations the same question – What did you like to do for fun as a kid?

Depressing, right? Well it is a bit dramatic, but it drives home the issue. There was also a social extension that asked fans to submit their best #RediscoverNature photos to spread the message.

These days, maybe consumers are owed more from brands. Some could argue it is a brand’s responsibility to not just sell a product, but better society — like re-selling playtime in the front yard. Kudos to Nature Valley for strategically tapping into a trend…


License to Brew: 3 Ways Beer Partnerships Improve Brand Awareness

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…

Crisis Management

Consumers fight for their right to real pumpkin: A PSL saga

SONY DSCHoly 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…

Digital Marketing

Report from TEXSOM: Top Beverage Trends

TexSom.jpgAttending 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…

Crisis Management

How To Avoid Creating Your Own PR Crisis: The Case of Riedel + The Blog World

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…

Digital Marketing

What Are We Drinking Now? Part 3

Image_Aperol SpritzSummer’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…

Wine, Food & Nutrition

A Shift from Local to Locale

1As we celebrated Independence Day last Saturday with hot dogs and fireworks, Unesco, the cultural arm of the United Nations, announced for the first time that agricultural regions and production would receive World Heritage status. The vineyards and production of Champagne and Burgundy were recognized for their “very specialized artisan activity” that has come to distinguish the two regions.

As consumers demonstrate an increasing awareness of where their food comes from and how it is produced, a return to traditional techniques and craft production has followed. Thanks to people like Anthony Bourdain, we are much more interested in the stories behind our food; the chef, the restaurant, the place. It is this sense of place that sometimes is lost in our desire to celebrate local. Certainly there are foods that benefit from local production and sourcing, however, there is also the matter of “locale” or terroir that goes into some of our most celebrated foods.

2Europe has been at the forefront of protecting some of their most prized and historic foods through their PDO/PGI systems for wine and food. Geographical indicators help to protect these time-honored…

The Booze Bin

What Are We Drinking? Another Peek into the PadillaCRT Booze Cabinet

FullSizeRenderOne of our biggest drinking holidays, the 4th of July, has come and gone, but here at PadillaCRT we like to maintain our rotation of booze, whether it’s brews, bourbon, or fantastic bottles of wine.

These days, with summer in full swing and the humidity to show for it, I stick to refreshing, light beverages that pair perfectly with sunny days and warm nights. Besides the usual dry rosés or Sauvignon Blancs, I keep it interesting with a variety of beers from different breweries around the country. At a recent happy hour, I tried The Plunge from Coney Island Brewing Company and was instantly smitten with its hazy golden color and lively taste. Other beers in my recent rotation have been Whale’s Tale Pale Ale and the Alphabet City Easy Blonde Ale (promiscuous name notwithstanding).

My colleagues at PadillaCRT have a wide breadth of knowledge when it comes to alcohol, so I asked around to see what their boozy rosters looked like in part two of “What Are We Drinking?” (Still thirsty after reading this post? Check out part one.)

Melissa Martinez, Account Executive

My usual favorite wine for summer is Long Island…

Digital Marketing

Hard Cider in Hudson Valley – An Empire State of Mind

I don’t know about other New Yorkers City dwellers but I often like to escape this urban jungle. An easy escape is New York’s Hudson Valley, where I was lucky enough to be raised for the better part of my childhood. The region consists of 10 counties and extends into an area of 150 miles. It begins just minutes after leaving the tip of Manhattan by car or train, over and alongside the river, named after Henry Hudson, who explored the famous Valley over 400 years ago. The area has a myriad of natural beauty, history and tradition, hence why it is designated as a National Heritage Area. Aside from quaint towns, breathtaking hiking trails and shopping malls, there’s also plenty for food lovers to cheer about, like renowned farm-to-table restaurants  and bakeries, The Culinary Institute of America, bountiful farms, wineries and distilleries. Fact: Hudson Valley is actually the oldest wine producing region in the United States, and  in addition to all this enticement and charm, it was also devotedly named as the nation’s “apple belt”. The Empire State is the second largest producer of apples in the USA, producing nearly 30 million bushels of this pomaceous fruit annually…

PR Industry Trends

Surf, Turf and BLURF: Three Creatures Responsible People Should Be … Eating??

Foodies, be advised: the entrées of tomorrow might have a few more legs and spines than you were expecting.

In a Buzz Bin post last summer, I included insects on a list of “formerly vilified” foods, noting how they were slowly starting to crawl their way toward acceptability – at least for early adopters – in Western food culture. Well, in the past 12 months, some of those critters have picked up the pace and are now downright hopping and flying onto ingredient lists of experimental products at natural food stores. In particular, crickets.bb1

Freeze-dried and ground into indistinguishable “flour,” crickets are adding protein to energy bars marketed by Exo, Chapul and Bitty Foods, among others. (When you Google “cricket flour,” currently more than 672,000 results pop up!) The thought is that the homogenized particles will hide well amongst other familiar, palatable ingredients and lend sustenance without adding any unusual flavor or texture, thereby increasing acceptance and adoption. For these very new kinds of snacks, however, there remains an age-old culinary challenge: are they actually yummy?

A recent NPR story observed that:

“Policymakers and the media have…