As good as they get

As good as they get

Bardic, Allison

From flashy packaging graphics to memorable radio and television commercials, a product’s advertising and marketing campaigns are intended to captivate, intrigue and entertain consumers.

As a reward, those dairy companies leaving a lasting impression on consumers will soon have their day in the sun. With 2002 upon us, the industry is gearing up to honor the past year’s best and brightest marketing and advertising efforts in the form of the Achieving Excellence Awards, cosponsored by the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and Dairy Field magazine. Winning campaigns in more than 60 categories will be showcased during SmartMarketing 2002, March 5-7, in San Diego. Contributing to the excitement is the fact that any processor with a creative flair can take part in the action!

But even beyond that, as any industry observer can tell you, Achieving Excellence winners offer their processor peers something to aspire to while opening the doors to new market opportunities in their respective dairy segments.

The 2001 competition, for example, yielded more than 40 winners from nearly 150 entries representing the milk, cheese and ice cream industries. Among them were memorable winners including Marigold Foods, which reinforced the notion that product upgrades are essential by re-launching Kemps Yo-J with a package design deemed more contemporary and competitive with national brand juices. Featuring a new design and a screw cap for ease of use, the rollout of this Best Overall Packaging Redesign achieved significant ACV, while achieving same store volume increases of more than 10 percent. Similarly, Smith Dairy’s Innovative Moovers UHT low-fat custard-style eggnog in festive holiday packaging, winner of the Best Overall Packaging Design, boosted eggnog unit sales 65.8 percent over the previous year.

And then there are the Best of Show and Best Overall New Product winners. Sorrento Lacatalis’ Best Overall New Product, Sorrento Stuffsters Stuffed String Cheese is a natural string cheese stuffed with real pizza sauce and said to “combine the love of pizza and string cheese into one product without messy dipping.” Most importantly, following the introduction of Stuffsters, the snack cheese category was growing at a rate of more than 20 percent in target markets. And in these same markets, Sorrento’s share of snack cheese grew to 30 percent.

Meanwhile, Best of Show winner Shamrock Foods’ single-serve, flavored cottage cheese campaign combated the challenge of mature and relatively flat cottage cheese sales. To compensate for packaging sizes that limited cottage cheese’s portability and the fact that cottage cheese was only available in the traditional flavor, the company introduced a low– fat, 5.5-ounce single-serve cottage cheese cup in a variety of fruit and savory flavors including strawberry, pineapple, apple cinnamon, chive & onion and salsa. For the more conventional cottage cheese lover, the new single-serve cup was made available in a traditional low-fat flavor.

Shamrock’s goal was to create incremental sales to the line and category. The initial results? In the first quarter, single-serve cottage cheese represented more than 35 percent of sales in retail cottage cheese with minimal cannibalization.

In other words, Achieving Excellence Award winners suggest that innovative ideas benefit not only the creator, but also the entire industry. And if that’s the case, put on your thinking caps and let the creative juices flow!

Allison Bardic

(847) 205-5660 ext. 4001

abardic@stagnito.com

Editor’s Note: Stay tuned for a comprehensive overview of the 2002 Achieving Excellence Awards in the March issue of Dairy Field.

Copyright Stagnito Publishing Jan 2002

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