FRITO-LAY SELECTS GSD&M FOR SUN CHIPS ACCOUNT

$30 Million Effort Includes Return to TV

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay will relaunch its whole-grain-based Sun Chips brand early next year, spending as much as $30 million on a marketing push that will include a return to TV advertising.
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A Frito-Lay spokesman said the marketer has tapped one of its several Omnicom Group roster agencies, GSD&M of Austin, Texas, to handle the relaunch, which is intended to capitalize on the growing consumer interest in whole grains.

Dietary guidelines
New U.S. Department of Agriculture dietary guidelines that emphasize whole grains have driven marketers like PepsiCo to put more marketing attention against the whole-grain products already in their portfolio as well as develop new products. Although PepsiCo earlier this year flagged Sun Chips as being made with whole grains, the company has not advertised the brand at all since 2001, when it spent a paltry $200,000 in measured media, according to TNS Media Intelligence.

Precisely how much Frito-Lay will spend on the push remains unclear, but executives familiar with the situation say it could be in the $30 million range. It’s been at least five years since the Sun Chips brand has been supported with TV advertising, the spokesman said.

GSD&M, which also recently won brand development duties from Norwegian Cruise Line, also handles Frito-Lay’s Tostitos brands. A spokesman for the agency referred calls to the client.

Sales up 12%
Sales of Sun Chips grew 12.2% to $100.7 million in food, drug and mass outlets excluding Wal-Mart for the 52 weeks ended April 17, according to Information Resources Inc.

In January, Frito-Lay altered packaging for Sun Chips to include the phrase "Made With Whole Grains to Support Heart Health" and the Food and Drug Association-approved health claim that "diets rich in whole grain foods and other plant foods, and low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may help reduce the risk of heart disease."