The Lowdown is Ad Age's weekly look at news nuggets from across the world of marketing, including trends, campaign tidbits, executive comings and goings and more.
Kind is celebrating the FDA's plan to reevaluate regulations on nutrient content claims, including use of the term "healthy." Still, food marketers should not expect any big changes just yet. First, the FDA will solicit public comments. The whole reevaluation process, as Kind Founder-CEO Daniel Lubetzky said in an email to Ad Age, "could take a significant amount of time." For now, the FDA did tell Kind that the fruit-and-nut-bar maker can once again use the word "healthy" on its packaging in a certain context. As you might recall, the FDA sent Kind a warning letter in March 2015 over nutrient claims on its labels. Kind then made some changes, including removing "healthy and tasty" from its packaging, as shown in the before and after photos below.
Kind can now use the phrase "healthy and tasty" again, essentially as it had before: in text that clearly shows it is not a nutrition claim, but instead as part of its corporate philosophy. "We are currently exploring all label options, including adding healthy back where it had previously appeared on our packaging," Mr. Lubetzky said.
Subscription beauty box progenitor Birchbox has launched a social media campaign trying a tack that surprisingly isn't used that often -- shooting square video to optimize it for social media newsfeeds. The campaign from VaynerMedia aims to target consumers at various stages of the consideration and purchase cycle, "unlike TV, which plays the same ad over and over, regardless of whether you've seen it before," according to a spokeswoman. Remarkably, Birchbox does have some experience with the latter, having launched a TV campaign from M&C Saatchi in 2014. The new social video campaign features real customer stories, such as that of Lauren, a police woman and mother of three who's also a certified black belt. With all that going on, who's got time to shop for cosmetics?
Budweiser is not the only alcohol brand making a patriotic packaging play this summer. Burnett's Vodka is dressing its bottles in red, white and blue with a "USA Party Edition." The vodka will keep the name "Burnett's Vodka" displayed at the top of the bottles, unlike Bud, which is replacing Budweiser with "America" on cans and bottles. But "USA Party Edition" still gets prominent play on the Burnett's bottles. "From rooting on the USA to celebrating independence, there's no shortage of ways to experience the American spirit this summer. The Burnett's USA Party Edition is your ticket to a nationwide party for the red, white and blue," Reid Hafer, senior brand manager, said in a statement. Burnett's is marketed by Heaven Hill.
A couple of food and restaurant industry deals kicked off the work week. Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. is being gobbled up by JAB Holding Co. in a $1.35 billion deal that gives the European group a snack play to add to its growing lineup of coffee businesses. JAB plans to pay $21 per share for Krispy Kreme in the deal announced this week. Krispy Kreme will keep running its business from Winston-Salem, N.C. No word yet on whether one of JAB's other coffees might be served in Krispy Kreme shops. If the JAB name doesn't ring a bell, some of the brands it already controls probably will: Keurig Green Mountain, Jacobs Douwe Egberts, Peet's Coffee & Tea (which in turn bought Stumptown and a majority stake in Intelligentsia), Caribou Coffee and Einstein Noah.
And Dean Foods is paying $155 million for Friendly's Ice Cream's retail and production business. Dairy company Dean Foods also gets the Friendly's trademark and all intellectual property associated with the ice cream business. The deal will help Dean expand its ice cream business, particularly in the Northeast. "While very regional in its reach, the brand maintains a high degree of loyalty in the area," Stifel analyst Christopher Growe wrote in a research note. Friendly's Restaurants will license use of the Friendly's trademark and will still be owned and operated by an affiliate of Sun Capital Partners Inc.
If reading about ice cream brings back childhood memories, imagine summer camp … with beer. Shock Top is making that happen with a new contest that invites adults to enter to win a chance to go Camp Shock Top at scenic locations outside New York City, Austin, Miami and Los Angeles. Campers will "stay in cabins with access to a host of daily activities from archery to ropes course, water trampolining, beach volleyball, tie-dye, slip 'n slide, cabin "color wars" and evening merriment," according to the Anheuser-Busch InBev-owned beer brand. To enter, drinkers must text "CAMP" to 55999 as well as upload a photo of how they "Live Life Unfiltered," or people can enter at CampShockTop.com.
Finally, a couple of executive moves:
The Wonderful Company said Stephen Krauss will join the food and beverage company's in-house advertising and marketing agency, Wonderful Agency, as chief creative officer on May 23. Mr. Krauss is moving to Wonderful from an executive creative director role at Grey New York, where his work included introducing the E-Trade baby to Super Bowl audiences. Before Grey, he was an art director at J. Walter Thompson New York. The Wonderful Company's products include Wonderful Pistachios, FIJI Water and POM Wonderful pomegranates.
Plated, a cook-at-home meal delivery service, named Lou Weiss as president and chief marketing officer. Mr. Weiss was most recently exec VP-chief marketing and merchandising officer at The Vitamin Shoppe and has also worked at Gaiam and EarthWeb. "Lou has extensive expertise across e-commerce, subscription, wellness, and retail verticals. We are confident that Lou will supercharge our growth while enabling the company to continue to deliver an exceptional and personalized dinner experience to our customers," Plated Co-Founder Nick Taranto said in a statement.
Contributing: Jessica Wohl, E.J. Schultz and Jack Neff