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Magazines in the Snack Aisle: Planters Introduces Men's Health Mixed Nuts

Effort to Capitalize on Growing Interest in Healthier Eating

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Media brands on grocery-store shelves typically take forms such as Dora the Explorer fruit snacks or SpongeBob SquarePants GoGurt -- products using TV shows to reel in kids. But now there's an effort to use a magazine brand to win adult shoppers: Planters Nut-rition Men's Health Recommended Mix.

The nut mix grew out of men's changing attitudes toward food, according to Scott Marcus, senior brand manager for Planters, which is part of Kraft Foods. "What's really relevant to Planters is their interest in eating healthier," Mr. Marcus said. "For that reason we've been talking with Men's Health for years about how men are behaving, what men are looking for."

"This was really a natural evolution," he added. "We've seen what men are looking for and felt there was a real need for health snacks for men."

Men's Health has previously teamed up with Carl's Jr. on a turkey burger and licensed its name to a Microsoft Kinect video game. It also publishes books such as "Eat This, Not That!" and "The Men's Health Diet." But it's picky about where it deploys its brand, according to Ronan Gardiner, publisher of Men's Health.

"We're approached pretty regularly by companies across all categories to put our name on products," Mr. Gardiner said. "It can be shoes, sunglasses, gym equipment, you name it. But this seemed very natural and synergistic."

How much pull magazine brands can have on grocery shoppers remains to be seen, said David Diamond, a consultant who focuses on packaged goods, retail and marketing services.

"It's done with kids all the time, because with kids it can really matter," Mr. Diamond said. "You put your 3-year-old in the cart and pass by the mac and cheese with SpongeBob on it and he goes, 'Get me that , get me that , get me that .' But magazine brands aren't big or powerful enough, and the connections to specific food products are too tangential."

Planters' promotional effort includes an ad on the back cover of the May issue of Men's Health and a commercial slated to run on networks including ESPN, Fox News, MSNBC and TBS.

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