COCA-COLA TO LAUNCH NORTHEAST JUICE OFFENSIVE

Published on .

March 15, 2001

By Stephanie Thompson

Coca-Cola Co. plans to launch a new not-from-concentrate orange juice in Northeast markets this May to compete with rival PepsiCo's leading Tropicana

Coke takes on Tropicana.
Pure Premium brand and has named Doner to handle the advertising.

The new Simply Orange brand, marketed under a separate Minute Maid Co. unit dubbed the Simply Orange Juice Co., will be positioned as an affordable alternative to fresh-squeezed orange juice and packaged in clear plastic carafes.

The new juice will roll out to stores in the Northeast in late May and will be backed by a massive integrated marketing push that will include TV, print, heavy coupon promotions, a Web program and a public relations effort called "Orangeing the East."

Stiff competition
While Minute Maid has a 21% share of the $3.1 billion chilled orange juice segment, it has been unable to compete with Tropicana's not-from-concentrate premium entry, which leads with a 39% share.

According to one Minute Maid executive, spending in the initial Northeast markets, where Tropicana Pure Premium derives as much as 30% of its business, will be as high as the $37 million Minute Maid spent last year in measured media against its brands nationally.

The choice of Doner, Southfield, Mich., rather than Minute Maid's agency of record, Bcom3's Leo Burnett, Chicago, stemmed from Minute Maid's intention to portray Simply Orange as an entrepreneurial small company.

"In our marketing, we wanted to engage with companies more suited to a small company," a company spokesman said.

Simply Orange media will be handled by Bcom3's Starcom Worldwide, while Internet promotions will be handled by Sharpe Partners, New York, and public relations by Vorhaus & Co., New York.

Copyright March 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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