CPC MIXES NEW DRESSINGS:HELLMANN'S, BEST FOODS ENTRIES WILL CHALLENGE KRAFT

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CPC International is challenging salad dressing kingpin Kraft Foods with a $31 million TV ad and promotion push for its first entry into the $1.1 billion category.

ON BOTH COASTS

The new dressings, dubbed Hellmann's Salad Dressings on the East Coast and Best Foods Salad Dressings on the West Coast, aim to take advantage of CPC's venerable mayonnaise brands in each region.

AMBITIOUS PLANS

Spending on the lines is considered particularly aggressive for a product not yet national. The media plan includes network TV-and a sponsorship of the '96 Olympic Games-sampling, free-standing inserts, on-pack offerings and tie-ins with the mayonnaises.

Advertising broke last week in 19 states from BBDO Worldwide, New York.

CHALLENGING KRAFT

CPC is taking on a formidable competitor with Kraft, which leads the category with a 39.3% share, according to Information Resources Inc. At No. 2 is Wishbone from Unilever's Thomas J. Lipton Co. unit with 17.7%, followed by Clorox Co.'s Hidden Valley Ranch with 15.1%.

Kraft has already accepted the challenge. "They are going to live to regret this," said Kraft President John Bowlin, who keeps a jar of the new CPC dressing on a credenza in his office to remind him of the battle ahead. "I've told our guys to do whatever it takes" to obliterate the competition.

Presumably, that will include additional advertising, from Leo Burnett USA, Chicago.

Kraft last year supported its lines with $17.6 million in media spending, according to Competitive Media Reporting.

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