EXTENSIONS ARE KEY FOR CONDIMENTS

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Marketers of condiments are gearing up for grilling season with new products and advertising.

Nabisco Foods in May is bringing out A-1 Sweet & Tangy, the third major line extension to its A-1 Steak Sauce. Lowe & Partners/SMS, New York, was still filming a commercial for the line last week; ads are set to break May 12.

The line extension strategy has been successful so far for Nabisco. Although Information Resources Inc. reports A-1's flagship brand sales fell 2.9% to $90.8 million for the 52 weeks ended March 30, A-1 Bold contributed an additional $11.2 million in sales, although down 34.6%, while A-1 Thick & Hearty racked up another $9.6 million, up 46.7%, during that period.

The company is also trying a line extension for Grey Poupon mustard, which saw sales slip 10.9% to $43.4 million.

To tap a segment "where there is no major brand player," according to a spokesman, Nabisco has introduced Grey Poupon Honey Dijon.

It joins other brand extensions, including a peppercorn and horseradish variety.

A TV campaign from Lowe broke April 21. In a twist on other Grey Poupon spots, a commercial for the new product shows an adult and child, in side-by-side Rolls-Royces, arguing over whether there is actually a honey dijon version of the mustard.

BARBECUE SAUCE ADDITIONS

Kraft Foods, which leads the $326 million barbecue sauce category with its Kraft and Bulls Eye brands bringing in sales of $109.8 million, is kicking off its summer TV advertising campaign this week.

The effort for the Kraft brand, from Foote, Cone & Belding, Chicago, introduces two new flavors, Grilled Onion With Garlic and Spicy Honey.

Rival Campbell Soup Co. is forgoing media advertising this summer, relying instead on couponing and a free-standing insert in mid-May.

The FSI announces an "Ultimate Backyard Barbeque" sweepstakes for Open Pit barbecue sauce. The winner receives $25,000 to design his or her own dream back yard. The promotion is handled in-house.

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