KEEBLER INTRODUCES SNAX STIX, GET NUTTY; NABISCO BOOSTS EFFORTS

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Keebler Co. is going on a cracker offensive.

Later this month, the marketer is introducing Snax Stix, billed as its first new cracker in five years. Although technically a cracker, the french-fry shaped product is aimed at teens and pre-teens and competes against the larger category of hand-held snacks, said Roger Kalinowski, VP-marketing.

While no dedicated TV advertising is planned, there will be couponing via newspaper free-standing inserts and point-of-purchase displays in August.

With $1.4 billion in sales, snack crackers are the fastest-growing segment in crackers, up 8%, according to Keebler sales materials.

RIVAL COUNTERS WITH 2

Nabisco Biscuit Co. also is pumping up marketing for two of its snack crackers.

This week, Nabisco breaks a 15-second spot for Wheat Thins that touts the brand's improved, crunchier taste.

The agency for Wheat Thins, J. Walter Thompson USA, Chicago, also is at work on new TV creative for Triscuit, said to build on a current print effort that gives the brand a rather sassy personality with the tagline, "Not for nibblers."

Among the copylines: "Beer is made from wheat. Triscuit is made from wheat. Any questions?" and "If the fastest way to a man's heart is through his stomach, this is the expressway."

Keebler, with another new-product introduction this month, appears to be taking direct aim at Nabisco's Planters division.

Its new Cheez-It brand extension, called Get Nutty!, will compete in the snack

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