KRAFT TOUTS HANDI-SNACKS AS PERFECT FOR ACTIVE KIDS: $10 MIL BACKS TV, PRINT CAMPAIGN

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With lunch box-toting kids heading back to school, Kraft Foods this week launches an estimated $10 million advertising campaign for Handi-Snacks.

KID PROFILES

The TV and print effort, from Foote, Cone & Belding, New York, focuses on a group of children dubbed "the Handi-Snack Kids."

In print ads, five on-the-go kids are profiled, explaining why and when they eat the cracker-and-cheese concoctions.

"Take a tip from Stephanie Jorden. Collector of sunglasses and Handi-Snacks Kid," reads one print ad, which goes on to explain that active children need a portable snack. The others show a young dog walker, a 7-year-old "spy" and twins who love swimming.

TV spots set the tagline-"You gotta hand it to them"-to a catchy beat, showing scenes of kids doing cartwheels, riding tire swings, flying kites and catching frogs.

The ads feature the company's Cheez 'N Breadsticks and Cheez 'N Crackers, but also a new line of shelf-stable puddings under the Handi-Snacks name. The company is already a powerhouse in refrigerated pudding under the Jell-O banner.

CONTEST OFFERS TV ROLE

At the same time, Kraft is running a sweepstakes contest for Handi-Snacks tied to its marketing alliance with kids' cable network Nickelodeon. Through the promotion, kids win a grand prize of a guest voice-over on the network's animated "Hey Arnold" show.

Handi-Snacks cracker products are a $79 million business for Kraft, according to Information Resources Inc. figures for the 52 weeks ended June 15. But dollar sales were down 9.8% during that time, giving Handi-Snacks a 2.9% share of the overall $2.7 billion cracker category. Keebler's Cracker Packs had sales of $24.8 million during that time frame, up 25.2%; Sargento's Moo Town Snackers

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