"I grew up in a Jell-O family and it's always been a part of my life," says the senior product manager for Jell-O gelatin at Kraft Foods. "My mom would rotate which of us, between me and my sister or brother, got to pick the flavor for the holiday mold."
It was no accident that her first job was and still is working on the brand in its various forms, including pudding, over her 71/2 years at Kraft.
In 1995, Ms. Smith helped formulate strategies to revitalize the brand, which will hit its 100th birthday next year. The approach became two-pronged: reach adults again and find strong kids' promotions.
As a result, the first new flavors since 1981 were created-cranberry, cranberry-strawberry and cranberry-raspberry-introduced last August along with the adult-targeted "Still the Coolest" campaign from Young & Rubicam, New York. The flavor had a 15% share in the Thanksgiving period and now comprises 7% of sales for the gelatin brand, which saw overall sales rise 2% in 1995 to $169.9 million, according to Information Resources Inc.
For the more established consumer group, the kids, Kraft broke out some new molds-Easter Egg Jigglers.
Three million three-dimensional egg molds were given away at retail and shipped by order from a TV 800-number ad last year. Grey Advertising, New York, handles Jell-O's kids advertising.
"It was one of our most successful promotions ever," says Ms. Smith, who brought the promotion back this year. Sales of the brand jumped 20% for the four-week Easter '95 period.
No longer having to fight for her favorite flavor, which one does Ms. Smith pick for holidays? Raspberry.