Last summer, cereal giant Kellogg wed ConAgra in a licensing deal for the latter's successful Healthy Choice brand. And the new Healthy Choice cereal won the partners $39 million in sales during its first seven months in the market, a period ended Jan. 1, according to Information Resources Inc.
"The relationship combined not only nutrition benefits but the halo of the whole Healthy Choice name," says Thomas Knowlton, 49, president, Kellogg North America.
But like many marriages, there were rocky moments. Kellogg initially went after the health aspect of the brand in advertising from Leo Burnett USA, Chicago. But after consumer feedback, the company decided to refocus on taste.
"The Healthy Choice name already meant nutrition," Mr. Knowlton explains.
The marketing plan put into place also includes leveraging both companies' strengths with cross-couponing efforts, offering a cereal coupon with Healthy Choice frozen dinners from ConAgra, for example.
The co-branding agreement has brought prosperity to both bride and groom. The Healthy Choice name has allowed Kellogg to further its linkage of dry cereal's low-fat, high-fiber makeup with a healthy lifestyle, while giving ConAgra a leg up in breakfast.
"ConAgra [was] looking to broaden and extend coverage beyond its traditional lunch and dinner occasions," says Mr. Knowlton, who deemed "the marriage to be good."