Minute Maid pours it on for lemonade marketing

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Just in time for summer sipping, Minute Maid Co. plans to pour more marketing support into its Minute Maid Premium lemonade line, including a return to national advertising.

The Coca-Cola Co. unit later this month will launch a $5 million integrated marketing campaign to promote its overall line of frozen and refrigerated lemonades as well as introduce a new Lemonade Iced Tea variety.

Minute Maid's tart beverage franchise returns to national advertising after a five-year hiatus. Although lemonade has received some regional radio advertising and sampling over the past few years, the bulk of the company's marketing efforts have been focused against orange juice and kids businesses. Until now.

"We're looking to build a powerful lemonade brand by communicating to consumers pretty simply that Minute Maid lemonade is a fantastic-tasting product with better-tasting ingredients: real lemons, pure filtered water and natural sweeteners," said Mike Keown, VP for Minute Maid's All Family Refreshment team. "Lemonade is a forgotten American favorite that ties uniquely to consumer values of a simpler, less harried time."

National radio advertising, from Leo Burnett USA, Chicago, will kick off later this month and run through May and June.


The new creative, yet to be determined, will target adults ages 25 to 44 and focus on the quality and all-natural ingredients of the lemonade, as well as try to tap into the emotional connection people have with the product. A new tagline will replace the "Lemonade that's lemon made" theme.

The advertising also will carry a mention of the new Lemonade Iced Tea, a 50/50 blend of lemonade and iced tea that seeks to take advantage of the popularity of lemon-flavor iced teas.

In addition to the radio campaign, Minute Maid will run coupons for the new Lemonade Iced Tea and the base lemonade line in newspaper inserts and, for the second year in a row, deploy its Lemonade Brigade, a fleet of Volks-wagen Beetles that visit summertime events such as Taste of Chicago to offer samples of lemonade and conduct brand-building games.

Minute Maid recently improved the formula for its lemonade and repackaged the line to include graphics featuring a glass filled with real lemons, a plastic nozzle for refrigerated cartons and a pull ring on frozen canisters.

Minute Maid is the leader in frozen lemonade with sales up 4.2% to $45 million in supermarkets for the 52 weeks ended Feb. 27, according to Information Resources Inc. Sales for its refrigerated lemonade, also No. 1 in its category, grew 9.5% to $25 million for the same period.

Private-label brands are its biggest competitors in both segments.

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