NABISCO, KRAFT FOODS HUNGRY FOR HOLIDAYS: BUT THEY REMAIN GRINCH-LIKE IN AD SUPPORT FOR NEW PRODUCTS

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It's beginning to look at lot like Christmas on grocery store shelves.

Among the food marketers introducing a raft of holiday-theme products are Nabisco Biscuit Co. and Kraft Foods, with new lines and promotions timed to December.

But the new products will be minimally supported, with in-store support rather than full-scale media advertising.

In-store "will be the main vehicle this year" to promote holiday products and a new "Santa's Mailbox" Christmas promotion, said Rachel Dugoff, Oreo brand manager at Nabisco, who said the company might consider using advertising in similar programs for the future.

TIE-IN WITH TOYS FOR TOTS

"Santa's Mailbox," a tie-in with the U.S. Marine Corps' Toys for Tots program, will offer children the opportunity to send a letter to Santa Claus -- via in-store displays in 10,000 stores -- asking him to give a present to a needy child.

The display is built around Nabisco's traditional seasonal cookies -- red creme-filled Oreos, white fudge-covered Oreos and holiday tins of Oreos.

The company then will donate 10 cents per letter to Toys for Tots.

Promotion Network, Dallas, handles the effort for Nabisco.

Kraft is offering four new holiday lines, but because of a shorter selling season this year, it plans little fanfare beyond in-store promotion. The company will tag current TV ads for Charlie Brown's Christmas Macaroni & Cheese dinners but there won't be support for a cranberry variety of its Stove Top stuffing, Holiday Fruity Pebbles cereal and Maxwell House Holiday Roast, a special coffee

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