OSCAR MAYER LUNCHABLES CREATES ADULT VERSIONS; LARGER-PORTION DELI-CARRYOUTS JOINS SUCCESSFUL KIDS PRODUCTS

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Oscar Mayer Foods is extending its hugely successful Lunchables kids brand to grown-ups with the rollout of Deli-Carryouts.

The Kraft Foods unit plans to spend at least $10 million for the introduction, beginning this week.

Lunchables Deli-Carryouts is a six-variety, pre-packaged lunch with sandwich makings including bread, meat, cheese, a condiment package, side dish and dessert. It combines several brand names from the Kraft cupboard, including Lender's bagels, Oscar Mayer luncheon meats, Kraft mayonnaise and Jell-O pudding.

LOW-FAT VARIETIES

Also available in low-fat varieties, the new line provides much larger portions than Lunchables, the $300 million-plus line of do-it-yourself kits aimed at the 4-to-9-year-old crowd.

A TV, print and radio campaign from J. Walter Thompson USA, Chicago, breaks in Chicago this week with a gradual expansion to the rest of the country expected by December, said Steve Shanesy, VP-marketing.

Print ads play on the nostalgia of brown-bagging, featuring a traditional lunch box and the tagline, "Remember when someone packed a little lunch box just for you? Someone still does."

Recent Oscar Mayer studies show that one in four adults brings lunch to work, the average lunchtime has shrunk to 30 minutes and 12% of adults eat lunch while working at their desks.

Lunchables, first introduced in 1988, has been the innovator in the $469.1 million refrigerated lunch category, as measured by Information Resources Inc. But rival Sara Lee Corp. has beaten Oscar Mayer out with the first such product for adults, Jimmy Dean's Tastefuls.

JIMMY DEAN'S FOR KIDS

While Oscar Mayer follows Jimmy Dean in going after adults, Jimmy Dean is taking a cue from Oscar Mayer in aiming at kids.

That Sara Lee unit introduced a pizza lunch kit similar to Oscar Mayer's Lunchables pizza in September.

The refrigerated lunch category climbed 34.6% for the 52 weeks ended Sept. 8, said IRI. Oscar Mayer's Lunchables jumped 26.4% during that time, giving it 72.9% of the category. Brands marketed by Sara Lee's Jimmy Dean, Hillshire Farms and Bryan Foods units had a combined 19.7% share.

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