Product Launch: Ziploc dishes out plates for leftovers

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S.C. Johnson & Son is spending big bucks on leftovers with the largest launch budget in company history-estimated by retail executives at up to $65 million-behind Ziploc TableTops, a line of "semi-disposable" dishes, bowls and cups with matching lids for leftover storage.

S.C. Johnson is asking consumers to shell out big bucks, too, as Ziploc's first extension into tableware pushes the category's price boundaries. Sets of four semi-translucent cobalt-blue plastic plates with covers retail for $5.99, while complete sets of four place settings, including plates, bowls and cups, fetch $22.99, a price similar to what permanent dish sets sell for at Wal-Mart Stores. Paper plates sell for as little as a penny each, while the category's other semi-disposable entry, Georgia-Pacific Corp.'s Dixie Rinse & ReUse, sells for about 15 cents per plate.

TableTops reach retail shelves later this month, backed by TV and print ads breaking in April from Interpublic Group of Cos.' Foote, Cone & Belding Worldwide, Chicago, plus in-store marketing and coupons in newspapers.

Despite the prices, S.C. Johnson is putting a frugality spin on the launch, since the plates make it easier to save and serve table scraps. TableTops are the first semi-disposable dishware designed to allow leftovers to be stored on the plates where they were originally served. S.C. Johnson figures increasingly casual home dining works in its favor, citing a 2001 study by Cannondale Associates showing seven of 10 households routinely serve leftovers as a main dish.

Fast Facts

Marketer: S.C. Johnson & Son

Product: Ziploc TableTops

Positioning: "Semi-disposable dishes" that store leftovers

Price: $22.99 (four-place setting)

Marketing budget: $65 million

Fact: Seven out of 10 households serve leftovers

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