Tombstone Rings dip into snacktime

By Published on .

Tombstone isn't just for dinner anymore.

With the introduction of new Tombstone Stuffed Dipping Ring, a doughnut-shape stuffed pizza with a tomato dipping sauce, Kraft Foods hopes to extend its Tombstone brand into the growing pizza-flavor frozen snacks arena.

Kraft will support the national launch of Stuffed Dipping Ring with TV advertising targeting moms from FCB Worldwide, Chicago, that breaks June 12. The spot will follow the "Growl" campaign Kraft introduced last year to support the repositioning of Tombstone as the frozen pizza that uniquely satisfies teens' hunger. The humorous campaign features teens embarrassed by the growling of their hungry stomachs with the advisory tag line, "Shoulda had that Tombstone."

Point-of-purchase materials will also support the new product line, which will appear in retailers' freezer cases by July 1.

PIZZA-FLAVOR SNACKS HOT

Kraft research last year showed that 66% of household snack purchase decisions are influenced by teens who, due to hectic schedules, often skip full meals in favor of snacking throughout the day. Sales of pizza-flavor frozen snacks, which grew 13% last year, account for almost one-third of all frozen snacks, according to Kraft materials.

The new line, intended to further position the pizza brand as a good snack or minimeal, will include frozen cheese-, sausage- and pepperoni-filled pizza crust rings with a cup of tomato dipping sauce that are intended to be oven-heated in less than 20 minutes.

Tombstone's last new product launch was the debut last summer of its dual-topping line, Tombstone Half & Half, the idea for which has recently been co-opted by Kraft's premium DiGiorno brand for its own Half & Half Rising Crust pizza line. DiGiorno Half & Half will be supported in May with a dedicated 30-second TV spot, also from FCB, that extends the "It's not delivery, it's DiGiorno" tagline with a scene based on the thriller "Psycho." Two additional spots based on movie themes will focus on the core DiGiorno line. Kraft has a 37% share of the frozen-pizza category, in which Tombstone is No. 1 and DiGiorno is No. 2.

Kraft spent $4.2 million in media for Tombstone and $30.4 million for DiGiorno during the first 11 months of 1999, according to Competitive Media Reporting.

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