KIMBERLY PEDDLE, NESTLE

Marketing Manager of 'Coffee's Perfect Mate'

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25 of 25 > GO TO Next 2004 Woman to Watch

Kimberly Peddle has turned a white powder into liquid gold. Well almost.

The 31-year-old marketing manager has guided Nestle's Coffee-Mate business through a transition from powder non-dairy coffee creamer to today's bevy of

Kimberly Peddle is the Marketing manager for Coffee-Mate, Nestle.

products that include many in the dairy case. The line now ranges from chocolate raspberry liquid non-dairy creamer to flavored half-and-half.

Coffee-Mate's dominance
But don't brush off the brand's status among powder coffee creamers. Coffee-Mate owns half the category in terms of dollars, with the other 50% in the hands of private labels. But Coffee-Mate's dominance is even more impressive among liquid creamers, boasting a 67% share, Ms. Peddle says.

Introduced in 1961 as a powder non-dairy creamer, Coffee-Mate today registers sales in the grocery channel of $750 million at retail, she says. "In 2004, we have grown the brand double digits. We have aspirations to be in every cup of coffee that's consumed in the U.S."

Coffee-Mate's ad tagline, from Interpublic Group of Cos.' McCann Erickson Worldwide, Los Angeles, proclaims it to be "Coffee's perfect Mate." Ms. Peddle has found ways to stretch Coffee-Mate's modest ad budget, measured at $15.9 million in 2003, down about 2% from 2002, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.

Her repertoire includes traditional launches using media events. The debut of Latte Creations, a product that turns ordinary brew into a latte-like beverage, was accompanied last month by a 7-foot-tall, 660.5-gallon latte unveiled in a New York City park.

Exploring online avenues
Tactics also range to the adventurous for package-goods companies. Coffee-Mate participated in a pioneering study funded by Microsoft Corp.'s MSN that found online ads lift both brand awareness and sales.

"The key results were that online built both purchase interest in the brand and brand equity," Ms. Peddle says.

"There is a groundswell of [marketing experts] who say this has the potential to reach people we don't reach through other vehicles" -- an important consideration for Nestle, which has its eye on a younger, 18- to 24-year-old college age target.

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