Ad expansion: Dean spending to grow by $50 mil

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Dean Foods will significantly increase its marketing outlay next year as it ramps up support for its portfolio of national dairy brands.

Among the planned initiatives is a first-time test of TV advertising for fast-growing Silk organic soy milk, part of Dean's White Wave unit. Sibling Morningstar Foods, meanwhile, will relaunch non-dairy creamer International Delight and introduce its first advertising for Land O'Lakes Dairy Ease.

Total marketing expenditures for Dean are expected to grow by more than $50 million to $190 million as the $10 billion dairy behemoth created by the merger of Suiza Foods and Dean Foods Co. strives to meet lofty 8% to 10% earnings growth goals. Measured-media ad spending will roughly double, according to Toby Purdy, Morningstar VP-marketing and business development.


Dean spent $20 million for its brands in the first eight months of 2002, according to Taylor Nelson Sofres' CMR, although Mr. Purdy claimed the actual figure was higher. And Dean Chairman-CEO Gregg Engles has committed to investing in the company's leading brands.

White Wave's Silk, the top-selling U.S. organic consumer package-goods product, according to natural foods tracking company Spins, is one of those. The brand grew 45% to $176 million in mainstream supermarkets, drugstores and mass merchandisers for the 52 weeks ended Nov. 3, according to Information Resources Inc. Such a trajectory for what had until recently been a niche product encouraged next year's step into TV in two yet-to-be-determined markets.

"With all the growth we've had, we have to step up and see for ourselves if it's the right time" for TV, said James Terman, VP-pictures and words at White Wave. Mr. Terman said White Wave will also up its print spending. White Wave spent $3.4 million on print ads through August, CMR reported. Havas' Arnold Worldwide Partners, Boston, handles.

High among Morningstar's priorities is a relaunch of International Delight to compete with Nestle's revitalized Coffee-Mate. International Delight will be repackaged in plastic bottles, following Nestle's similar move in 2000, and ad spending will be upped significantly over this year's $17 million. TV, print ads and promotions will feature comedian Wayne Brady from ABC's "Whose Line is it Anyway?" Omnicom Group's DDB, Dallas, handles.

Morningstar will also launch the first ads for its newly national, lactose-free Land O'Lakes Dairy Ease next year, including Hispanic-targeted TV and mainstream and ethnic print.

The licensed Hershey's milk and milkshake lines will also get a new campaign featuring a celebrity spokesperson. Mr. Purdy said the franchise now totals $100 million at retail, but IRI numbers show sales in food, drug and mass outlets at $23 million for the 52 weeks ended Nov. 3. Folgers Jakada, the chilled coffee Morningstar introduced earlier this year, will get a package redesign and heavy radio support and sampling in an attempt to drum up sales, which totaled $5 million in the IRI tracking.

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