Big G feels its oats and a milk merger gets murky: Wednesday Wake-Up Call
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General Mills told investors at the Consumer Analyst Group of New York conference this week that after years of declines, the $8 billion U.S. cereal market seems to be stabilizing. Big G is attributing this to a rise in category interest driven by innovation, including new products such as Blueberry Cheerios, Hershey Kisses cereal and Goodbelly probiotic cereal. General Mills CEO Jeff Harmening also cited societal issues as contributing to the comeback, including “a stabilization in the balance of breakfast at home versus away from home, as well as a return to growth and the number of households with kids in the U.S.,” CNBC reports.
Dairy Farmers of America has agreed to buy a substantial portion of bankrupt Dean Foods in a $425 million deal. But federal regulators are expected to take a hard look at the proposed merger. Writes the New York Times: “Two decades ago, Dairy Farmers of America was founded to help small farmers market their raw milk to dairy-processing companies like Dean Foods, which prepare milk for distribution to retailers. But over the years, the co-op, which now has more than 14,000 members, has also invested heavily in processing, meaning it buys some of the raw milk that its own marketing branch sells. Those investments have created a conflict of interest, some dairy farmers argue, because processors benefit from lower milk prices, while farmers benefit from higher ones.”
Milk's popular dunking partner, Oreo, will partner with Supreme, the streetwear brand known for its high prices and collaborations with popular brands, writes Ilyse Liffreing. Oreo yesterday tweeted out its upcoming Double Stuf red cookie filled with white creme and labeled with the Supreme logo, along with the words: “Dropping soon." The new Oreos will be sold for $8 for a three-pack. Yes, you read that right.
A new social push for Buffalo Wild Wings features the rap group Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, who star in an amusing mockumentary in which its members are so enamored with the chain’s boneless wings they want to change the name of their group and their own names. Well, not all of them. In the video, reports Jessica Wohl, Flesh-n-Bone, Krayzie Bone and Wish Bone change their individual stage names to include “Boneless” rather than “Bone.” The last group member, however, Layzie Bone, has a lot to say about that, and not all of it is printable. (This much is: “They ain’t change-your-name good.”)
Facebook is testing adding tabs to its News Feed that would let users sort content how they see fit, using the standard algorithm or viewing posts unfiltered in a “most recent” tab. Any tweaks to News Feed, even slight ones, can have significant impact on how brands and publishers reach the 1.7 billion daily users on the social network. The test was spotted by Facebook watcher Jane Manchun Wong, who notified TechCrunch.
Johannes Leonardo has won the creative account for a new Molson Coors hard seltzer called Vizzy, its first entry onto the brewer's roster, writes E.J. Schultz. JL also picked up the company’s Cape Line, a flavored malt beverage brand that had been with Energy BBDO.
Suit grinds on: Former CP&B chief creative officer Ralph Watson appears to have scored a small victory in his suit filed against anonymous Instagram account Diet Madison Avenue. A U.S. District Court of Southern New York ruling last week found that Watson can bring certain defamation claims against two members of DMA—identified as “Illinois Doe 1” and “NY Doe 2”—who sought to dismiss his original suit, writes Lindsay Rittenhouse.
Heading for the exits: Kantar CEO Eric Salama is leaving the company much earlier than expected and without a successor, FT.com reports. The company said only that “the Kantar Board of Directors decided that this was the right time for Mr. Salama to step down." Salama had first announced his impending departure after WPP sold its 60 percent stake in the company to Bain Capital.
That sinking feeling: A TikTok video of a Wendy’s employee bathing in a restaurant sink has sent the company’s Michigan franchisee into PR overdrive to assure the public that the perpetrators have been fired and the place sanitized. At least it’s living proof that employees are washing their hands.
Dig out that gift card: Half of Americans are hanging onto unused gift cards to the tune of $167 per person, according to a Bankrate survey. If you are conflicted as to what to buy with yours, may we remind you an Ad Age subscription never goes out of style.
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