Buoyed by $166 million in sales since the DiGiorno brand began its national rollout last year, frozen pizza leader Kraft has followed up with an entry under its Tombstone brand. That product is going up against Freschetta, a new pizza from Schwan's Sales Enterprises.
DiGiorno has become one of the fastest product successes ever at Kraft, rivaling Oscar Mayer Lunchables for its speed in breaking the $100 million sales mark, while garnering a repeat purchase rate of 50%.
IN 80% OF U.S.
Tombstone is now in about 80% of the U.S., with ads from Foote, Cone & Belding, Chicago. The plan includes TV, free-standing inserts and sampling, with consumer promotions handled by Davidson Marketing.
Kraft wouldn't discuss spending on the new Tombstone extension, but when it launched DiGiorno via FCB, about 25% of the total budget went into sampling rather than advertising-a strategy likely to be revisited.
Kraft supported the DiGiorno introduction with about $11 million in measured media, according to Competitive Media Reporting. Tombstone received about $9 million in support last year.
Schwan's, which primarily markets the Tony's and Red Baron brands, introduced Freschetta into four markets last October and has moved the product into about half of the country.
Advertising from Bozell, Minneapolis, includes TV, magazines, outdoor, couponing and in-store sampling, said Brand Manager Tom Bierbaum. No budget was given; last year Schwan's spent about $7 million in measured media, mostly to support Red Baron.
The product name was created to give an Italian feel and "to marry its authentic taste with freshness," he said.
Although Schwan's is a newcomer to rising-crust pizza, it has long been a rival of Kraft, coming in second in the $1.8 billion frozen pizza category, according to Information Resources Inc.
Kraft, including its Jack's brand, holds 35.1% of the frozen pizza market, IRI reports; Schwan's share is 23.7%; Pillsbury (Totino's) is No. 3 with a 14% share.
DUPLICATING THE MAGIC
Kraft clearly hopes the new Tombstone Oven Rising Crust will perform the same magic for the category as DiGiorno. TV spots show the swashbuckling Tombstone character-always near death or about to be executed-slowly sinking in quicksand. When asked what he wants on his tombstone, he answers: "A crust that rises."
Interestingly, when Kraft first introduced DiGiorno, it considered marketing the brand under the Tombstone name.