Kraft gives Starbucks biz to FCB

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Kraft Foods has tapped Foote, Cone & Belding, New York, to handle advertising for its joint venture with Starbucks Coffee Co.

Kraft confirmed the assignment, but declined further comment. Spending on the supermarket-distribution venture couldn't be determined.

Starbucks, known for building its cafe concept into a national chain with virtually no traditional advertising, spent only $4.3 million on measured media through the first nine months of this year, according to Competitive Media Reporting.

Under the grocery deal announced in late October, Kraft is responsible for everything but roasting and packaging the Starbucks line. Ann Fudge, president of Kraft's Maxwell House and Post Divison, is leading the effort.

Fallon McElligott, Minneapolis, is the agency for Starbucks. Fallon referred calls to the client, which declined comment on future ad plans.


Part of Starbucks' attraction to Kraft was Kraft's success in building Gevalia Kaffee, a mail-order gourmet coffee brand, into a $150 million business, said an executive close to Kraft who asked not to be identified. FCB Direct is Gevalia's agency.

TV isn't expected to be a significant part of the mix as Kraft tries to position Starbucks against Millstone coffee from Procter & Gamble Co. and an increasing number of gourmet entries from regional and national marketers.

Starbucks, expanded last spring to grocery stores in 10 Western and Midwestern states, is expected to be nationwide by early 1999.

Contributing: Beth Snyder.

Copyright December 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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