Still no snap in Snapple

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Despite its $40 million sampling push this summer, Quaker Oats Co. on Thursday said Snapple volume fell 23% for the quarter ended Sept. 30. "Clearly, the biggest challenge facing the company is Snapple's disappointing performance," said Quaker Chairman-President-CEO William Smithburg. "The integrated sampling and advertising campaign that ended in mid-September generated some excitement behind the brand this summer."

He promised Quaker next year will focus "our spending directly on innovation and execution at the distributor level," to "put a floor under Snapple." Gatorade volume was also down 4% "but performed well relative to last year's 17% increase, which was aided by extremely hot temperatures," Quaker said.

The company also reported North American food division sales of $687.3 million were 2% above last year, despite the 15% price decrease taken in ready-to eat cereals. Mr. Smithburg said Quaker "held our [cereal] advertising and merchandising basically even in the quarter," despite the price cut.

Copyright October 1996, Crain Communications Inc.

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