Pringles jumps into portion control

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Interested in winning its fair share of the portion-control phenomena, Procter & Gamble Co. will this fall launch Pringles Minis in individual bags intended for lunch boxes and folks on the go.

Following in the footsteps of Kraft Foods' 100-calorie packs, which have seen great success and sparked a slew of imitators, P&G is making Pringles smaller and moving it out of the can and into bags that it will sell in five-packs or variety packs of 16.

Ads from WPP Group's Grey, New York, are expected to tout the packages as portable and fun. Support is expected to begin as early as December.

About one-third the size of traditional Pringles, the Minis were launched to great success in the U.K. last year, and P&G is hoping the line can help it buoy the franchise here.

Sales of Pringles fell 1.5% to $241 million in food, drug and mass outlets excluding Wal-Mart for the 52 weeks ended Aug. 13, according to Information Resources Inc.

Despite earlier attempts to make Pringles more portable with Snack Stacks, smaller Grab and Go canisters and its own 100-calorie packs in small cans, P&G has yet to crack the code on portability. It hopes Minis can fill the bill.
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