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NATIONAL REPORT — While it's important for convenience store retailers to market themselves, new products, services, promotions and other initiatives by c-store industry suppliers are a major part of capturing consumer interest. Convenience Store News will regularly highlight such efforts in this roundup.
Here are the latest supplier spotlights:
Dunkin' Brands Group Inc.
Dunkin' Brands published Broadening Our Horizons, the company's third corporate social responsibility (CSR) report, which outlines its ongoing commitment to sustainability efforts to meet the needs of its franchisees, employees and guests, while serving local communities responsibly and protecting the interests of the planet.
The report details Dunkin's progress over the past two years against goals outlined in its 2012 CSR report, and sets new goals for the future in the areas of sustainable building, packaging, product sourcing, nutrition, supporting local neighborhoods, and more.
"Broadening Our Horizons represents our progress in sustainability efforts over the past two years, as well as our commitment to our stakeholders to continue to do more in the future," stated Karen Raskopf, Dunkin' Brands' chief communications officer and co-chair of The Dunkin' Donuts & Baskin-Robbins Community Foundation. "We are proud of our accomplishments, such as launching DD Green Achievement, announcing plans to source 100 percent sustainable palm oil in the U.S. by 2016, committing to exploring the feasibility of going to 100 percent cage-free eggs, and working with our franchisees to donate millions of dollars to support our local communities. We also recognize there is more to be done, and remain dedicated to addressing new challenges to meet the needs of our employees, our franchisees, our guests and our planet."
The full report is available to download here.
Johnsonville is making it easier to alert family and friends when a grilling gathering is about to start through the Brat Signal, the company's new web-based app. Users can visit www.BratSignal.com to send out a virtual "smoke signal" with the grilling location and menu to Twitter followers and Facebook friends.
To keep the brand top of mind for summer cookouts, Johnsonville is also partnering with the Crowdtap marketing platform to inspire user-generated content and sharing around its Grillers line, as well as its brats, Italian sausages and summer grilling promotions.
Johnsonville is celebrating 20 years of gathering brat lovers this summer with the return of the Johnsonville Big Taste Grill, the world's largest traveling grill. Tailgate dates for the grill are available at www.Johnsonville.com.
The official snacks of U.S. Soccer are encouraging soccer lovers across the country to #PassTheLove. Mondelēz International, maker of the Ritz, Chips Ahoy and Trident brands, launched a socially charged campaign to rally consumers and fans across the country to share a message of support for the U.S. Women's National Team as it prepares to compete in the world's largest women's international soccer tournament in June.
"The U.S. Women's National Team has inspired the entire country with some of the most memorable performances in sports history, so our brands want to return the favor by rallying consumers behind the 2015 team," stated Stephen Chriss, senior director, North America consumer engagement and marketing services at Mondelēz International. "We hope #PassTheLove becomes a rallying cry for fans and a way for these amazing athletes to see how much support they have here at home."
The campaign is backed by retail displays, shopper marketing programs, breakthrough real-time social content, adaptive advertising, interactive consumer events, and in-stadium and in-person consumer engagement at U.S. soccer games before the team departs to Canada for the tournament.
Fans are encouraged to take part in creating an interactive digital "Fan Wall of Support" and #PassTheLove. They can go to www.PassTheLove.com to share a message of support from their social media channels. Posting a message allows them to automatically enter to receive instant-win prizes, awarded hourly all the way up to the competition.
In a separate effort, Mondelēz is infusing new life into its more-than-a-century-old Newtons biscuit brand with the launch of "Now We're Newtons," its first-ever original content series. The episodic comedy premiered May 11 and observes a company in transition from "being run by the Figs" to "not just figs anymore."
"At Mondelēz International, we pride ourselves on being fearless marketers and setting ourselves apart," said Gary Osifchin, portfolio lead, biscuits, North America. "Breaking through the clutter requires creation of engaging content that gives the viewer some value beyond just product information. Now We're Newtons is a humorous vehicle to tell our product and social giving story in a visually compelling and lighthearted way, poking fun at our brand to increase awareness about our partnership with Feeding America."
The new series, viewable at www.Youtube.com/newtons, continues the large-scale rebranding effort that began in 2012 and included changing the name of Fig Newtons to just Newtons, adding varieties of different fruit flavors, and making the brand relevant to younger audiences as well as existing loyalists.