Old school

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There is still a place for old-school processed food brands, even in an American culture where foodies are “in” and packaged foods are often framed as unhealthy or second-rate.

This article in Ad Age describes how some iconic food brands are still thriving, through a combination of nostalgia and innovation.

  • ·         Vlasic has figured out a way to innovate in the staid pickle category, by creating a line of pickles with special seasonings and premium packaging.
  • ·         Duncan Hines has a line extension that enables consumers to add flavors to a can of frosting, similar to how one can mix paint at a hardware store
  • ·         The Mrs. Butterworth character appears on limited edition packaging – sometimes wearing a holiday outfit or, in Texas, cowboy attire.
  • ·         Even venerable Spam is positioning some of its newer flavor varieties as appropriate ingredients for dishes like stir fry and fajitas.

And then, of course, there is the return of Twinkies.  In Fast Company, three branding experts offered their opinions on the best new positioning for this famous (or infamous?) American icon.