Successful brand extensions and other new product rollouts should keep Hershey Foods at the top of its game, according to BusinessWeek's Amy Barrett. The food company announced earnings were up 16% in the third quarter to $166.2 million on sales of $1.2 billion. "Innovative, on-trend new products and well-executed retail initiatives delivered excellent sales and market share gains," said Hershey chairman, president and chief executive Richard H. Lenny.
With Wrigley's Eclipse Flash dissolvable breath strips performing below expectations, the company says it will move its production of the product to Europe, where it believes the potential for continued growth exists. Wrigley has extended the Eclipse brand, launching its first-ever mints and putting it in direct competition with Kraft Foods' Altoids.
The group of franchisees claim GNC is undercutting prices in promotions and creating an environment that causes them to pay higher prices for other suppliers' products. GNC plans to "vigorously" defend itself. The health supplements retailer also is being squeezed by its competitors, which has stalled its IPO plans.
Florida agriculture officials are warning the recent series of hurricanes have damaged the state's tomato crop, and there may be a national shortage. Wendy's changed a recent marketing campaign, which was supposed to focus on its chicken sandwiches with fresh tomato slices, to focus on its children's meals instead.
Retailers are leaning on packaged goods companies for more help promoting products within stores as price pressures mount. Promotional spending by manufacturers has jumped to 17.4% of sales, a figure separate from the 5% to 10% spent on traditional advertising, according to one consultancy. "Nobody wants to spend more, but everybody is afraid to spend less," said Accenture's Jim Coleman.