As the recession grinds on, companies including Land O'Lakes and Hormel Foods are investing in ad campaigns for the staples they sell. The investment is paying off with sales increases as more consumers look for bargains at the grocery store.
PepsiCo's Frito-Lay division is increasing by 20% the amount of food per bag of products including Doritos, Cheetos and Tostitos. The move is intended to reverse the previous practice of reducing volume to contain costs.
Mars partnered with TerraCycle, a New Jersey company that makes wallets, tote bags and cell phone holders from used candy wrappers and other recyclables. Mars will donate wrappers and pay nonprofit organizations up to 2 cents for each wrapper collected.
Private-label brands have been gaining market share for 10 years, well before the downturn prompted consumers to look for less-expensive alternatives to national brands. Improvements in quality and packaging have removed the stigma from store brands, a factor that won't change when the economy improves, experts say.