Mars is receiving the 2012 NASCAR Marketing Achievement Award for its 23-year marketing partnership with NASCAR. "Our successes have been led by innovation that extends to customers, consumers and associates, and capitalizes on NASCAR's broad fan base that represents approximately one-third of the U.S. adult population," said William Clements, vice president of sponsorships and sports marketing for Mars Chocolate North America.
Africa presents tremendous opportunity for the food industry, according to Serigne Diop, head of Nestle's Ivory Coast research and development facility. "Agriculture is the largest economic sector in Africa but there is a lack of food industry development," he said. "We believe that in the next 10 years there will be 500 million Africans who can afford packaged food." Researcher Keith Tomlins of the Natural Resources Institute at the University of Greenwich in the U.K. said Senegalese hibiscus already has high consumer recognition outside of Africa and presents a promising opportunity for new products in the European market.
Kraft has filed a patent for a production method that produces shelf-stable whole grains for use in crackers, snacks and cookies. The technique calls for less grinding than other methods and is said to produce a dough that lacks the gritty mouth-feel typical of whole grains, while retaining vitamins and antioxidants.
Wrigley Canada staged a "flash fashion" show at Toronto Fashion Week in October with a line of clothing tied to its 5 Gum brand. The idea came after research showed that the gum, which comes packaged in black wrapping, is popular with the fashion-conscious. "Brands that are lifestyle-oriented are doing more innovative things to engage the consumer," said Wrigley Canada's brand manager for 5 Gum, Vanessa Tong.