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Food and Beverage

Q&A: Targeting the ‘Conscious Consumer’

conscious

Last week, Edelman’s second annual brandshare survey told us that a large majority of consumers (83 percent) aren’t satisfied by their “relationships” with brands. They want more in the way of information, but they feel like brands are only out to promote themselves.

This is especially true in the food/health space, where concerns about safety and nutrition occupy the minds of many.

Gibbs & Soell and rbb Public Relations recently joined forces to create New York-based Gibbs-rbb, a joint venture designed to target this very sort of “conscious consumer.” The new firm then produced a study that we discussed with managing director Jeffrey R. Graubard.

By the firm’s own estimate, the “conscious consumer” market was worth $120B in 2013. It’s growing quickly — and its members are willing to spend more money to get the kind of products they prefer.

So how do we reach them? Findings, questions and answers after the jump.

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Wheaties, Redefining ‘Champion,’ Puts Madeleine Albright on the Box


Well that’s a curve ball, isn’t it? Usually, when you’re sitting down to a bowl of Wheaties, the face staring out from the box belongs to a sports figure.

The cereal decided to go in a different direction this time around by putting Madeleine Albright, the former Secretary of State, on a commemorative box. And the former Madame Secretary celebrated with the tweet above. According to Wheaties, they’re now defining what it means to be a champion by a different set of standards.

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Guy Fieri Restaurant Thriving Despite One of the Worst Reviews in History

guy fieriRemember that time The New York Times‘ Pete Wells went all the way off in a restaurant review of celebrity chef Guy Fieri‘s American Kitchen & Bar in Times Square?

“Did panic grip your soul as you stared into the whirling hypno wheel of the menu, where adjectives and nouns spin in a crazy vortex?” Wells asked, one of a lengthy series of over-the-top questions that made up the entirety of the article.

“Were you struck by how very far from awesome the Awesome Pretzel Chicken Tenders are?… Hey, did you try that blue drink, the one that glows like nuclear waste?” it continues. It is brutal poetry.

Despite the acerbic review, that restaurant is one of the top moneymakers in all of New York, proving that people on vacation really don’t care what they eat so long as they don’t have to do the dishes.

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Chipotle Sticks Its Organic Nose Up at Pizza-Making Italians Everywhere

Chipotle PizzaEditor’s Note: Possibly not a Chipotle official photo. Also, possibly not an Editor’s Note.

Late last year, the progenitors of fast-casual food with a little added integrity decided that, because the burrito business has done them a solid for a minute, it was time to bring the Chipotle mania to another sector: pizza.

Much to the chagrin of the little box delivery chains across this great land of ours, Chipotle’s presence on the pizza scene is a legitimate threat. And although there are no holes to shoot in Chipotle’s dough, the burrito giants have decided to throw down.

Almost a year later, here’s the shot fired: Pizza people, you’re doing it wrong!

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Crumbs Is Back, Now with More Than Just Cupcakes

As promised, Crumbs is back. The former cupcake shop that went bust back in July has been resurrected by Dippin’ Dots owner Fischer Enterprises and CNBC host Marcus Lemonis after a $6.5 million deal that closed in August. The relaunch began in New York City today with 25 additional locations set to open in the next month. There are two new cupcake flavors – Sweet Pete’s Salted Caramel Chocolate Cupcake and Key West Key Lime Pie Cupcake — along with the Cronut-like Crumbnut, a bagel/croissant called the Baissant, a line of cookies and a chocolate bar and frozen desserts including dessert bars.

Choosing National Dessert Day to reopen its first store is a smart play. But did Crumbs do enough to change the outcome this time around? Read more

Food Critic Gael Greene Calls Out ‘Incautious’ Rep in Scathing Review

gael greeneIt’s tough out there for a New York restaurant rep, because the biggest names in the food writing biz are often the most critical. Who could forget how much fun Pete Wells had writing his sadistic takedown of Guy Fieri in The New York Times?

Anyway, Gael Greene is one of that tiny club’s longest-standing members at the ripe young age of 80. Despite the fact that New York magazine dropped her in 2008 after 40 years(!), she still carries a lot of weight here in our picky, picky city.

That’s probably why Miriam Silverberg Associates wanted her to review the new French restaurant Paname. The subsequent writeup, released today, is all but dripping with disdain.

A selection:

“It was the bread that tolled the leaden funeral bell…What good little French bistro — ‘just like Paris,’ the press agent Miriam Silverberg assured me — would serve this bread?”

Oh no.

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Reasons Why National Liquor Holidays are a Big Waste of Time

drinking from the bottleEvery day is a special day. This isn’t just a fortune cookie platitude you’ll find on a bumper sticker or Facebook meme. Today was National Poetry Day. Monday was National Coffee Day. Two weeks ago was International Talk Like A Pirate Day. On and on the list goes on.

Not to be left out, cocktails and individual spirits have their own special days as well. Which is pretty unnecessary because people are living for happy hour on the daily. But every spirit wants its own time to shine. And now maybe it’s time for everyone to go home because we’re all drunk.

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Beverage Companies Say They’ll Reduce The Number of Calories Consumed By 2025

drinking sodaCoca-Cola, PepsiCo and Dr Pepper Snapple Group have resolved to reduce the number of “beverage calories” consumers drink by 20 percent by 2025. The announcement was made during the Clinton Global Initiative, and the actions they plan to take include “selling smaller portion sizes and increasing promotion of products such as bottled water.” The size of a regular can of soda will remain 12 ounces and the calorie count will stay at 150.

“The companies jointly pledged to provide calorie counts and promote calorie awareness on the vending machines, fountain dispensers and retail coolers that they control nationwide,” reports USA TodayAnd the CEO of the American Beverage Association Susan Neeley is crowing how huge this is and how it’s going to fight obesity.

But actually this is kind of a preemptive strike, before legislators jump in with their own version of what calorie reduction and beverage taxes should look like. Also, sales of soft drinks have been declining anyway, so it’s not really such a huge sacrifice if you take a closer look.

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Step Aside, Iron Man: Marvel Revamps Captain Citrus for Florida Orange Growers

captaincitruscomic1-coverartwork_custom-54e3aa1b66fc348958b7d1012207a645a6dbc303-s40-c85

What’s that in the sky? It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s…an orange-clad superhero bent on selling you Florida-grown citrus fruit?

That’s right, folks; taking his place in a long line of Marvel superhero legends like Iron Man, Captain America and The X-Men, is Captain Citrus, a collaborative marketing creation intended to help Florida’s citrus growers boost sales.

The original Captain Citrus, a long-outdated mascot for Florida’s orange growers, was more or less an orange wearing a cape. In an effort to bring the spokes-superhero up to date (and borrow some of Marvel’s lately-booming thunder in hopes of offsetting declining demand for products like orange juice) Florida’s orange growers commissioned the famous comic company to redesign the Captain, complete with rippling abs, his own digital comic, and even an animated trailer. Read more

APOCALYPSE WATCH: Krispy Kreme Sells a 2,400-Doughnut Box

krispy kreme

No, those aren’t Cheerios.

Ladies and gentlemen, start your arteries.

America has never been more aware of its weight problems than it is right now. The CDC tells us that obesity has more than doubled among children and quadrupled among adolescents in the past 30 years. The dieting industry is a billion-dollar business.

In the other corner, Krispy Kreme proudly says, “Screw that PR. We like a nation with curves. Lots of them!

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