Welcome to The Week in CPG Marketing, a weekly round-up from Quad Insights that covers the latest news you need to know about the brands, buyers and industry leaders shaping the world of consumer packaged goods.
How will food stamp cuts affect CPG marketing?
Following recent cuts to the U.S. government’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, often referred to as “SNAP” and more commonly known as food stamps, CPG brands and retailers alike are bracing for a reduction of billions of dollars in consumer spending power, likely forcing companies to alter marketing strategies, Ad Age’s Erika Wheless reports. Industry experts consulted by Wheless suggest some potential ways to mitigate expected revenue losses, including: increasing deals and discounts — particularly those timed to the end of each month; investing in in-house private labels, such as Walmart’s Great Value brand; and moving into dollar stores where low-income consumers are more likely to shop.
Coca-Cola drops new gaming-inspired flavor
Riot Games and Coca-Cola have partnered to launch a new “League of Legends”-branded drink dubbed Coca-Cola Ultimate Zero Sugar, “which somehow will taste like experience points,” Forbes’ Mike Stubbs writes. (Experience points, or XP, are a unit of value in the “League of Legends” realm.) And while this brand collaboration is just one more development in the increasingly lucrative business of esports marketing, keen observers and habitual soda drinkers may note that this is hardly Coke’s first wacky flavor as of late. Developed by the company’s fairly new Creations team, the new XP-flavored beverage follows the introduction of other recent unorthodox Coca-Cola flavors including “Move,” “Dreamworld” and “Starlight.”
• “Coca-Cola drinkers to ‘level up’ with new League of Legends-inspired soda” (Food Dive)
General Mills adds its first new monster cereal in decades
General Mills is expanding its Monster Cereal portfolio and launching its first new character in 35 years, Gloria Cowdin of Baking Business reports, with the company adding Carmella Creeper to a beloved, nostalgic roster that includes Boo Berry and Count Chocula. According to General Mills, Carmella is a zombie DJ and, canonically, a cousin of Franken Berry. Carmella also has the distinction of being the company’s first female monster. She’ll adorn the box of her own new caramel apple-flavored cereal, as well as the company’s forthcoming Monster Mash Remix Cereal, “which features a blend of all the Monster Cereal varieties,” Cowdin notes.
Many brands continue to visibly support Pride Month
“It’s not just you — there are definitely fewer rainbow company logos on social media this year,” Adweek’s Eva Kis writes. In 2023, it seems that marketers are more mindful than ever of the fact that LGBTQ+ rights are in the crosshairs of state legislatures around the country, while brands including Target and Bud Light are under attack in some quarters for their LGBTQ+ campaigns. Despite all that, brands from Oreo to North Face to skincare company Life Elements have continued to express their support for the LGBTQ+ community in the face of pressure.
• “Great, Now I Have to Side With the Brands for Pride Month” (Rolling Stone)
• “Pride Month Guide for Brands — Navigating LGBTQ+ Marketing Amid the Culture Wars” (Ad Age)
• “Pride Month was once an easy win for brands. Now, the stakes are much higher” (CBS News)
• “Walmart Tests New In-Store Retail Media Opportunities, Including Product Demos and Audio” (Retail TouchPoints)
• “L’Oréal invests in US biotech company Debut” (Fashion Network)
• “Report: These Are the Top CPG Products of 2022” (NACS)
Thank you for reading the inaugural edition of The Week in CPG Marketing. We’ll be back with more next Friday.