Tools for Innovation: Take Note
With drinks, new Pez® 100% Juices come in foil containers topped with an assortment of collectable character heads, like its namesake candy. The first run of the product uses 28 original Pez candy heads. Besides appealing to kids, "Some of the characters have been out of production [as candy toppers] for many years and are highly sought after by Pez aficionados," says Dave Read, president, Leading Brands Inc., Vancouver, Canada, distributors of the juice line.
Ralph McRae, chairman and CEO, adds, "Pez 100% Juice is representative of our efforts to deliver products that are both innovative and good for you. Parents are drawn to the drink because of its high quality and nutritional value and children are excited to see it in their lunchbox because it tastes great and is also a lot of fun."
"It's not ketchup for mom or dad," says Heinz spokesperson Robin Teets. "If parents think it's a little strange, that's all the better for kids."
With ketchup in colors, and the handy squeeze bottle feature, hamburger patties have become a canvas to kids.
Peanut butter, an American favorite among children, breaks its sandwich-spread reputation with the debut of Skippy® Squeeze Stix™, a flexible tube with tear notch that enables kids to squeeze out the peanut butter for an on-the-go snack.
Unilever Bestfoods North America, Englewood Cliffs, N.J., created a brand character to launch the new product. "We tested a range of character styles. Some were edgy, some a bit quirky, others more approachable. There were even a few scoundrels," says Martha Seidner Gelber, v.p., Smith Design, Glen Ridge, N.J. "Moms, kids and tweens helped us define and refine his expression, style and attitude. We wanted to make sure we stayed away from any polarizing characters and package designs. Kids and tweens needed to relate to the brand character, but we also needed the buy-in from moms."
Peanut butter is dispensed through a slotted orifice that allows users to easily "squeeze it" out. Package labels feature the brand's animated character, squeezing peanut butter onto a slice of bread. A voice bubble caption reads: "Lose the knife!"
With the nation in an obesity crisis, there's a great deal of attention being placed on kids' eating habits. Niché salad dressing manufacturers, through the use of colors and flavors, are developing products to help convince kids that carrots and broccoli can be as fun for snacking as chips and candy.
The colorful dressings are fortified with vitamins A, B, C, D and E.
Annie's Naturals, North Calais, Vt., recently rolled out a dressing line for kids in flavors such as Pizza Pie, Tutti Fruitti and Zoom. Pizza Pie tastes like its namesake.
These food manufacturers identified unique ways to market directly to kids. Dairy processors can, too.