Industry News

Top 10: Uncle Ben’s moves forward with a new name, classic cereals travel back in time

This week top news reflected signs of the changing times via a few rebrands, the release of new seasonal products, a look at food retail and a catering to the wants of consumers who are perhaps yearning for years past.

Coming in at the top of the list was news about Ferrara Candy's new series of permanent and seasonal products, which includes two combinations of its cookie and candy brands: Crawlers & Cookies mixes Trolli Sour Brite Crunchy Crawlers and Keebler Fudge Stripe Cookies, while the Keebler Make-A-Wreath Cookie Kit features Nerds, Chewy Lemonhead and Spree candies. Other debuts include poppable Nerds Gummy Clusters and a rebranded SweeTarts line featuring new colors, flavors and packaging.

Second most-read was Uncle Ben’s announcement of its rebranding as Ben's Original, removing the picture of a Black man from packaging. The company has also launched community outreach initiatives. The brand, which will unveil new packaging next year, ran a print ad this week in newspapers including The Wall Street Journal that features the headline, "We've listened. We've learned. We're changing."

Third, General Mills has permanently reintroduced formulations from the 1980s for its Cocoa Puffs, Golden Grahams, Cookie Crisp and Trix cereal brands. Consumer demand for the classic recipes drove the decision, said Jennifer Jorgensen, vice president of marketing for General Mills cereal.

In other CPG news, J.M. Smucker also announced a rebrand with a slightly altered name and logo “to accentuate the company's diverse portfolio of brands and intent to continue evolving in the future,” Paul Hiebert wrote, and Mondelez is seeking acquisitions that will expand the consumer packaged goods company's portfolio of healthy snacks, according to CEO Dirk Van de Put.

In food retail news, a story on how Wegmans' commitment to operating large destination stores that also feature such perks as restaurants and sampling stations has helped the family-run grocer continue its success in 2020, despite the challenges of the pandemic, was well-read.

And it may be features like that that help consumers go back to normal grocery shopping patterns once they feel safe again, which Whole Foods Market CEO John Mackey predicts will happen, despite the fact that many analysts and executives believe the pandemic-induced explosion in online shopping is a lasting retail trend.

As for what’s on the menu this week? Detroit-style pizza looks to be a star on takeout menus as of late, according to No. 8 on the list.

Check out the complete list of the top 10 most-read stories this week in SmartBrief’s food and beverage briefs:

  1. Ferrara to debut candy, cookie brand mashups
  2. Uncle Ben's is rebranding as Ben's Original
  3. General Mills revives recipes for 4 cereals
  4. Whole Foods CEO: Online grocery sales will slow
  5. How Wegmans successfully adapts as expansion continues
  6. Mondelez is on the hunt for healthy snack brands
  7. J.M. Smucker debuts logo redesign
  8. Comforting Detroit-style pizza is a star of takeout menus
  9. Dole debuts functional smoothie mix line
  10. Sicilian anchovy pasta dish balances savory and sweet

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