On today’s bullseye we continue our coverage of one of the lame-est trends I have ever seen in the grocery industry. It’s bad enough when we see brand managers adding product extensions that don’t make sense – but over the past few months we have witnessed those iconic brands, who must be starving for new customers, extend into other categories that are non-food with the hope, I guess, to expand their brand equity. Velveeta did it with nail polish, Miller added an ice cream bar that tastes like a dive bar and the list goes on. And now, from those folks at Kraft we can add a Philadelphia cream cheese designer handbag. Forget Gucci, sorry Guccio, forget Louis Vuitton, even forget Balenciaga (who I suppose they should have partnered with now that they dropped Ye?).
If you want to be hip this season its all about the cream cheese. Frank Zappa called it out in the mid 60s with his Suzy Creamcheese diatribe – all about an airhead girl who was nice to look at but had no substance or intelligence. Don’t misunderstand – I’m not talking about the dozen or so people who will actually buy the Philly cream cheese handbag, or am I?, I’m talking about the people who came up with this idea. Yes, there have been certain brands that created hand and shoulder bags with their logos that became iconic and have stood the test of time. The Pan Am shoulder bag comes to mind. I would want one! But back to food. I’m concerned that our brand managers are being distracted by those shiny objects out there instead of focusing on our brands and shoppers. A few months ago we reported on the shortage of Philly cream cheese because of supply problems. Every day we are reporting on escalating food prices. Maybe take the dollars spent on promotions and products like these and put it back into the product? How about promoting how Philly can be used to add protein and extend recipes to save money or create tasty and unique leftovers? If you have this much money to waste on promotions like a Philly cream cheese handbag – maybe just lower prices?
Kraft-Heinz has reported as of the end of June 2022 price increases of 12.4% versus the previous year – due “primarily’ by rising input costs. Net income increased 1,136.4% over the previous year due to lower tax expenses. Don’t waste your money on these shiny objects – put it back in the product.