Category Captain: Crackers: The Kellogg Co.

Kellogg’s snacks division continues to drive profitable growth in the cracker and cookie categories through custom and syndicated category-focused shopper and consumer research as well as product innovation.

This year, Kellogg aimed to reinvigorate the category by focusing on what its Keebler brand means to consumers. Following extensive internal and external market research, the company overhauled the entire Keebler product line and introduced a new go-to-market strategy that included new packaging graphics, pricing structure, advertising, partnerships, promotional strategy and product innovation. Prior to this launch, the category had seen weekly declines; following, it saw positive sales in 11 out of 15 weeks.

In 2011, Kellogg successfully launched Special K Cracker Chips, including tie-ins to Kellogg’s Special K Weight Loss Challenge. Combined with the company’s other better-for-you cracker options, such as Wheatables and All Bran, the company continues to make a statement at shelf and in the marketplace regarding its commitment to health and weight management.

Additionally, social media is playing a larger role in Kellogg’s promotion of its Cheez-It brand, which boasts more than 2 million Facebook fans. The 2011 “Choose the Cheese” program offered 200,000 free Cheez-It sample packs to Facebook fans, along with other packs offered at 99 cents at retail. The sample packs included three flavors that directed consumers to Facebook to vote on their favorite flavor. Combined with the brand’s “Real Cheese” national TV advertising, the campaign is taking the consumer-brand relationship to a new level.

Meanwhile, Kellogg is leveraging new syndicated data partnerships to show retailers how best to optimize their category mix and develop new insights on path to purchase across all channels, departments and retailers.

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