MMNPL Expert Panelist Char Partelow of SymphonyIRI Group Nominates Products for the 2010 Survey

November 4, 2010

From outdoor billboards to flat screen TV’s in malls, shoppers are constantly bombarded with advertisements. Few stand out and those who rise to the top must exhibit an innovative, creative marketing strategy to draw attention. Consumer packaged goods expert, Char Partelow of SymphonyIRI Group, offers her nominations* for the most memorable new product launches of the year (product choices by Char, summaries compiled by the MMNPL staff).

KFC’s Double Down Sandwich

In April, KFC launched a limited time bun-less Double Down sandwich scheduled to be discontinued in May but the Colonel had another thing coming. It quickly became a national sensation, and due to popular demand, it has no expiration date. Rivaling conventional burgers, the Double Down offers two pieces of bacon, and two slices of cheese, drizzled with sauce and held together by two chicken filets (grilled or fried).

Jello Mousse Temptations

Jello’s not just for kids anymore. In July, Jello created a new Mousse dessert item, offered in three flavors: Caramel Crème, Chocolate Indulgence, and Dark Chocolate Decadence. For the calorie conscious, this dessert is only 60 calories per pack and its convenient packaging is great for parents on the run.

Pretzel M&M

An interesting twist to the M&M line was launched this past May. The new candy incorporates a crunchy pretzel inside milk chocolate inside a colorful candy shell. A confused orange M&M was the dumbfounded ‘spokescandy’ for the media promotion, using an x-ray to see inside his crunchy exterior and reveal the pretzel inside.

Bud Light Golden Wheat

Last fall, Anheuser-Busch introduced a new line to the Budweiser/Bud Light label, Golden Wheat. This tasty beer was supported by a creative ad campaign and aligns with the Superior Drinkability slogan, offering a flavorful alternative in a light beer.



Mountain Dew DEWmocracy2

In a DEWmocracy, the people rule. Mountain DEW launched a revolutionary marketing campaign involving social media and grass roots tactics to entice consumers to vote for their favorite flavor. The three flavor finalists were Mountain DEW Distortion, Mountain DEW Typhoon and Mountain DEW White Out which hit shelves in April. The winner was Mountain DEW White Out which became the new flavor for the brand.

Starbucks VIA Instant Coffee

Starbucks, a giant in the premium quick service coffee category, is testing the grocery aisles. VIA is Starbucks first on-the-go instant coffee packet which hit store shelves last fall, surprising competitors and constituting a bold leap for the brand.


Apple iPad

What can they think up next? Apple launched the iPad in April, thrilling fans and stunning competitors. The iPad has the interface of an iPod touch with the functionality of a portable PC. Fully-featured, it can do it all with hundreds of thousands of available apps. Made completely with environmentally responsible products, the iPad is as eco-friendly as it is innovative. Beating analysis’s expectation, the iPad sold 3 million units in the first eighty days it was released.

Kleenex Hand Towels

Kleenex introduced an alternative to household wash towels this past March. The one-time-use hand towels were made to keep bathrooms and kitchens sanitary and safe. Offering a soft texture and dry-touch fibers in every sheet, Kleenex has created a practical towel alternative.


*Not all products chosen by the MMNPL expert panelists are guaranteed to be included in the MMNPL survey due to our rigorous criteria for selecting new products.

For more information on Char Partelow, please visit out expert panel page.
For more information on upcoming MMNPL products, see our Twitter handle, @MMNPL.

Less Is More and More is More with New KFC Double Down

October 14, 2010


After KFC’s Grilled Chicken became the most memorable new product launch in the 2009 MMNPL survey, marketers wondered what KFC would do next to captivate consumers’ imaginations. The answer? The Double Down sandwich.

KFC has gone “bun-less” with its latest non-traditional sandwich, which seemed more like a test market experiment or urban myth based on the early buzz it received (note the advertising touting “it’s real”). With this new sandwich, KFC answers the call for more meat, by offering “so much premium chicken that [they] didn’t have room for a bun.” Now two chicken filets (grilled or fried) hold together two pieces of bacon, and two melted slices of Monterey and pepper jack cheeses smothered in Colonel’s Sauce. For those calorie conscious consumers, the Double Down comes in at 540 calories (equivalent to some large cheeseburgers) and the grilled version is 460; but both sandwiches are low carb of course.

KFC announced the Double Down in an April press release and began offering the item in restaurants on April 12th. The Double Down was initially test marketed in Omaha, Nebraska and Providence, Rhode Island. Consumer curiosity and demand drove people to travel for miles to sample it. Online buzz in conjunction with late night talk show mentions helped the Double Down generate more interest than any other test market item in KFC history. Originally the Double Down was a limited time offer ending on May 23, 2010 – but KFC reversed course on May 19, 2010, stating the item would remain available as long as consumer demand is high.

To fuel interest after its national launch, KFC enlisted female students on college campuses to hand out coupons while wearing fitted sweatpants that had “Double Down” in large letters across their rear ends. Some questioned this marketing  strategy, but KFC’s Manager, Public Relations, Rick Maynard pointed out that KFC had only, “taken a page out of the book of some apparel companies and sororities who have promoted in this way for years.” KFC Marketing Chief John Cywinski added, “It’s an effective way to catch the attention of young men” — KFC’s key customers and the biggest fans of Double Down. Additionally, KFC is giving the “unneeded” sandwich buns plus cash donations to food banks across the country, starting with the Dare to Care Food Bank in KFC’s hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. Billboards, print ads, and comical TV commercials boosted awareness and trial.

The chain cited its popularity in overall sales, aided by consumer-posted videos of people eating the Double Down, leading to YouTube buzz and celebrity ties, including Stephen Colbert’s televised feasting. So far the campaign has worked: A KFC spokesperson reported 10 million Double Downs were sold for a total of about $50 million in revenue through mid-July.

Will this bun-less meat creation revolutionize fast food? Will we see a two-patty bun-less burger someday? More importantly, will KFC once again make the top ten of the annual MMNPL survey? Stay tuned to find out.

Brandweek Features MMNPL Results; Covers KFC, McDonald’s, Migration Marketing

December 15, 2009

Click for full article.

KFC: A New Flavor to Savor

October 23, 2008

By Jenny Fichera
Schneider Associates

It’s been over 65 years since Colonel Harland Sanders introduced his Original Recipe® in 1940. This year, Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) added Smokey Chipotle Crispy Fried Chicken to its menu. The new flavor, containing a secret blend of 11 herbs and spices, is the second new recipe to debut on KFC’s menu since the Colonel’s original creation.

KFC has gone above and beyond to publicize their latest “secret” recipe. According to the Associated Press, the recipe is so top secret that only two company executives have access to it at any time. For added security, the secret recipe was moved to a new location. The ingredients were placed in a lock box and handcuffed to a security guard who rode in an armored car with a police escort.

“We’ve worked tirelessly to develop this new flavor,” said KFC’s chief marketing officer, James O’Reilly. “We don’t take fried chicken flavor introductions lightly at KFC, and we took our time to painstakingly perfect this new recipe.”

KFC launched a TV advertising campaign featuring 15 and 30 second spots that introduce the new Smokey Chipotle Fried Chicken. The commercials’ voiceover describes the new recipe as “flavor with a kick,” and it ends with the slogan, “Life tastes better with KFC.”

KFC has no plans to include an Internet ad campaign, but that’s not to say that they are ignoring the online medium. On their Web site, KFC created a game, “Quest for the Golden Chipotle,” which was created to educate consumers about the origin of the chipotle pepper while still being fun and interactive.

Will the addition of a rare new menu flavor be enough to catapult KFC into the top 10 Most Memorable New Products list?