Tailor-made Products
For many consumer packaged goods, mass marketing has given way to niche merchandising campaigns targeting specific consumer groups. An offshoot of this movement, sometimes called mass customization, enables consumers to design or create their own unique products. Food companies, such as Jones Soda, M&M/Mars, and General Mills, are exploiting this marketing technique. For a fee, consumers can have their images on labels of Jones Soda bottled drinks and on boxes of Big G cereals, and create special messages on M&M’s candies. This fall, The Ohio State University will market Buckeye Heroes cereal to honor its football team.

To celebrate the 130th birthday of its Heinz ketchup, H.J. Heinz, Pittsburgh, Pa., is marking the occasion with a special offer to consumers, who can create their very own messages on ketchup bottle labels by visiting www.myheinz.com. "With the success of our previous ‘Talking Labels’ campaign and ‘Say Something Ketchuppy’ contests, we realized our consumers have really enjoyed the many witty phrases and catchy quips that appeared on the Heinz keystone-shaped labels in recent years," said Wendy Joyce, Senior Brand Manager. "Now, we’re giving consumers a chance to create their own one-of-a-kind phrase on Heinz bottles for a unique and surprising way to say something special." Heinz is offering three sizes of customizable ketchup bottles, including the iconic 14-oz glass, 20-oz top-down, and special "mini" 2.25-oz ketchup bottles. In addition to customized messages, consumers can also tap into a list of ready-made stock labels available on the Web site, including such common sayings as Happy Birthday.

No Meltdown for Organic
Unilever Ice Cream, Green Bay, Wis., is launching an organic ice cream under the Breyers brand. Breyers All Natural Organic Ice Cream has been developed in response to consumers’ growing interest in organic foods. "We know people want natural and organic food options in more than just the produce section of the grocery store," said Dan Hammer, VP of Marketing. "The introduction of Breyers Organic Ice Cream demonstrates our continued commitment to offer our customers the widest variety of options to fit their ever-changing needs and lifestyles." The product comes in Vanilla Bean, Chocolate, Coffee, and Vanilla Fudge Swirl flavors. A one-quart container sells for a suggested retail price of $4.99–$5.99.

Another option for people with specific health interests is Breyers Lactose Free Vanilla ice cream. The product appeals to the 30–50 million American consumers who are lactose intolerant. It sells for the suggested retail price of $5.29 for a 56-oz container.

Dashboard Donuts
Dashboard dining or eating while driving has become prevalent in the United States due to consumers’ hectic and highly mobile lifestyles and long commutes to work. Piggybacking on this trend, Krispy Kreme Dough-nuts, Winston-Salem, N.C., is rolling out Doughnut Holes in clear plastic cups that fit snugly in car cup-holders. The bite-size doughnuts come in three varieties—Glazed Traditional Cake, Glazed Blueberry Cake, and Glazed Chocolate Cake. Each resealable cup holds about 10 pieces. The products are distributed through convenience stores.