MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

McDonald’s gets healthy

BY Dan Berthiaume

Oak Brook, Ill. — McDonald’s Corporation is partnering with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, founded by the Clinton Foundation and American Heart Association, to increase customers’ access to fruit and vegetables and help customers make informed choices in the nutritional value of their orders.

McDonald’s specifically commits to: provide customers a choice of a side salad, fruit or vegetable as a substitute for french fries in value meals. The commitment also includes the following related to the promotion and advertising of Happy Meals:

  • Promote and market only water, milk, and juice as the beverage in Happy Meals on menu boards and in-store and external advertising.
  • Utilize Happy Meal and other packaging innovations and designs to generate excitement for fruit, vegetable, low/reduced-fat dairy, or water options for kids.
  • Dedicate Happy Meal box or bag panels to communicate a fun nutrition or children’s well-being message.
  • Ensure 100% of all advertising directed to children to include a fun nutrition or children’s well-being message.

McDonald’s says it will retain an independent, reputable third party organization to verify progress on the commitment in a clear and transparent manner as part of the agreement. All pieces of this commitment will be implemented in 30%-50% of the 20 major markets within three years and 100% of the 20 markets by 2020.

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SGK appoints managing director of brand development

BY CSA STAFF

SGK, formerly marketed as Schawk, Inc., a leading global brand development, activation and deployment company, has appointed Scott Lucas to the new position of managing director, brand development to oversee its Brandimage and Anthem operations in Cincinnati.

According to the company, its brand development group drives brand performance by creating desirability through two brands: Brandimage and Anthem. Brandimage creates brands through the development of brand equity design and brings them ‘to the shelf’ to seduce shoppers at the point of decision. Anthem sells brands from the ‘shelf out’ by amplifying and elevating brand desirability.

"I am excited to lead the brand development teams in Cincinnati and to leverage our business-driven design model to drive brand performance for our global and regional clients," said Lucas. "As brand performance is a function of desirability and profitability, it is gratifying to be a part of an organization that recognizes the relationship between brands, branding, and business."

"It’s great to see that we’ve got the right leader in such an important role and in such an important market for SGK," said Eric Ashworth, president. "His arrival brings a lot to not only the Cincinnati team but also the company as a whole. I am confident that Scott and team will elevate the ‘desirability’ of packaging all the way up to the shelf and ‘amplify’ its unique design language all the way down the aisle and out the door to help drive brands that perform."

Prior to joining SGK, Lucas spent 10 years with Interbrand. He served as executive director, new business at Interbrand Cincinnati where he established and led a Cincinnati-based team responsible for new business development, marketing and public relations for the North American consumer packaged goods (CPG) practice. Before his move to Cincinnati, he served as managing director, consumer branding, at Interbrand New York.

Previous roles earlier in his career included business-building executive experience in New York at branding and design consultancies, including his own firm.

Lucas earned a bachelor of arts in communication from Villanova University.

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Finish Line performs better than expected

BY CSA STAFF

Sales at Indianapolis-based athletic footwear and apparel retailer Finish Line grew 13.3% to $436 million and earnings per share increase 10.2% to 54 cents, nine cents better than analysts forecast for the period ended August 31.

Company chairman and CEO Glenn Lyon characterized the performance as solid, and credited a 0.9% comp increase and expense control for profit growth.

“The combination of positive comparable sales and good expense control drove a 10% increase in earnings per share over last year. At the same time, we continued to make good progress building our business with Macy’s and growing our Running Specialty Group,” Lyon said. “Looking ahead, we are cognizant of the headwinds currently facing the retail industry and this has been incorporated into our near-term planning. We remain confident that our strategy to create a leading multi-divisional, omni-channel business will lead to sustainable sales and earnings growth and increased shareholder value over the long term.”

Finish Line struck a deal with Macy’s last year to operate athletic shoe departments in its department stores. The deal was a boon for Finish Line which ended the quarter managing athletic footwear departments in 660 Macy’s stores compared to 658 of its own brand, mall-based stores.

Looking forward, Finish Line issued a slightly rosier sales forecast, calling for comps to increase in the low single digits rather than an earlier forecast of a slight increase, but maintained its full year profit forecast of $1.47 a share.

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