WAYNE, N.J. -- Reckitt Benckiser's Food Division here plans to increase its media spending by over 40% this year to support the revamped French's brand.
"We want to make sure consumers understand the benefits they'll get from this new innovation and the leadership of our equity," Kate Shevack, the division's vice president of marketing, told Brand Marketing.
The aggressive media plan is designed to get the word out about the many happenings in the division, which will have a 50% change in all its products by next year.
Slated to hit store shelves in April, the improvements to the mustard include new packaging shape, dispensing technology, label and sizes. The changes are geared to update not only the perception of the mustard line, but also the French's brand image.
"We're trying to reshape ourselves," said Neil Kiely, the division's vice president of sales.
To make dispensing easier, bottles will feature a new "flip-top" cap and an easier-to-hold shape. On the label, the French's flag will be featured more prominently. In addition to its current 8-ounce size, the Classic Yellow flavor will be available in 14 and 20 ounces to meet the needs of heavy users and large families. French's specialty flavors -- which include honey mustard, deli mustard, sweet onion and forthcoming Napa Valley Dijon -- will remain in 12-ounce sizes.
The new mustard bottle design is the first of many improvements at the division. Changes in bottles and graphics are also in-store for Frank's RedHot cayenne pepper sauce, French's Taste Toppers and French's potato sticks. There also will be new product development and flavor launches among all its brands.
"We've taken a long, hard look at how we manage our business and it's clear to us that great brands need to evolve to remain relevant," said Shevack.
The division has hired a new agency, Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer, to handle the advertising and consumer promotion plan.
Advertising will focus primarily on TV, but also may include print and radio. There also will be a full range of consumer promotions, including shelf-talkers and in-store displays.
The company plans to tailor the marketing campaign to meet the needs of different French's consumers.
"The consumer who buys our yellow mustard doesn't have the same profile as the one who buys honey mustard," said Shevack, noting that Classic Yellow is geared mostly to families, while honey mustard is for young adults and singles.