Imagine some future historian of the grocery industry opening a time capsule from the waning years of the 20th century. Inside are three objects: a box of Nabisco's SnackWell's fat-free chocolate cookies, a can of Sam's Choice cola and a piece of paper on which three letters are inscribed. The contents would tell the historian everything important there is to know about brand marketing through the supermarket trade circa 1994. Take the cookies. A major packaged goods manufacturer parlays ...

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