HOUSTON: Coca-Cola's Minute Maid Foods has hired Vorhaus & Company
to handle PR for Simply Orange, a new not-from-concentrate product
developed to compete with Pepsi's Tropicana.
PR spending will fall between dollars 1 million and dollars 2 million
the first year, with a total marketing budget in the dollars 20 million
to dollars 50 million range.
Minute Maid works with Ogilvy PR for health communications. But since
the product will be marketed under a new company name - the Simply
Orange Juice Company - to help it stand apart from other Minute Maid
juices, a new approach was needed. 'In this case, we were looking for
someone who could understand the small-company concept,' said Ray
Crockett, director of communications. Vorhaus was picked from three
Julie Schumacher Ciardiello, a Vorhaus SVP and general manager, said the
product has already been covered by The Wall Street Journal, The New
York Times and more than 100 broadcast outlets. Her next PR target is
publications for the supermarket and beverage-retailer trades. That will
be followed by consumer-directed launch PR this summer.
Minute Maid faces an uphill battle against leading orange juice brand
Tropicana, said Tom Pirko, an industry analyst with BevMark in Santa
Barbara, CA. 'Minute Maid will have to spend more than the leader to
convince consumers what they've got is the thing.'
Coke has a history of big spending for rollouts, only to cut back if
sales don't immediately take off, noted Joan Holleran, editor of
Beverage Industry magazine: 'If you look at Coca Cola's history, they
put in buckets of money up front but then they let it die.'