BATTLE CREEK, MI: In response to consumer lobbying, the Kellogg Company will bring back its discontinued cookie brand Hydrox this fall for a limited time.
Launched in 1908 but yanked in 2005, Hydrox will hit the shelves again in late August or early September, and Kellogg, with support from Hunter Public Relations, is starting to generate buzz for the vintage cookie through outreach to media and placements on various programs, such as the Today show and CNN.
As part of the early PR roll-out, it planned a contest for the end of June to find America's biggest Hydrox fan, where consumers are encouraged to mail in or post stories about the brand to a Hydrox Web site currently under construction, according to Claire Burke, partner of Hunter PR. Winners will get a trip to New York City and be the first consumers to taste the relaunched cookie.
Other events are underway and will be revealed closer to the launch, said Thuy-An Wilkins, Kellogg manager of media relations.
The Wall Street Journal was given an early exclusive on the news of Hydrox's return to supermarket shelves due to the paper's January 2008 article, "The Hydrox cookie is dead, and fans won't get over it."
Due to this and other outpourings of consumer requests, Kellogg decided to create a limited run, which Wilkins adds, could result in a longer distribution period, depending on consumer response.
"Consumers are why we're bringing this [product] back, and we want them to know we heard them," Wilkins said.
For this reason, continued outreach to Hydrox's core fans will play an integral role, Burke said.
Wilkins agreed that the PR team will leverage nostalgic fans: "Those who loved and grew up with the cookie, that way those who haven't tried it will want to."