Tag Archives: beverages

Careful What You Name Your Company

Names and labels are critical in consumer goods. Consumers demand transparency and authenticity – we want to know that companies are telling the truth and fulfilling their brand promises.  One brand currently under fire is Nestlé’s Waters’ Poland Spring Bottled Water.

A class action lawsuit for $5 million has been filed against Poland Spring for false advertising, deceptive labeling, breach of conflict, and other claims. The lawsuit argues that the company has misled consumers by labeling the product as “100% spring water,” thus suggesting that the water is high quality. It claims that “not one drop” of the water complies with the FDA’s definition of what constitutes spring water, and is instead considered “ground water.”

The FDA says spring water “shall be collected only at the spring or through a bore hole tapping the underground formation feeding the spring.” Consumers claim that the Poland Spring in Poland Spring, Maine went dry decades ago. Nestle said the “claims made in the lawsuit are without merit” and that they meet the FDA regulations, as well as all federal and state regulations.

What’s in your water?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Bring a few bottles of Poland Spring Water to class.
  2. Pass them around to students and see what conclusions the students have about the product.
  3. Next, have students look up the FDA definition of spring water. (https://www.fda.gov/food/resourcesforyou/consumers/ucm046894.htm)
  4. Does it comply with how the product is packaged and advertised?
  5. Show video: http://fortune.com/2017/08/17/nestle-poland-spring-water-lawsuit/
  6. Have students review the company’s Web site for information: https://www.polandspring.com/
  7. What course of action should the company take to reassure consumers and regain trust?

Source:  Fortune

Leave a comment

Filed under Classroom Activities

Clear Coffee – No Stains!

How many times have you spilled your coffee, and then had to deal with the dark stain left behind? My desk and papers are littered with coffee stains. But, those days are nearly at an end, thanks to CLR CFF – billed as the world’s first clear coffee drink.

The new beverage is made from Arabica coffee beans and water using a product method that makes the coffee colorless. The coffee does not have any preservatives, artificial flavors, or other sweeteners, giving the drink a low calorie count with only four calories. And of course the best part – if it spills, no stain!

Unfortunately for all U.S. coffee aficionados (who might be a little clumsy), CLR CFF is only available at select locations in the U.K. and Slovakia, or from the company’s Web site. So for now, be careful not to spill your current cup of coffee!

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the importance of clearly defining a target market.
  2. Show CLR CFF video: https://youtu.be/ikZ3vBsewjU
  3. Web site: http://clrcff.com/
  4. For this product, what is the target market?
  5. Divide students into teams and have each team develop a profile of a target market for this product. Include demographics, psychographics, behaviors, values, attitudes, etc.
  6. Based on the target market profile, what makes this product ideal for these customers?
  7. Debrief the exercise.

Source:  Buzzfeed, Brandchannel.com

Leave a comment

Filed under Classroom Activities

A Year after Super Bowl Ad: Death Wish Coffee

In the 2016 Super Bowl, small business Death Wish Coffee beat out 15,000 other small businesses to win a 30-second Super Bowl commercial, funded by Intuit QuickBooks. Before the commercial, the company had days where it sold low amounts of coffee each day from its Web site and New York coffee shop. What would happen to the business after the Super Bowl?

Before the Super Bowl, the company’s Web site had a resting count of approximately 500 visitors. By the time the ad finished running, there were more than 147,000 unique visitors on its Web site, and almost all were from mobile devices. And, during the Super Bowl game time, Death Wish Coffee sold more than $250,000 of coffee.

Today, the company is doing great and is still growing by leaps and bounds. In 2015, Death Wish Coffee had approximately $3 million in revenue, and their estimate for 2016 was an optimistic $10 million in revenue. But of course, that was BEFORE the Super Bowl ad. By the time last year ended, Death Wish Coffee revenue had doubled its estimates to $20 million!

“Super Bowl commercials work!”

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the risks and benefits of advertising at the Super Bowl.
  2. Show the Ad Age’s recent interview with the company: http://adage.com/article/special-section-super-bowl/death-coffee-s-year-long-super-bowl-high/308371/?utm_source=daily_email&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_campaign=adage&ttl=1490741042&utm_visit=226837
  1. For backstory about how this ad was developed, show the video “Anatomy of an Ad”:  http://adage.com/videos/a-super-bowl-death-wish-part-3/493 (Note: There are three videos in total that explain the process of developing the commercial. Students will find these behind-the-scenes interesting.)
  2. View the company’s Web site: http://www.deathwishcoffee.com/.
  3. Discuss why this ad and company have been so successful.

Source:  Ad Age Daily

Leave a comment

Filed under Classroom Activities