Zombie Skittles Thriller

Zombie Skittles Thriller

Preparing for Halloween is a two-year affair for Mars Wrigley.

To ensure a lucrative Halloween season, the candy maker devotes considerable time and resources to launch attractive, new products. Because buying candy tends to be an impulsive purchase the rest of the year, the recipe for a successful season is to extend it for several months and spark curiosity with mystery flavors.


Video Spotlight: Production of Skittles


This post is based on the CNN.com article, How the Maker of Skittles and M&Ms Gets Ready for Halloween, by D. Wiener-Bronner, October 30, 2019, and the YouTube video, How Skittles Are Madeby Food Insider, April 9, 2018. Image source: McGraw-Hill Education/David Planchet.

Discussion Questions:

1. How does Mars Wrigley make “old” Skittles new again for Halloween?

Guidance: Review the product life cycle stages. First introduced in the US in 1979, Skittles are a very mature product. To maintain interest in the product, Mars Wrigley slightly changed the design for Halloween and added Zombie Skittles to the usual rainbow. As planned, the odd flavor of the new Skittles piqued customers’ curiosity. The excitement translated into engagement on social media, which is essentially free publicity for the product.

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Y’all, It’s Back: Popeyes’ Chicken Sandwich

Y’all, It’s Back: Popeyes’ Chicken Sandwich

November 4, 2019

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen announced that its chicken sandwich would return on Sunday, November 3, 2019.  The company also released a simple ad called “Open Sunday” to announce its availability.

Sunday, November 3rd is important in two ways.  First, it is National Sandwich day.  What better day to re-introduce a very popular sandwich.  Second, it’s a reminder to customers that one of its main competitors–Chick-fil-A–is not open on Sundays. In its 20-second ad, a highway sign shows Chick-fil-A’s “Closed Sunday” tag; an “Open Sunday” tag is added for Popeyes.

The original release of the sandwich, in August 2019, went viral after a twitter war with Chick-fil-A.  The twitter war eventually grew to include many other restaurants’ chicken sandwiches.  For Popeyes, the response was overwhelming. Inventory that had been forecast to last two months ran out in two weeks, and the chain had to temporarily remove the sandwich from its menu.


Video Spotlight: Open Sunday


This post is based on the Thrillist article, Popeyes Just Revealed When Its Chicken Sandwich Is Coming Back, by Kat Thompson, October 28, 2019, and the YouTube video, Open Sunday, by Popeyes Louisiana Continue reading

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Plant-Based Sausage Pizza in a Round box

Plant-Based Sausage Pizza in a Round box

November 3, 2019

Pizza Hut is adding to the growing list of restaurants that are experimenting with or adopting plant-based meat.

In one Phoenix restaurant location, for one day only, on October 23, 2019, Pizza Hut introduced a Morning Star Farm’s plant-based sausage pizza, and packaged it in a “planet friendly” round pizza box made by Zume, Inc.

If the one-day test goes well, Pizza Hut will evaluate rolling out one or both innovations to more locations.


Video Spotlight: Pizza Hut testing plant-based sausage topping in Phoenix


This post is based on the Nation’s Restaurant News article, Pizza Hut Testing Plant-Based Sausage Served in Zume Round Box, by Nancy Luna and Gloria Dawson, October 22, 2019; the Fast Company article, Two Years in The Making, Pizza Hut Tests a Round Pizza Box, by Jeff Beer, October 22, 2019; and the YouTube video, Pizza Hut testing plant-based sausage topping in Phoenix, by 12 News, October 22, 2019. Image source: D. Hurst / Alamy

Discussion Questions:

1. Why introduce a plant-based sausage?

Guidance: The tremendous success of other plant-based meats by several fast-food restaurants is driving more restaurants to consider adding it to their menus.  Several have seen Continue reading

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