business news in context, analysis with attitude

Responding to Kate McMahon’s column of last week about differing degrees of success at Kraft Heinz in their varying attempts at mayonnaise-mashups, MNB reader Ron Tuchler wrote to Kate:

Loved your post this morning.  As someone who writes a monthly-ish blog on this sort of thing, I wish I’d followed this story.

Having had my first job (in the 80s) on Kraft Mayonnaise, I can tell you these 'mayo + something' concepts are nothing new. We even introduced an herbed mayonnaise product (called Chantelle)- - which died a pretty quick death.  Which is good, because it was gross.

But at that time we were still innovating with basic stuff like squeeze containers and Light Mayo (how far civilization has come!), so the risk of knocking one of these bigger brand-extension children off the shelf in favor of a niche brand-extension child didn’t seem like a good idea.

But now it seems like social media feedback has become a proxy for a concept test, reinvigorating the Confirmation Bias Market Research military-industrial complex.  If it sounds cool on Twitter, then we’re pretty sure people will immediately vote with their dollars. 

Best line:  “They were so preoccupied with whether or not they mayocould, they didn't stop to think if they mayoshould”.

Love it.  Keep up the good work.

From another reader:

Almost 50 years ago I was pre-mixing my own concoction of condiments - none ever was paired with mustard however.   One of my favorites is Hellmann's Mayo, Heinz Ketchup and A! sauce.  I mix them together and put in a squeeze bottle container.  And it is a lot less expensive than paying Kraft 3x the costs of having them put those together.

Responding to some comments I made last week about innovations at 7-Eleven, one MNB reader wrote:

The Laredo Taco Company has already been a huge success due to convenience store chain Stripes who until their recent move to Dallas, was HQ’d in deep South Texas.  So NO innovation from 7-11 only copycat.  Also, the issue that 7-11 will never overcome is the fact that their stores are Franchised.  Try convincing a Franchise owner already operating in a “penny business”  to take on “fresh food”.  Food cost, consistent quality and cleanliness alone are all aspects that they are not prepared to handle.  Plus, 7-11 tried “fresh” sandwiches’ a few years ago.  Quick-Trip, RaceTrac, Speedway continue to “define” the new convenience store. 7-11 is an afterthought at best.

And, responding change in the president/CEO job at Albertsons, one MNB reader wrote:

It seems odd that the CEO of the food division of PepsiCo would leave the security, dominant market share, consistent growth and earnings for a “B” retailer at best in a VERY CROWDED competitive, grocery retail landscape.  Just seems very strange.

You may not be the only person thinking this.

Finally, weighing in on the ongoing greeting card conversation we’ve been having here, MNB reader Duane Eaton wrote:

I still like to send cards for most birthdays, but I don’t buy them from a retail store.  I order them online from NobleWorks.  They print them as they are ordered and sell them significantly cheaper than retail outlets, other than a dollar store.  Admittedly you need a warped sense of humor to buy most of their cards, but that fits me perfectly.

Good to know.
KC's View: