Reese’s Releases

reeses.jpgReese’s needs to learn to love itself for the way it is.

I understand that capitalism pretty much dictates that companies must endlessly increase sales, and this translates to continuously messing with classic products. This is why when you go to buy toothpaste it takes 45 minutes and two copies of Consumer Reports to decide. See, for example, Oreos. Now, granted, innovation has led to undeniably remarkable new products: Double Stuff, Halloween, and mini Oreos being good examples. But look also at the dilution of the brand: The Clorox-colored Spring collection, the bland peanut butter variety (and I’m normally a big fan of all things peanut butter), and congealed Oreo cheesecake.

But no brand has engaged in as many pointless variations of its base than Reese’s. They realized long ago, probably in the years following ET, that little more could be done with Reese’s Pieces (although the M&M forays into other fillings should serve as inspiration), so they turned to bastardizations of what can best be described as peanut butter Kit Kats. As I drove past a billboard for a Reese’s peanut butter cappuccino a couple of weeks ago, I had to wonder, does this relentless product roll-out really work?

HERSHEY WILL RELY ON RAMPED-UP consumer marketing spending to bring it out of a slump this year. The nation’s largest candy maker yesterday reported a dismal fourth quarter due largely to aggressive trade promotion to clear out unsold merchandise


3 thoughts on “Reese’s Releases

  1. nice post — I don’t think the relentless product roll-out works at all. I stick to the original peanut butter cups, and rarely have any of the others. I know they won’t be as good!

    and speaking of oreo products, have you seen that Dominoes now has an Oreo dessert pizza? Looks really nasty

  2. It’s desperation, my friend. Brand managers everywhere come up with new ideas, most of them lame, but some good. But the finance guys at Hershey’s don’t wanna take a chance on a new candy bar. Why bother risking a 90% failure rate when you can just roll out the new Reese’s flavored lollipop? But you’re right, it’s brand dilution. The CEO of Starbucks just wrote a long memo to his employees suggesting that they might be taking some stuff too far, and maybe they should stick to what they’re good at.

  3. I read that Starbucks memo – pretty interesting. My most literal brand dilution experience with coffee would probably be when the Dunks in Eastern Market gave me a cup of ice and cream water. When I went back to point this out, they just kind of giggled like, “you got us! we don’t actually have any coffee.”

    And Oreo pizza sounds absolutely disgusting. Of course so does every breakfast pizza being introduced by places like Subway trying to make some sales in the morning hours.

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