The Oscar Mayer brand is launching the largest advertising campaign in its 125-year history. The “It Doesn’t Get Better Than This” campaign is the first multi-category advertising campaign to span the entire Oscar Mayer brand portfolio and will serve as the creative umbrella and tagline for five Oscar Mayer products: Deli Fresh Shaved Meats, Deli Creations, Bacon, Hot Dogs and Bologna, and then extend elements to Lunchables Lunch Combinations.

Central to the campaign is the joy of eating Oscar Mayer foods and happy, positive moments with friends and family. Developed by mcgarrybowen in Chicago, the goal is to capture spontaneous moments – from a mother’s joyful discovery that her son has packed his treasured toys in her brown-bag lunch with Deli Creations from Oscar Mayer, to a fun, first date dinner over an Oscar Mayer Hot Dog. Music plays a central role in the new campaign beginning with a new song, titled “Doesn’t Get Better Than This,” by singer/songwriter Joy Williams.

“Our goal is to be innovative across the board, from our products to the way we market them. This is the first time we’ve had so many of our products under one creative thematic with this magnitude of marketing support,” said Sean Marks, director, marketing at Oscar Mayer. “We know the world of food advertising can be idealized, but we’re portraying the way life is – sometimes stressful, far from perfect but also really, really fun.

And, we’re capturing moments where people are in good moods, enjoying themselves and each other, as well as Oscar Mayer foods.”

The campaign includes five brand-centric, 30-second television spots in prime time, 12 print and an assortment of digital executions that will roll out throughout the year. The first two televised brand spots – Oscar Mayer Deli Fresh and Deli Creations from Oscar Mayer – debuted during the Golden Globe Awards telecast on NBC on January 17. Print ads will also launch in national weekly magazines, such as People, US Weekly, InTouch, Star and more, and then expand to high-profile women’s and lifestyle magazines, such as Good Housekeeping, Redbook, Woman’s Day and many others.

Source: Kraft Foods Inc.

Compromise hoped for in Russian poultry export dispute, fears begin over beef exports

Russia's meat sector is hoping that this week's talks about U.S. chicken exports will lead to some sort of compromise. Otherwise, the country will have to find new sources of supply to replace those from the United States, which was the leading exporter of poultry products.

Talks over Russia's new regulations regarding chlorine treatment are scheduled for January 19-20. Technical experts headed by USDA Undersecretary Jim Miller and Russian consumer protection watchdog Rospotrebnadzor Gennady Onishchenko are scheduled to hold talks in Moscow, Reuters reports.

"Alternatives may be found," Andrei Teriokhin, head of the Russian Poultry Market Operators' Association, told Reuters, if a compromise cannot be reached. "There are major producers like Brazil, the European Union, Argentina, Canada, Turkey and Thailand." But, he said, this may disrupt the market and prove to be time consuming.

Teroikhin said that he did not expect the U.S. to exclude poultry washes from poultry processing in order to meet the Russian standards. He said a compromise may be possible over the estimate of the chlorine residue content.

"U.S. products should correspond to Russian safety standards, while the Russian side should present its demands to the products and not to their production process. When there is a wish, there is hope of a compromise."

Meanwhile, Russia's veterinary service has asked the USDA to re-inclect U.S. beef plants exporting to Russia by Feb. 1 and bar any that don't meet Russian requirements from shipping meat.

"The United States and Russia have mutually agreed-upon audit requirements, in place of Russian requirements, that U.S. beef production facilities must meet to be eligible to export to Russia," said Nefeterius McPherson, a spokesman for the U.S. Trade Representative.
Two U.S. senators fear that the Russian standards could significantly affect U.S. beef exports. "We urge you to fully engage all administration resources to address these agricultural trade issues," said Senators Blanche Lincoln and Saxby Chambliss in a letter to President Obama.

Source: Reuters

Tyson antibiotic lawsuit damages capped at $5 million

A federal judge signed off on a preliminary settlement of a class action charging Tyson Foods with falsely advertising that its chickens are raised without antibiotics. Tyson agreed to pay up to $50 to anyone who bought poultry that was labeled antibiotic-free. Payments will be capped at $5 million and do not include $3 million in attorneys fees.

U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett, in Baltimore, granted preliminary approval for the settlement on Friday.

The plaintiffs say that since June 2007, in response to public demand for healthier, natural foods, Tyson embarked on a campaign to promote, label, and sell its chicken products as "raised without antibiotics" or "raised without antibiotics that impact antibiotic resistance in humans."

But the plaintiffs say that Tyson did inject its eggs with antibiotics and fed chickens feed containing antibiotics.

In a related case brought by Tyson's competitors, a court enjoined Tyson from making certain antibiotic-free claims, and in June of 2008, the U.S. Department of Agriculture similarly ordered Tyson to stop using the "raised without antibiotics" claim or any variation of it on its chicken labels.

Under the terms of the settlement, consumers have three ways to collect. Consumers who saved receipts can claim a refund of the actual purchase price up to $50. Those without receipts can submit a sworn statement detailing the poultry they bought and receive up to $10. Consumers who bought Tyson poultry at least once between June 2007 and April 2009 can receive a $5 coupon toward purchase of additional Tyson products.

Class members who wish to exclude themselves from the settlement must do so in writing by April 19. A fairness hearing is set for May 7, to determine whether final approval of the settlement will be granted, whether the application for $3 million in attorneys fees will be granted and whether requests for incentive awards for plaintiffs deposed in the litigation will be granted.

Source: Courthouse News Service

Beef carcass recalled in New York

Jerry Hayes Meats Inc., a Newark Valley, N.Y., establishment is recalling approximately 490 pounds of a beef carcass that may not have had the spinal column removed, which is not compliant with regulations that require the removal of spinal cord and vertebral column from cattle over 30 months of age, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service announced.

Spinal cord and vertebral column are considered a specified risk material (SRM) and must be removed from cattle over 30 months of age in accordance with FSIS regulations. SRMs are tissues that are known to contain the infective agent in cattle infected with Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), as well as materials that are closely associated with these potentially infective tissues. Therefore, FSIS prohibits SRMs from use as human food to minimize potential human exposure to the BSE agent.

The carcass being recalled bears the establishment number "EST. 04488 M" inside the USDA mark of inspection. The product was packed on January 7, 2010, and sold to a single customer in New York. The problem was discovered through routine FSIS inspection activities. FSIS has received no reports of illnesses associated with consumption of this product.

Source: FSIS

Taco Bell founder dies at 86

Glen Bell Jr., founder of the Taco Bell restaurant chain, died on Sunday at the age of 86. He entered the restaurant business in 1948 by opening Bell's Drive-In in San Bernardino, Calif. Bell's Drive-In first served a menu with hamburgers and hot dogs to its customers. However, Bell soon decided to differentiate his menu by adding Mexican fare. He quickly realized the need to develop a convenient way to serve items such as tacos in a take-out environment. He also began experimenting with a drive-thru concept. Once he perfected his taco shell recipe, taco sauces and the convenient drive-thru concept, he was ready to introduce the tastes and textures of Mexican food to mainstream America.

After several different restaurant ventures, Bell opened his first Taco Bell restaurant in Downey, Calif., in 1962. He followed with eight small Taco Bell units in the Long Beach, Paramount and Los Angeles areas. From there, he expanded his restaurant chain and sold the first Taco Bell franchise in 1964. In 1978, Bell sold his 868 Taco Bell restaurants to PepsiCo. Taco Bell is now owned by Yum! Brands Inc.

"The entire Taco Bell family of franchisees and employees are deeply saddened by the loss of the founder of Taco Bell. Glen Bell was a visionary and innovator in the restaurant industry, as well as a dedicated family man," said Greg Creed, president and chief concept officer of Taco Bell. "His innovative business acumen started out of humble beginnings and created one of the nation's largest restaurant chains in Taco Bell. Mr. Bell introduced an entire nation to the taco and Mexican cuisine."

Sources: Taco Bell Corp., MarketWatch