PILLSBURY PUTS DOUGHBOY ON STORE-BAKED GOODS

MINNEAPOLIS -- Pillsbury Bakeries & Foodservice here has created a promotion aimed at extending its brand equity into the in-store bakery.The company, a subsidiary of the food sector of the U.K.-based Grand Metropolitan, has been offering retailers an in-store program called "Cookie Commotion," which features the Pillsbury Doughboy."We believe there is a benefit to the in-store bakery to promote the

MINNEAPOLIS -- Pillsbury Bakeries & Foodservice here has created a promotion aimed at extending its brand equity into the in-store bakery.

The company, a subsidiary of the food sector of the U.K.-based Grand Metropolitan, has been offering retailers an in-store program called "Cookie Commotion," which features the Pillsbury Doughboy.

"We believe there is a benefit to the in-store bakery to promote the Pillsbury name, because Pillsbury is recognized as a well-known product," said Rochelle Shirk, marketing manager for the project.

Although the point-of-sale materials and packaging are free to the retailer, the promotion has been slow to take off, Shirk admitted. Since March, about 60,000 cases of the promotional materials have been requested by retailers.

"We've had a lot of interest in it, but we just haven't had a lot of dedicated interest in using it in the store yet," Shirk said.

She speculated that some bakeries may be hesitant to display the Pillsbury name because it might give consumers the impression the cookies are a manufactured product.

The company believes its program to be the first time a manufacturer has used its logo to promote products in in-store bakeries.

Pillsbury has supplied mixes, frozen dough and preformed frozen dough pieces to in-store bakeries since it acquired McGlynn Bakeries in 1992, but early promotional materials did not feature the Doughboy.

"The big thing is that the Doughboy is so recognizable," Shirk said.

The materials being provided to bakeries free of charge include banners, buttons and balloons, along with table tents and signs that were designed to work in any area of the bakery. A Doughboy package made of thin cardboard and containing a polybag in which the cookies should be placed upon selection is also available.

"What we're trying to do is get it out there, have people take a look at it, try it," Shirk said.