Pepperidge Farm Tries a New Direction

NEW YORK Cookie sales have crumbled over the last couple of years because of the low-carb craze, but Pepperidge Farm is fighting back with a $20 million campaign for Whims—cookie bits in a snack canister that fits into a car’s cup-holder.

“We created Whims to provide a bit of delicious spontaneity for busy consumers,” said Carol Degener, director of snack innovation at the Campbell Soup unit.

Tagged “Live by your Whims,” two TV spots breaking in August, via Young & Rubicam in New York, position the product as a snack for time-strapped folks on the move. Print ads in September run in a gamut of general interest, celebrity and women’s titles.

The No. 3 brand in a flat $3.7 billion category, Pepperidge Farm in Norwalk, Conn., is attempting to play the convenience card. The marketer isn’t the only one touting on-the-go usage: Keebler is expected to roll out Gripz, tiny, round Chips Deluxe pieces that come in single-serve packs, and Nabisco is bowing Oreo Twins in single-serve packs.

Those efforts come amid a decline for the category. Cookie sales began falling in 2002 and are projected to drop 16 percent over the next five years, per Mintel, Chicago. Despite the gloomy projection, Hershey entered the category in December, relying heavily on c-store distribution.

The launch comes as marketers like Burger King and Dreyer’s are rolling out products which blur the traditional definition of “snacks.” Examples: BK Chicken Fries, a cross between French fry and chicken strip, or Dreyer’s Dibs, candy-size ice cream balls.