New World Pasta Eyes Shops

NEW YORK New World Pasta is reviewing creative chores on its Ronzoni Healthy Harvest line of products.

Dave Heimbecker, director of marketing at the Harrisburg, Pa., client, said the company is considering four undisclosed contenders, adding that the media spend of $5 million for 2006 would “significantly increase” this year.

“It has to be about all the consumer touch points,” Heimbecker said. “There are different places consumers go for trusted information.” The media mix will be heavier in digital than in years past, he said, because “you have households making a lifestyle decision to change from eating regular pasta to whole wheat pasta,” and the Web is one of the primary places consumers go for trusted health information.

MatchPoint Marketing in Pittsburgh will continue handling promotions, he said.

Another challenge is to convince consumers to at least try the whole wheat and multigrain pasta lines. Heimbecker said many pasta consumers think they are trading taste for health in switching to a non-white pasta, but hopes the new communication is strong enough to influence trials and thus have consumers be “pleasantly surprised” by the product’s taste.

New World was part of Hershey Foods until last year, when it was bought by Ebro Puleva.

The company launched Healthy Harvest in late 2002. Its other brands include Ronzoni, Prince, Skinner, San Giorgio and Creamette, all region-specific U.S. brands.

Ronzoni Healthy Harvest is available nationally.

Consultancy Lighthouse Marketing in Miami is handling the review.

Heimbecker said the four agencies would make final presentations in mid-April, with a decision shortly thereafter. He said the first teaser ads would launch in July.