How Food Commercials Are Made

Have you ever wondered how food looks so mouthwatering in advertisements? Steve Giralt is a food photographer. He has worked for brands like Hershey’s, Budweiser, Pepsi, and Starbucks. Steve uses a symphony of people, cameras, and robots to get the perfect shot.

Cracker Jack Introduces ‘Cracker Jill’: A Fresh Face For Empowering Female Athletes

Cracker Jack is celebrating the groundbreaking achievements of female athletes by introducing ‘Cracker Jill,’ a new series of female characters that will appear on product packaging beginning later this week. The announcement of the campaign is accompanied by a new spin on the old classic Take Me Out to the Ballgame – which calls out Cracker Jack by name – performed by pop star Normani.

“Cracker Jack has been around for over a century,” said Tina Mahal, vice-president of marketing at PepsiCo, Frito-Lay’s parent company. “This brand has been around for a lot of moments, specifically in sports. [It’s] been around as records were made and as rules have changed. And as we’ve seen rules change, we’ve seen a big transformation happening; throughout sports, girls and women are really changing the face of the game. Because of that change, and because of our connection with sports, we thought it was high time that we introduced Cracker Jill … what we’re trying to do is really shine a light on representation of women in sports, and show women that they are represented, they’re acknowledged and they’re celebrated on even some of the most iconic sets.”

The Cracker Jill campaign features a line-up of five female characters, designed to reflect the five most represented ethnicities in the United States.

The new initiative will include a $200,000 donation to the Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF), a non-profit organization founded in 1972 by Billie Jean King, which aims “to expand access and opportunities for girls and women in sports,” according to the organization’s website.

Bags of Cracker Jill will be exclusively available in Major League Baseball stadiums beginning on April 7, the opening day of the league’s 2022 season. Fans can also visit crackerjill.com to make a donation to the WSF, upon which they’ll receive a special-edition Cracker Jill bag.

Cracker Jill wasn’t designed to serve a limited-edition role, though. “The intention is for Jill to join Sailor Jack as a permanent member of the team roster,” Cracker Jack said in a statement. “She’ll fully remain part of the brand ethos as Cracker Jack and Frito-Lay continue their commitment to equity and representation.”

The new campaign includes a modernized cover of Take Me Out to the Ballgame produced by Normani – previously a member of the pop group Fifth Harmony – in partnership with the Cracker Jack team. The new music video opens with text that reads: “Sometimes all it takes to believe you can do something is to see someone who looks like you do it first.” Following a montage depicting young women breaking barriers in a variety of sports, the video cuts to a shot of Normani standing in front of a microphone on a baseball diamond. “Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jill,” she sings. “No one can stop you if you have the will.”

“One of the most well-known ways that Cracker Jack is associated with baseball and with sports is through that seventh inning stretch and the song Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” Mahal says. “The lyrics that are in there – ‘buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack’ – are woven into the culture of the country and the fabric of baseball. We thought we would tap into that cultural connection … and so we partnered with Normani, someone [who] is a trailblazer in her own right … to update that song. She reimagined the lyrics along with our Cracker Jack team to really celebrate the tenacity and grit of women and girls in sports.”

Source: The Drum

Pepsi And IHOP Are Teaming Up For A Breakfast-Inspired Soda

Pepsi has teamed up with breakfast giant IHOP to create an all-new soda designed for the early mornings. On Thursday, the cola maker announced plans for a maple syrup-inspired beverage that boasts the same classic refreshment of a Pepsi but with a definitively IHOP twist.

So if you’ve ever sucked down a Pepsi right alongside your brunch pancakes and thought, “Now this is a combo,” you’re in luck! On March 24, Pepsi kicked off the sweepstakes on social media, giving fans the chance to win their own six-pack. While Pepsi Maple Syrup will not be joining retailers (yet, at least—you can never say never), you can post a photo or video of your stacks online alongside the hashtag #ShowUsYourStack, #PepsiSweepstakes, and @IHOP. Then, 2,000 winners will have a chance to try the first-of-its-kind flavor.

“There is truly nothing quite like the indulgent taste of Pepsi Maple Syrup Cola—sweet maple syrup blended with the refreshing taste of Pepsi cola. We couldn’t be more excited to partner with IHOP on this special initiative, as it isn’t often we get to bring together two iconic brands to satisfy the cravings of pancake and Pepsi lovers alike,” Chief Marketing Officer for Pepsi Todd Kaplan said in a press release. “We can’t wait to celebrate those who have an unapologetic love of pancakes by giving the limited-edition cans to 2,000 fans who #ShowUsYourStack online.” 

Pepsi Maple Syrup Cola—which we can only assume tastes exactly how it sounds—follows similar innovations from the drink manufacturer, including a Peeps-inspired PepsiPepsi Apple Pie, and Pepsi x Cracker Jack.

“At IHOP we celebrate our history of bringing folks together and providing a sense of togetherness, belonging and joy when they dine with us,” chief marketing officer for IHOP Kieran Donahue added in the release. “We are thrilled to partner with Pepsi to have some fun and create a moment for our guests to bring home an additional source of happiness with this limited-edition Pepsi Maple Syrup Cola.” 

Source: Thrillist

PepsiCo To Launch Hemp Seed-Infused Drink Under Rockstar Energy

PepsiCo’s latest drink from Rockstar Energy wants to help consumers chill out.

Infused with hemp seed oil, spearmint, lemon balm and only about 80 milligrams of caffeine, Pepsi is hoping to attract younger, female consumers with the drink. Men between the ages of 18 and 34 years consume the most energy drinks, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.

“It’s a combination of herbals that can help us to relax, but not to sleep,” said Fabiola Torres, PepsiCo general manager and chief marketing officer of its energy business.

Other iterations of Rockstar drinks contain anywhere from 160 milligrams to 300 milligrams of caffeine.

Rockstar Unplugged will be available in slimmer 12-ounce cans in three flavors: blueberry, passion fruit and raspberry cucumber. Beginning Tuesday, the beverage will be available nationwide, starting at $1.99 per can.

This isn’t Rockstar’s first foray into hemp. In April, the brand launched Rockstar Energy + Hemp in Germany. PepsiCo CEO Ramon Laguarta told analysts that month that the German test was specific to that country, which has a sizable hemp market. Torres said Rockstar Unplugged’s formula is quite different, using half the amount of caffeine than the German beverage.

While many consumers may think of hemp seed as synonymous with CBD, there are some differences. Both come from hemp plants, but hemp seed has little to no CBD. It also has much less dramatic effects when consumed.

″[Hemp seed] doesn’t have any functionality, it comes from an herb,” Torres said. “Imagine you’re drinking an herbal tea, with caffeine. That’s it.”

It’s currently illegal for companies to sell CBD-infused food and beverages across state lines, keeping large players like Pepsi and its rival Coca-Cola out of the fray. A number of smaller players with less to lose have introduced their own CBD drinks, but the category remains tiny. Only 1.8% of Americans purchased a CBD drink in the last three months of 2021, according to Brightfield Group.

Hemp seed-infused food and drinks have no such ban in the U.S., but they have failed to catch on like in Germany or other markets.

“This is new territory, so we’re trying to test and learn and really have fun with it,” Torres said.

Perkins Coie served as an advisor to PepsiCo on legal compliance for its use of hemp seed oil.

Shares of Pepsi have climbed 26% over the last 12 months, giving it a market value of $239 billion.

Source: CNBC

Flamin’ Hot Cheetos And Doritos Tease New Super Bowl Ad And A Mysterious Celebrity Spokesperson

Flamin’ Hot has its first ever Super Bowl ad on the way, and they’ve recruited a flamin’ hot celebrity spokesperson to help them celebrate!

Frito-Lay, the company behind the über-popular flavor, is bringing two of its iconic brands together — Cheetos and Doritos — for the new Flamin’ Hot spot, highlighting Cheetos Flamin’ Hot Crunchy and the new Doritos Flamin’ Hot Cool Ranch.

PEOPLE has an exclusive first look at the commercial, and the A-List superstar talent holding the spicy, cheese-flavored snacks for the camera.

Right now, the identity of the spokesperson is being kept under wraps, though there are plenty of clues to get the guessing going.

In the photos, the mysterious celeb’s hand is decked in bling. A diamond bracelet hangs from their wrist, while one pic features a sparkling braided ring and another, a golden ring seemingly made up of stacked yellow diamond bands.

The secret star’s nails make a statement, too, with bright red tips studded in red gems.

This is one of the first Super Bowl ads to be teased this year.

The big game, Super Bowl LVI, will take place on Feb. 13 at the SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles.

While sports fans are weeks away from finding out who will be playing, it’s been announced that Dr. Dre is headlining the Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime Show, with EminemMary J. BligeKendrick Lamar and Snoop Dogg making guest appearances.

“The opportunity to perform at the Super Bowl Halftime show, and to do it in my own backyard, will be one of the biggest thrills of my career,” Dre in a press release when news came out back in September. “I’m grateful to JAY-Z, Roc Nation, the NFL, and Pepsi as well as Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige and Kendrick Lamar for joining me in what will be an unforgettable cultural moment.”

Frito-Lay’s Flamin’ Hot flavor was first introduced as Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, the product making it out to test markets in the summer of 1990 before being launched nationwide in early 1992.

Richard Montañez — who began working for Frito-Lay as a janitor — has long said he created the product, telling Variety he came up with the idea during one of Frito-Lay’s “method improvement programs” where they looked for new ideas and fresh products. He later tested out the seasoning for the Cheetos in his garage.

Frito-Lay’s subsidiary PepsiCo later clarified to PEOPLE that they attribute “the launch and success of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos and other products to several people who worked at PepsiCo, including Richard Montañez.”

“Far from being an urban legend, Richard had a remarkable 40-plus-year career at PepsiCo and made an incredible impact on our business and employees and continues to serve as an inspiration today,” the statement read. “His insights and ideas on how to better serve Hispanic consumers were invaluable and directly resulted in the success of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos.”

Montañez has gone on to write two books about his success, spoken about it in multiple engagements, and even will see his life told on the big screen in an upcoming biopic.

And the beloved spicy snack food has since inspired a sea of unique food offerings — like Flamin’ Hot Cheetos Mac n’ Cheese, Flamin’ Hot Cheetos Mountain Dew, and Taco Bell’s Flamin’ Hot Cheetos Taco Shells — as well as a seemingly never-ending list of at-home recipes involving the product, including sushi rollschicken fingersmozzarella sticks, and even macarons.

Source: People

Pepsi Mango To Become First Permanent Fixture In Five Years

Pepsi is bringing back its Pepsi Mango. The drink was previously a limited-time offering during spring, but it will now be available as a permanent fixture — the first time Pepsi made a permanent fixture in five years.

As its name suggests, the drink is a sweet concoction of mango fruit and Pepsi, mixing tropical flavors with crisp cola fizz. Customers will have the option of getting the beverage in 12-packs of 12-ounce cans or 20-ounce bottles. To kick off the drink, Pepsi will be launching a matchmaking social media series for singles. The campaign will host singles with bio descriptions and contact information to encourage introductions. Vice President of Marketing at Pepsi, Todd Kaplan, expressed excitement for the new flavor: “Mango is one of the most popular fruits in the world, and it serves as the perfect complement to Pepsi, creating an irresistible combination that our fans can enjoy everywhere throughout the year.”

Source: Hypebeast

PepsiCo Rebrands Aunt Jemima As Pearl Milling Company, Retires Character Based On Racial Stereotype

Aunt Jemima syrups and pancake mixes will be rebranded as Pearl Milling Company, PepsiCo said on Tuesday. 

“Though new to store shelves, Pearl Milling Company was founded in 1888 in St. Joseph, Missouri, and was the originator of the iconic self-rising pancake mix that would later become known as Aunt Jemima,” the company said in a press release.

PepsiCo, which owns Quaker Oats, said in June 2020 it would change the brand name on its Aunt Jemima products, which had long been criticized for their roots in racial stereotypes.

Launched about 130 years ago, the Aunt Jemima brand was in part based on racist stereotyping and imagery, like those seen in minstrel show performances. 

“While work has been done over the years to evolve our brand in a manner intended to be appropriate and respectful, we realize that those changes are not enough,” the company said on its updated website on Tuesday.

Aunt Jemima was one of several brands on grocery store shelves that came under scrutiny last year, as the US erupted with protests following the killing of George Floyd. The Uncle Ben’s brand, owned by Mars, in September became Ben’s Original. That brand also dropped its character image. 

The newly rebranded Pearl Milling products will begin hitting shelves in June, PepsiCo said. The company’s products will continue to be Aunt Jemima until then, though they’ll no longer use the character images. 

The company on Tuesday released pictures of its newly rebranded products, which have the familiar red-white-and-yellow coloring. They’ve been updated with the new brand name, along with smaller tags that say: “New name, same great taste, Aunt Jemima.” 

Along with the rebranding, PepsiCo said Pearl Milling Company planned to announce a $1 million grant program committed to empowering black girls and women. PepsiCo previously announced an about $400 million investment in black businesses and communities, the company said. 

Source: Business Insider

LeBron James Leaving Coca-Cola, Set To Sign Deal With PepsiCo

LeBron James is preparing to join PepsiCo after a long-standing sponsorship with Coca-Cola, sources told Front Office Sports.

James would join a growing team of NBA and WNBA stars pitching the rebranded “MTN DEW”: Zion Williamson of the New Orleans Pelicans; Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers; Jamal Murray of the Denver Nuggets; and A’ja Wilson of the Las Vegas Aces.

According to sources, James will become the face of Mountain Dew’s upcoming “Rise Energy” line after nearly 18 years as an endorser for Coca-Cola’s Sprite and Powerade brands.

The 36-year old James could also pitch Pepsi’s flagship cola brand, said sources.

The pending deal may also include integration with Blaze Pizza, which currently offers Coca-Cola products at its more than 300 locations. James owns an approximate 10% stake of the chain.

Representatives for PepsiCo declined to comment. A spokesperson for James also declined to comment. 

An 18-year-old James first signed with Coca-Cola in 2003 as a No. 1 draft pick. The four-time MVP has since appeared regularly in Sprite and Powerade commercials. In 2014 the beverage giant gave him his own signature drink, “Sprite 6 Mix by LeBron James.”

A spokesperson for Coca-Cola told Front Office Sports that his deal with the Atlanta-based soda giant expired in September.

“LeBron’s contract came up at a time when both he and The Coca-Cola Company were actively reviewing all of its resources to make sure it was investing in places that ensured long-term growth,” Coca-Cola said. “After many discussions with Lebron and his team, we mutually agreed to part ways.”

PepsiCo’s beverage brands and the NBA have become increasingly entwined. 

In 2015, PepsiCo replaced Coca-Cola as the official food and beverage partner of the NBA and WNBA. The blockbuster deal ended Coke’s 28-year partnership with the NBA.

Rather than playing up its eponymous cola, PepsiCo has focused its NBA advertising and activations on citrus-flavored Mountain Dew. 

The 2020 All-Star Game’s 3-Point Contest introduced the “DEW Zone” — two attempts from six feet behind the arc, worth three points each. For the third straight year, Mountain Dew also offered fans a branded “Courtside Studio,” with player appearances, music and fashion.

Parent PepsiCo, meanwhile, expanded into caffeinated beverages, buying Rockstar energy drinks for $3.85 billion last March. 

James is one of the world’s most popular and successful endorsers, following the path blazed by the likes of Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods. 

He signed a lifetime deal with Nike in 2015 that could be worth as much as $1 billion over its duration. He’s been one of the brand’s key ambassadors since he entered the league with the Cleveland Cavaliers. 

It’s estimated that James will eclipse $1 billion in career earnings before he retires from the NBA; his endorsements, production companies and other sources account for more than half of that figure.

In December, James signed a two-year extension with the Lakers that will push his career NBA earnings past $420 million by the conclusion of  the 2022-23 season. 

Source: Front Office Sports