Kraft Wants Philly to Flex from Bagels to…Chicken

TakeAway: Kraft Foods is repositioning Philadelphia Cream Cheese as a versatile cooking ingredient, spending big to introduce a new product, Philadelphia Cooking Creme. 

The reduced-fat, creamy and spoonable version of the iconic brand will hit stores early next year and be accompanied by one of the largest ad campaigns in company history.

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Excerpted from AdAge, “Kraft Puts Big Bucks Behind Philadelphia Cooking Creme Launch” By EJ Schultz, October 26, 2010

The ad budget for this will consume half of all spending in the cheese and dairy division, which also includes Velveeta and Kraft Singles. Those two brands alone accounted for more than $38 million in measured media spending in 2009.

The refrigerated creme will come in four flavors: original, Italian herb, savory garlic and Santa Fe. The campaign will promote the product as a sauce for chicken, vegetables or just about anything else you can put in a pan. Commercials will focus on solving the “dinner dilemma.”

Philadelphia brand cream cheese was first distributed in 1880 by a New York businessman and acquired by Kraft in 1928. The brand was marketed as a versatile cheese in the early years, but Kraft began positioning it as more of a bagel spread in the 1980s. Sales later flattened, as consumers began favoring low-carbohydrate diets, such as the Atkins Diet.

The push to return the cheese to its versatile roots gained steam this year with an online campaign called “Real Women of Philadelphia.” Consumers submitted cream cheese recipes and celebrity chef Paula Deen hosted a cook-off. Kraft hopes to build anticipation for the creme by first sending it to 2,000 consumers who sign up on the Real Women website. Users can submit pitches for an online commercial.

Edit by AMW

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