Top 10 power brands
Brands are the light, not the bulb. Here are our picks for those trademarks that have withstood the test of time and forged an emotional connection with consumers.
By Diane Toops, News & Trends Editor | 07/05/2005
Frito-Lay brands appeal to an extraordinarily diverse array of consumers. The brand recognizes the ever-diversifying population and strives to deliver authentic flavors and products. Through its world-class innovative research and development, Frito-Lay has developed unique snack products with their own identities and conducts relevant promotions for every consumer. It owns the top five brands in the Salty Snacks category: (in order) Lay’s, Doritos, Tostitos, Ruffles and Cheetos, according to Brandweek’s
"Superbrands — America’s Top Brands." Frito-Lay brands are hip, contemporary, exciting, unique, they incorporate changing consumer preferences and deliver innovation and consistency.
Frito-Lay has it roots during the height of the Depression. In 1932, Elmer Doolin entered a small San Antonio cafe and purchased a bag of corn chips to eat with his sandwich. For $100, Doolin purchased the recipe for “Doritos,” plus 19 retail accounts and the manufacturing equipment — a converted hand-operated potato ricer — because the maker of the corn chips was eager to sell his small business and return home to Mexico.
That same year in Nashville, Tenn., Herman W. Lay started a business distributing Gardner’s Potato Chips from his Model A Ford. Lay later bought the company that supplied him with product and changed its name to H.W. Lay Co. The Frito Co. and H.W. Lay Co. merged in 1961 to become Frito-Lay Inc., the largest snack selling company in the U.S. On June 8, 1965, shareholders approved the merger of Frito-Lay and Pepsi-Cola Co., and a huge new company called PepsiCo Inc. was formed.
Frito-Lay’s ability to read the public’s desire for healthier products pushed it ahead of the pack, garnering good publicity along the way by completing a conversion to zero grams of trans fats in its Doritos, Tostitos and Cheetos snack brands. In 2003, well in advance of the USDA’s 2006 mandate, Frito-Lay was the first brand to change the Nutrition Facts panel on the back of packaging to include a trans fat content line. Lay's, Ruffles, Fritos and Rold Gold Pretzels always contained zero grams of trans fat, which now makes their entire line of branded snacks zero-trans products.
|Company founder Milton Hershey brought chocolate to the masses, who in turn rewarded him with riches and a town named in his honor.
A recipe for success
Hershey is synonymous with chocolate in the U.S. Most Americans count at least one Hershey product as their favorite. The Hershey Co. is the largest North American manufacturer of both chocolate and non-chocolate confectionery, with revenues over $4 billion, has more than 13,000 employees worldwide and exports products to over 90 countries. It markets such iconic brands as Hershey’s, Reese’s, Hershey’s Kisses, Kit Kat, Almond Joy, Mounds, York, Jolly Rancher, Twizzlers, Ice Breakers and Bubble Yum, as well as newer products such as Swoops and Hershey’s S’mores.
From its very inception, the company produced its own style of chocolate, added products that appeal to large numbers of consumers and packaged them simply — always emphasizing the Hershey brand, which stands for consistency and value.
Hershey’s connection with the American Dream cannot be denied. Milton Hershey’s rags-to-riches success story resonates with the multicultural generations of America. That determined pioneer’s story captures our imagination; someone with a great product that works hard can reap rewards (and have a town named after him).
After building his own milk-processing plant in 1894 and working day and night for three years, Milton Hershey became the first American to perfect a formula of milk, sugar and cocoa for manufacturing milk chocolate — a process that had been a closely guarded secret by the Swiss. It enabled him to mass-produce and distribute milk chocolate candy with a shelf life. What had once been a luxury for the rich was to become an enjoyment that anyone could afford — the Hershey Bar. Always wrapped in a rich, brown wrapper, its color is evocative of the chocolate it contains.
Looking to expand its product line, the company in 1907 began producing a flat-bottomed, conical milk chocolate candy — Hershey’s Kisses Chocolates. At first, they were individually wrapped in little squares of silver foil, but in 1921 machine wrapping was introduced. That technology also was used to add the familiar “plume” at the top to signify to consumers that it is a genuine Hershey’s Kiss.
Hershey capitalizes on patriotism and loyalty. It’s been the official chocolate of the American military since World War I, when Hershey Bars were included in soldiers' rations. During World War II, one billion bars were distributed by American soldiers on foreign shores.
Hershey’s primary strategy has been to own the U.S. market — and that strategy has served the confectionery company well. Only 5 percent of its business is outside of the U.S., so its options are boundless. Today, Hershey sells 3.5 billion bars per year, leads the confectionery market with a 30 percent share for its brands, has one of the most effective logistics networks, maintains a cost-efficient value chain, leads in special edition products and stokes a pipeline of new confectionery products, continuously creating buzz.
|Like Betty Crocker, Tony the Tiger's appearance has changed over the decades since his 1951 debut. He has slimmed and toned up substantially.