Thursday, December 12, 2013

Where Cobranding Is on the Menu

If you've been to a casual-dining restaurant recently, you've probably seen cobranding on the menu. For example, Doritos Locos Taco is an exclusive Doritos-branded offering at Taco Bell and Strawberry Pop-Tart Ice Cream Sandwich is a dessert available only at Carl's Jr. (see photo).
Ad Age has a brief list of other cobranding deals that include a well-known grocery brand with a well-known casual-dining brand. 

And now, Pepsi has a deal with Buffalo Wild Wings to supply its soft drinks (in place of Coke-branded beverages) and talk about cobranded menu items featuring Frito-Lay snacks.

Cobranding isn't new, but it's being used creatively in the restaurant industry to sharpen the differentiation between competing chains. Cobranding often attracts a lot of media attention, which in turn means curious customers flock in for a taste. Plus, loyal brand fans of the grocery brand may become loyal fans of the new menu item.

Thanks to cobranding, the Doritos Locos Taco became a $1 billion menu item in less than two years, by far the most successful new product launch in Taco Bell's history. 

What new cobranded menu items will we see in 2014?

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