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Kraft Crafts New Product Release Strategy

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Grocery giant Kraft -- which produces staples from Miracle Whip to Kraft Macaroni & Cheese -- has been struggling a bit since it was rent asunder from its snack foods division, which assumed the moniker Mondelez. Kraft's revenue has been falling, as have sales of some of mainstay brands like Jell-O and Capri Sun.

The company vowed to turn things around by embracing a "startup spirit of innovation" back in November. At a recent meeting with investors, Kraft's CEO Tony Vernon and its "VP of Breakthrough Development" Barry Calpino explained what they meant by that opaque phrase: they're going to do less. Instead of coming up with dozens of new products every year (Capri Sun Big V! Capri Sun Big Pouch!), and promoting them all a little bit, they now plan to craft between 10 and 13 launches every year and promote each one loudly.

So which products will reap the rewards of this new focus, becoming the packaged food industry's equivalent of only children, smothered with love and burdened by nothing less than the highest of expectations? According to the Wall Street Journal, "a Kool-Aid version of its MiO, Cool Whip frosting and Planters peanut butter with dried cherries, cranberries and chocolate chips."

Just in case you missed the most important three words of article amidst the strange flurry of mix-ins coming soon to a mediocre brand of peanut butter, allow me to repeat, this time with italics: Cool Whip frosting. Whoa.

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