Starbucks is breaking its first national TV ad campaign today. As reported in Advertising Age, the first of three animated 30-second spots will appear on cable networks, followed by two additional spots that launch on November 26th. Some of the spots are expected to run on network TV as well. The campaign, called “Pass the Cheer,” will be the focus of Starbucks’ effort “to reach out to a broader audience,” according to CEO Jim Donald. With the maturity of the brand and the “Starbucks experience,” saturation of Starbucks stores in the marketplace and fewer transactions per store, the coffee café giant needs to get consumers to come in and buy another cup. In response to questions from industry analysts, whether Starbucks had reached a point where it had too many stores and outlets, Mr. Donald demurred. Although Starbucks plans to open 1,600 stores next year, 100 fewer than originally planned, he said that the “saturation comment’s overblown.”
Starbucks, spread the cheer the right way!
But perhaps with gas at $3 a gallon, more people are thinking twice about that $3 latte. To get them back in the groove, Cheer Passes will be handed out at Starbucks events throughout the holiday season. By going to a special website (ItsRedAgain.com), you can share a holiday cheer story and read the stories of others. Aw, gee. We’d like this idea a lot better if Starbucks donated a nickel to a good cause for every unique visitor to the website, and passed some holiday cheer to the people who really need it. If you’d like to spread the cheer by purchasing coffee that saves the environment and helps needy people, learn more about sustainable coffee—organic coffee, shade-grown, bird-friendly and Fair Trade Certified coffee—and check out some of our favorite organic and Fair Trade coffees.
We’re not too keen on most scones—they’re dry, crumbly and leaden, requiring a slathering of butter and jam. But Sticky Fingers Bakeries has pulled off a minor miracle, with a line of English scone mixes that are moist, flavorful and ready to eat in less than 30 minutes from start to finish. All you do is add water, stir and drop the dough onto a baking pan. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes and serve warm to appreciative family and guests. Two days later, kept in a zip-sealed bag, our scones were still moist and tasty! In addition to the regular line that we tried (12 flavors), there’s a separate line that’s kosher-certified by the Orthodox Union (6 flavors). The line is all natural: no preservatives, no trans fats, no saturated fats and no cholesterol; the kosher line was developed for natural food stores and has no refined granulated white sugars.
A reader of THE NIBBLE online magazine was checking out our Beef Glossary to determine the best cut of beef to use for making beef jerky at home. It’s a great glossary, but doesn’t get that granular. So we posed the question to Paul Murdoch, president of Gary West, which makes the most outstanding beef jerky we’ve ever had (it was a NIBBLE Top Pick Of The Week—read the review). Paul responded: “I favor inside top rounds. The meat texture is consistent, which is important. Try the Choice grade for more savory flavor and the Select grade for a less fatty cut. Flank steak and brisket are nice cuts for flavor, but not for texture. Pectoral and bottom round cuts are my third choice.” [EDITOR’S NOTE: Read about the USDA grades of beef in the Beef Glossary.] Now you have the answer, if you want to, try making your own jerky. For the less adventurous, we can highly recommend Gary West’s jerky as holiday gifts—it melts in your mouth (we especially love the bison). Read the recipes in the review—jerky is more than just a match for beer, delicious a combo though that may be. And if you’re a steak lover who wants more bang for your buck, read these tips from a top butcher on the value cuts of steak.
Send a personalized snow globe holiday e-card and The Ferrero Company will contribute $1.00 on your behalf to Share Our Strength. Ferrero has partnered with Share Our Strength to help end childhood hunger in America—there are 12 million children in America who lack sufficient nutrition. Go to ShareSomethingSweet.com. While you’re there, take a look at Ferrero’s latest “something sweet,” new Ferrero Rondnoir dark chocolates. Fans of the Ferrero Rocher can now enjoy the balls of chocolate in a semisweet version: dark chocolate cream surrounding a center of dark chocolate, within a delicate, crisp wafer topped with crunchy dark chocolate morsels.
Ferrero Rocher has a new dark chocolate sibling, Ferrero Rondnoir.
Remember, all you have to do is send an e-card—the Ferrero Company donates the money to Share Our Strength. If you want to pick up some Ferrero Rondnoirs as your reward, we think you deserve it. Read more about chocolate in the Chocolate Section of THE NIBBLE online magazine. For more information about Ferrero Chocolates, visit FerreroChocolatesUSA.com.