Mike on America

Smiling Lady...

It's been ten years since you've seen her on television, but now she's back. She plans on taking market share and kicking proverbial 'butt' in the category in which she's best known: syrup. Pancake syrup.

Her name is Mrs. Butterworth. There may be no better example of 'all things old are new again' than the Mrs. Butterworth ad campaign underway across the country by Pinnacle Foods. Ten years after her last TV appearance, Mrs. Butterworth is back -- talking and selling and shooting for a bigger chunk of the 200 million dollar plus syrup category.

She, along with Lender Bagels and Vlasic pickles, are the newest examples of why Pinnacle Foods is using its best known, and newest 'old' brands, to attack the market share aisles at your local grocery stores.

It's a trend that you can't deny -- 'old' iconic brands reappearing. Why? No new ideas? Not that as much as the 'continuum' theory -- if your mother used it, and you used it, your kids will use it. That and the realization that with a little investment, there's a lot of money to be made in categories that have been long neglected.

As the bottles dance down the line here in St. Elmo's -- the site of Mrs. Butterworth's factory -- the idea is simple: in a 'genteel' category vis a vis competion, the best way to win in this very high-margin business is to take what you have -- the brand -- and drive it home.

If it works well for Mrs. Butterworth's, Pinnacle plans to 'relaunch' Log Cabin in 2008.

All things old are new again -- and making more money than ever.

Tomorrow: football helmets.

Down... set... hut....

Questions?  Comments?  mikeonamerica@nbcuni.com