CPG brands launch physical eateries
Brands outside of the food and beverage sector are increasingly creating consumable products to position themselves as lifestyle companies and better reflect young people’s passion for all things culinary. Not to be outdone, CPG brands are creating physical outposts that tap consumers’ desire for experiential destinations rooted in food and drinks.
This winter, Anheuser-Busch InBev made its foray into the bar business with the opening of its first pub based on Goose Island, a Chicago craft beer brand it acquired in 2011 for $39 million. Located in London with plans for more across Europe in the works, the Goose Island Vintage Ale House is the first project from AB InBev’s brand experience division, which it created last year to grow its craft beer brands business. In addition to serving barrel-aged beers, the pub chain will also offer a menu inspired by American smokehouses.
This fall, PepsiCo unveiled Kola House, a restaurant, lounge, and event space in NYC’s Meatpacking district offering craft cocktails alongside an artisanal menu inspired by the kola nut (the caffeine-containing fruit of the kola tree and the origin of the term "cola"). Essentially a creative marketing experiment, Pepsi’s branding is purposely absent from the menu and the space itself. Instead, the company is emphasizing the foodie cred of its cocktail curator, Alex Ott, and its music series, “Live at the Kola House,” which Live Nation is helping to build out as part of its larger partnership with the company.
This summer, Kellogg’s tapped young consumers’ desire for immersive food experiences by opening a premium cereal bar in NYC’s Times Square with specialty recipes developed by Christina Tosi, chef and owner of Milk Bar bakeries. At the destination eatery, customers could open kitchen cabinets to pick up their orders, and with each bowl they received a surprise like those found in boxes of children’s cereals. Additionally, the brand released a spot in the UK for Bran Flakes reflecting young consumers’ regard for food as an experience, not just a product.