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May 21, 2007

Brand Naming: Will NutraSweet Create Sweet Pure D’Light?

splenda_sweetener.gifAs you may already be aware, the makers of Equal sued the maker of Splenda, contending that Splenda had deceived millions of consumers by deliberately creating the impression that Splenda was healthier and natural because it started out with sugar, even though the final product has no sugar.

As Lynnley Browning of the New York Times reported a few weeks ago, the lawsuit highlights the fierce battle for leadership between later entry Splenda and one-time leader Equal in the $1.5 billion artificial sweetener market.

puredlite.jpgIn a strategic response to the success of Splenda, NutraSweet is co-branding with competitor American Sugar Refining, Inc, who manufactures and markets the Domino sugar brand, to create a new brand name of sweetener called Domino Pure D’Lite, which is what the industry refers to as a light sugar product, or sugar blend.

The Pure D’Lite sub-brand will be endorsed by Domino and its packaging will carry the easily recognizable NutraSweet logo. It will be interesting to see if Pure D'Lite will help Nutrasweet reacapture market share lost to Splenda, who now dominates two-thirds of the U.S. market.

If there ever were an instance where a sub-brand is warranted, this is it, contrary to what some marketing gurus have to say about sub-brands.

nutrasweet.jpgNutraSweet has an association with aspartame that is pretty negative, so being associated with “pure” sugar may be a real boon, and help the brand leapfrog its aspartame-based competitors, such as Equal.

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Posted by William Lozito at May 21, 2007 9:50 AM
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I have a problem with the name ... since its a "blend" - that explicitly means it is not "pure." If a product claims to be "pure," I expect it to be, well, pure. Words have meaning for a reason. The brand name should not attempt to redefine the meaning of that word.

I also am annoyed by the silly contraction.

In the meantime, I'll stick with pure store brand sugar for my coffee.

What about the branding of Splenda that Tate & Lyle and Johnson & Johnson have entered into by registering a huge range of new domain names for Splenda?

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