Domino’s delivers branded baby registry

Domino’s Pizza has taken an obvious follow-up step to a wedding registry it launched earlier this year with the announcement of a branded baby registry, per a press release.

dominos baby registry marketing dive

Powered by Gugu Guru, the service lets parents create and customize their registry by choosing from a variety of gift card themes that can be used before and after the baby’s arrival. Registry visitors can send pizza via Domino’s e-gift cards to the gender reveal party, for example, or provide the parents-to-be a pizza night.

People entering a contest on the Gugu Guru blog or through a widget displayed on the company’s Facebook page could win free pizza for a year. Other Gugu Guru pizza-themed gifts available to purchase include onesies, leggings, moccasins and mugs, as well as party supplies like invitations, decorations and party favors. Parents-to-be registering on the Domino’s Baby Registry will be given a unique URL to share with family and friends on social media.

Dive Insight:

Domino’s and Gugu Guru’s baby registry is slyly-timed, rolling out “exactly” nine months after the restaurant chain’s wedding registry, according to director of digital marketing Meenakshi Nagarajan. Both promotions are funny not just in how they build on each other but also in how far removed they are from the typical purview of a pizza brand.

The one-two punch of wedding and baby registries seems to be geared toward the older set of millennials who are now settling down to have families but maybe don’t adhere to rigid tradition in the way their parents did. While these stunts are inherently a little goofy, Domino’s isn’t alone in attempting to put a novelty spin on big life events. Taco Bell this year has started allowing couples to get married at its flagship restaurant in Las Vegas.

Beyond attracting the interest of truly dedicated fans, these promotions are designed to build a lot of brand buzz on social media, as evidenced by Domino’s including a unique URL for expecting parents to share with their friends and family. With the registry, Domino’s and Gugu Guru also tap into a growing trend where quick-service restaurant brands sell quirky merchandise online.

from Marketing Dive:

Top 10 Food and Restaurant Trends of 2017

Say what you will about 2017, but it’s been a great year for food. And once again we’ve compiled 10 the year’s best food and restaurant trends—and places to experience them—into our annual list.

As always, the process of compiling the list begins with collecting trend ideas from restaurants all over the U.S., some 50 ideas in all this year. To get to the final 10, these ideas were then evaluated by an esteemed panel of culinary experts:

  • Linda Burum is a freelance food writer and a contributor to the Los Angeles TimesLos Angeles Magazine and other publications for decades, and author of the landmark book A Guide to Ethnic Food in Los Angeles. She’s a frequent judge for the James Beard Foundation awards.
  • Robin Selden is the current president of the International Caterers Association and was named their Chef of the Year in 2016 and Caterer of the Year in 2017. She is Managing Partner & Executive Chef of Connecticut- and New York-based Marcia Selden Catering & Event Planning. (Full disclosure: Robin and I are cousins.)
  • Mike Thelin is a food and hospitality expert and advisor to many leading brands and organizations. He is co-founder of Feast Portland, one of America’s top culinary festivals.
  • Bret Thorn is Senior Food & Beverage Editor of Nation’s Restaurant News with responsibility for spotting and reporting on food and beverage trends across the country. He has also studied traditional French cooking at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris.
  • Izabela Wojcik, our newest panelist, is the Director of House Programming for the James Beard Foundation, organizing more than 200 culinary events yearly at the James Beard House in New York. She often moderates and guest judges culinary events and serves on the Kitchen Cabinet, the advisory board to the American Food History Project at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

This year’s trends generally fit into larger movements, around healthy eating – with a greater emphasis on vegan cooking and curative foods – and concern for the planet through sustainable practices. Linda Burum also notes a generational shift in ethnic cooking, where second- and third-generation children of immigrant families are taking over their parents’ kitchens and shattering norms.

Some items on previous years trend lists have gone truly mainstream: avocado toast, poke, foods in bowls, fried chicken, truffles, kale, the growing acceptance of farm-raised fish, Brussels sprouts, customizable fast food, upscale vegan cooking and restaurants filtering and bottling water on site.

Activated charcoal powder made a big splash this year for two reasons: touted detoxifying benefits and turning foods black.

“It’s so startling to see everything from ice cream and cream puffs to croissants and cocktails in their magnificent ebony form,” says Izabela Wojcik. Black foods are “a social media darling, the Goth food answer to the recent rainbow and unicorn trend. It also helps that black food and drinks are very Instagrammable.”

Bret Thorn calls it “a dumb trend, but definitely a trend.” He’s skeptical about activated charcoal’s claims of health benefits, “based on the bizarre notion that it will magically detoxify us, as if we don’t have livers.”

“Fun for Instagram” it may be, says Mike Thelin, “but I think more of a one-hit wonder than a great album we’ll still be listening to in 20 years.”

“I know it’s in,” says Robin Selden, but “I just can’t embrace this and even sell this in catering.”

2 – Ashes and Powders

No, we’re not talking instant cocoa, powdered sugar or even powdered green tea. “After chefs got bored with sauces from squeeze bottles,” Linda Burum says, “they borrowed various dehydrated substances from the molecular gastronomy movement to splash decoratively onto plates – some even contribute flavor to the dish.”

Sprinkled on top or splashed along the side, “It’s an impressive technique, providing a pop of color and texture to a dish, but more importantly a boost of intense flavor,” says Izabela Wojcik.

“We dehydrate everything and love it!” Robin Selden says, describing how she makes powders and ashes “as a garnish or sprinkle to anything from sweet to savory! It enhances & intensifies the flavors of whatever is being dehydrated. Also awesome as a drink rimmer for cocktails.”

“This speaks to two trends,” says Bret Thorn, “the growing popularity of burnt and smoky flavors and the movement to cut down on waste [see below]. If a vegetable doesn’t look great, you can always burn it up and use it as a garnish.”

3 – Crudités

getty images: crudites

“There’s something nostalgic about a big plate of veggies,” says Mike Thelin. “But today’s crudités feel more like a farmers market tapestry of gorgeous and colorful produce – nothing like Aunt Maude’s baby carrots and raw broccoli with ranch.”

At restaurants like Fat Radish in Brooklyn, Tusk in Portland, PYT in Los Angeles and Al’s Place in San Francisco, “vegetables are both opening act and headliner,” he continues. And they’re front and center at the nationwide locations of True Food Kitchen.

It’s not just the vegetables, Bret Thorn says; accompanying dips can also make the experience. “Give them a great, healthy and delish dip, and the crudités will go,” agrees Robin Selden, adding the hashtag #allaboutthedip.

Check out the rest of the list on

How Chefs Go From Restaurant Kitchen to Grocery Store Brand

Jeff Lotman has tried for years to get to Nobuyuki Matsuhisa to license his name. “I don’t believe in ‘no,’” the brand-licensing executive says. “I only believe in ‘No, right now.’ I have chased people for years before they’ve said yes. Chefs are often afraid they can’t get control. They can.”

wolfgang puck

Where Matsuhisa, the world-renowned chef behind Nobu, has refrained, other household-name chefs have done the opposite, signing over their names to restaurant operators, manufacturers, and retailers, lending their image to everything from sauces (Bobby Flay) to spatulas (Alton Brown), chilled ready-made meals (Jamie Oliver) to pressure ovens (Wolfgang Puck), knife sets (Rachael Ray) to K-cups (Emeril Lagasse).

Lotman, the founder and CEO of Global Icons, a Los Angeles-based licensing agency, has been consulting and acting as a middleman in the business of branded goods and services since the early aughts. His agency works more closely now with corporate rather than personal brands, but he remains an opportunistic observer of the market.

The reasoning, as Lotman explains it, is simple: “Ribs I might not buy, but Bobby Flay ribs, yes, I would pick those up.” Flay is as good an archetype of the multi-interest celebrity chef as any, his empire comprising five restaurants — one of them, Bobby’s Burger Palace, is a nine-year-old chain — 11 cookbooks, and a line of sauces and rubs for meat. Flay has been in the eye of the American public since 1994, and a TV regular since 1996.

“You need profile,” according to Lotman. “No matter how great the chef is, if I haven’t heard if him, I won’t buy. Once you have that profile, you, as the licensor or brand owner, are in the stronger position.”

According to Lotman, one of the biggest growth areas for chefs and culinary personalities recently has been in restaurant licensing. “Restaurants have learned that consumers see this as a good thing,” he says. “It makes them feel good about a restaurant, it drives them back. Fifteen years ago, there were three restaurant brands bearing people’s names. Now, there are about 80.”

Delivered meal kits lately popularized by companies like Plated and Blue Apron represent another possible conduit for celebrity chefs’ brands, says Lotman, pointing out the logic behind an alliance that grants a chef custody over ingredients as well as recipe and instruction. Chefs like Dominique Crenn and Fabio Viviani have signed on to curate meals with Chef’d, a meal kit company based in Southern California, but straightforward name licenses where chefs have even less responsibility are also on the table. “There may be one or two such licensing deals being negotiated behind the scenes,” Lotman says.


Coca-Cola contest gives fans a chance to sleep over in its Christmas truck

Someone tell Santa he’s not necessary this year because Coca-Cola have got Christmas covered, after they announced some very lucky guests will be able to spend the night in their iconic red truck this year.


You can now stay a night in the Coca-Cola Christmas truck

Now that Michael Buble’s come out of hibernation and the John Lewis advert’s been revealed, Christmas 2018 is officially here – made only better by Coca-Cola’s new competition.

The prize gives a pair of festive fans a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take part in the ultimate Christmas sleepover – and stay inside the truck on Friday 15th December 2017.

You can now stay a night in the Coca-Cola Christmas truck

During the sleepover, guests are invited to watch their favourite Christmas films, listen to festive playlists and, of course, drink Coca-Cola to their hearts are content.

They’ll also surrounded by the truck’s 8,772 twinkling fairy lights, be treated to Christmas dinner with all the trimmings and unwrap loaded stockings, before snuggling up in the trucks’ cosy twin beds.

You can now stay a night in the Coca-Cola Christmas truck

Want to get involved? Coca-Cola are asking hopefuls to visit and explain on the Coca-Cola listing why they are the ultimate Christmas fan, before midday on 8th December 2017.

If the winner need a plus one, we’ll happily oblige.

Find out more at


Disasters can strike anywhere — even with your pizza. It could get cold, or the dog could eat it. It could fall into a puddle or get run over by a bus. Whatever happens to it, Domino’s is now claiming that it will “insure” your pizza by replacing it with another one completely for free.

The fast food brand’s latest campaign, by Crispin Porter & Bogusky, has fun with this idea with a couple of spots. In one, seen here, a guy’s pizza survives a tree falling on his car, but is then ruined when he slips on the ice. Another spot sees the pizza in advertently left on the roof of a car.

According to CP&B, in order for customers to get a replacement pie, carryout orders must be returned to the same store, uneaten and in original packaging, within two hours of purchase. Basically “anything” is covered as long as the food is returned uneaten– although be warned, it won’t work if you changed your mind about the topping, as the replacement must match the original.

from Ad Age: