Research Document – Nature Valley Crunchy Bars

The Nature Valley Crunchy Granola Bars are considered snack bars. There are three flavors in its Crunchy Granola Bar lineup, including Oats ‘n Dark Chocolate, Peanut Butter and Oats ‘n Honey. They all have distinct flavors, but are similar in texture. Specifically, the Oats ‘n Honey bar has a light honey taste, while the Oats ‘n Dark Chocolate bar has a stronger dark chocolate taste and contains pieces of dark chocolate within the bar. The Peanut Butter bar has a strong peanut taste with a peanut butter drizzle over the top of it. Each bar contains whole grain oats, sugar and canola oil and each pack of granola bars contain 190 calories. Unlike some granola bars, these are not soft or chewy; the bars are all considered dry and crumby. After having a bite of the bar, it leaves the mouth feeling dry. In each individual pack, there are two thin granola bars. By the time consumers finish both bars in the pack, there are a lot of crumbs left over. Other customers seem to comment on the number of crumbs left in the packaging as well.

On average, they cost anywhere from $2.50-$3.00 a box, which contains six packs. Consumers can either purchase a variety box containing all three flavors, or they can buy specific boxes per flavor. The variety box has a blue design, while the Oats ‘n Honey bars come in green box, the Peanut Butter bars come in an orange box and the Oats ‘n Dark Chocolate bars come in a brown box. The bars can be purchased at most grocery stores, including Target, Walmart and Dillon’s. The bars are also considered snack bars, as opposed to protein bars. They are also not considered organic or natural. In the past, Nature Valley has used the nature and outdoor aspect in their advertisements. Often times in their ads, people are seen hiking, swimming, fishing and biking before eating the snack bar.

The Nature Valley brand was started in 1975. Its parent company, General Mills, started in 1866, and is a manufacturing business. General Mills includes brands ranging from Green Giant to Totino’s and Betty Crocker to Lucky Charms, and even at one time made toys. General Mills is most known for its cereal products. Its primary NAICS code is 311230 – Breakfast Cereal Manufacturing. General Mills is one of the two primary key players in cereal manufacturing, following Kellogg’s (its biggest competitor). According to IBIS World, General Mills’ market share in cereal manufacturing is 21.7 percent. General Mills’ net sales decreased 6 percent from 2015 to 2016. IBIS World projects that the cereal production industry will improve in comparison to the last five years; increasing at annual rate of 1.1 percent to $10.4 billion.

Snack bars are listed as the number one bars bought by consumers. Between 2011 and 2016, sales increased 24 percent to $6.7 billion for these particular bars, according to Mintel. Mintel also projects a 23 percent growth in revenue, reaching $8.2 billion by the year 2021. According to Mintel, consumers seem most interested in buying bars made with whole foods. Aside from that, favorite flavor was listed as the number one reason why consumers choose a specific brand. Mintel suggests snack bar companies to maintain good flavor and texture with their bars, as well as offering them with natural ingredients. According to Mintel, snack, nutrition and performance bars have steadily increased, as people look for healthier options. The highest bar consumers are adults 18-34 at 71 percent. The top two reasons why consumers choose snack bars are as a meal replacement and for protein delivery. According to Mintel, the most likely meal that snack bars replace is breakfast. Nature Valley was the top brand of snack bars and the number two brand in nutrition bars in 2015 and 2016.

I think this product would be best shown by both TV and online coupons. It would do well on TV because it’d hit a large audience and it’d do well with online coupons because it is a low-involvement purchase. I think getting an ad on Hulu specifically would be great since college students would be my target audience. I’d measure its media effectiveness by Google AdWords and even Google Analytics.

My target audience would be college-aged young adults, both male and female, single and living off campus. Since this is the largest age group of consumers, they’d be the greatest target audience. Specifically, college students who lived on their own would be responsible for buying their own groceries. Additionally, I’d hit the ones who have a job they at least worked part-time. They make enough money to afford the $2.50 box, yet choose this instead of a bigger breakfast because of affordability. Since they work and go to school, they’d need something like these quick and easy snack bars. College students are also an ideal target audience because they’d want what they think is a healthier choice, which is how many consumers see Nature Valley.


Lawrence Sidewalk Sale – Video Script

Sidewalk Sale

Juliana Garcia and Alexandra Martinez

July 26, 2017



VO :30

SUPER @ :00 Lawrence

Last Thursday was Lawrence’s 58th annual sidewalk

sale. More than 130 stores offered discounts on

merchandise. This year, the Downtown Lawrence

Incorporated offered a mobile app for shoppers to

receive flash deals and special offers. Shoppers could

also participate in a drawing. Prizes included gift

cards, merchandise and other treats from local

restaurants and shops. In an interview with the

Lawrence Journal-World, director of Downtown

Lawrence Incorporated Sally Zogry, said the turnout

was unaffected despite the heat. Temperatures that

day reached 100 degrees.


Lawrence’s 58th Annual Sidewalk Sale draws crowds despite heat

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Calendars across Lawrence have the third Thursday of July marked every year. This year was no different as thousands of bargainers came to participate in the 58th Annual Downtown Lawrence Sidewalk Sale.

At the first sidewalk sale, in 1960, only about 12 businesses participated according to a Lawrence Journal-World article. This year, over 130 businesses discounted merchandise.

A new way to navigate the sale this year was a mobile app, created by the Downtown Lawrence Incorporated (DLI). The mobile app featured specials and flash deals from retailers who took part in the sale.

Shoppers who purchased raffle tickets online or at the DLI booth were entered into a drawing to win a prize package worth $200. Prize packages included gift cards, merchandise and other treats from Downtown Lawrence restaurants and shops. A total of three winners were chosen.

Retailers were concerned the forecasted heat would affect turnout. Director of DLI Sally Zogry said thousands came out despite the heat in a Lawrence Journal-World article. Free water, cooling stations and popsicles were provided to shoppers. Temperatures reached 100 degrees.

ASF. Sidewalk Sale

Governor Sam Brownback allows for concealed carry exemption in hospitals

TOPEKA, Kan. – On June 15, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback allowed the Kansas legislature to pass House Bill 2150 without his signature that exempts Kansas hospitals from the concealed carry law after the University of Kansas Health System lobbied for an exemption.

In 2013, Brownback signed a bill allowing concealed guns into public buildings. He gave college campuses, libraries and public hospitals until July of this year to either seek an exemption or obtain security measures, including metal detectors, that would allow them to ban guns. In February 2017, the University of Kansas Health System pushed for an exemption.

“We are hearing in very strong terms from our patients and staff we must continue to push for our exemption from the concealed weapons law,” said Bob Page, president and CEO of the University of Kansas Health System, in a news release.

Many hospital staff and patients were concerned for their safety and the threat that it might present.

“Our patients and visitors are under tremendous stress while at the hospital. Our staff deals with tense, emotionally charged situations daily,” Page said. “The option to have guns present in those situations could create significant safety issues.”

Besides safety, the cost of the security equipment that the health center would need to buy is unreasonable, as well as the added security personnel. Hospital officials said the cost of additional security measures needed would be expensive.

“The cost to secure this campus is an astronomical cost, and I will tell you that we will do whatever we need to do secure this campus, but every dollar we spend, in addition to what we’re already doing today, takes money away from patients,” Page said in a video released by the hospital. “It’s an inexcusable decision that we would have to make that over taking care of the patients that we’re responsible for their care.”

An additional concern of the hospital was that it’d be the only hospital in the KC Metro area that would allow for the concealed carry.

“It is unacceptable The University of Kansas Health System facilities will be the only hospital in the Kansas City area being forced to allow concealed weapons,” said Page in a news release by the University of Kansas Health System. “This will put us in a competitive disadvantage in the marketplace”

After Brownback allowed HB 2150 through without his signature, the president of the Nurse’s Association at the University of Kansas, Morteza Rabii, said in a Fox4 interview that she’s glad.

“For the patients,” Rabii said. “I think this is the best thing that could have happened.”

The concealed carry law will go into effect in other public places, including the University of Kansas campuses, come July 1.


In less than 10 years, injuries involving distracted pedestrians on cell phones has more than doubled

WASHINGTON – The National Safety Council (NSC) recently conducted a study in 2016 that found there are more distracted walkers today than ever before. The study shows that 78 percent of adults believe this is a serious problem.

Four out of ten Americans surveyed say they have personally witnessed a distracted walking incident, while one out of four say they have been in an incident themselves. According to a 2013 study that appeared in the Accident Injury and Prevention Journal, the number more than doubled between 2004 and 2010 of injuries that required emergency hospital visits by distracted pedestrians on their cell phones.

While many adults believe this is a serious problem, 74 percent of them say the distracted walkers are usually “other people,” while only 29 percent of them admit to them being distracted themselves. According to those surveyed, some of the biggest reasons for distracted pedestrians include talking on the phone, engaging in conversation, listening to music, using a smartphone and “zoning out.” However, with the exception of engaging in conversation, only half of those surveyed admit to being distracted by those specific activities themselves.

“Today, the dangers of the ‘digital dead walker’ are growing with more and more pedestrians falling down stars, tripping over curbs, bumping into other walkers, or stepping into traffic,” said Reed Fitzgerald, an orthopedic surgeon and NSC spokesperson.

When asked why Americans walk distracted, more than half of the respondents, 48 percent, say “they just don’t think about it.” Other reasons include the inability to multitask while walking and the desire to be productive with their time.

Millennials are the most likely age group that engage in common distracted walking behaviors including, texting, listening to music and talking on the phone. While they have higher rates of distracted walking incidents than other age group, they are the least likely to be injured. In contrast, women 55 and older are the most likely age group to suffer a serious injury.

According to Fitzgerald, distracted walking has caused “a rising number of injuries – from scrapes and bruises to sprains and fractures.”

According to the study, 46 percent of those surveyed believe it’s “embarrassing in a silly way” and “dangerous,” while 31 percent say, “it’s something I’m likely to do” and 22 percent say distracted walking is “funny.” The perception of distracted walking also changes by generation. Seventy percent of Millennials see it as a serious problem, while 81 percent of those 35 and older.

– End –

About the National Safety Council

Founded in 1913 and chartered by Congress, the National Safety Council,, is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to eliminate preventable deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy. NSC advances this mission by partnering with businesses, government agencies, elected officials and the public in areas where we can make the most impact – distracted driving, teen driving, workplace safety, prescription drug overdoses and Safe Communities. To become an instructor or an authorized training center, please contact NSC through its international web service center or email

College rankings no longer a factor in students’ decisions

Jessie Ewing, a transfer student, grew up as a die-hard K-State fan. She began her college education at Johnson County Community College, but as she completed credits and prepared herself to transfer to a university, there was an architect program that was a better fit than K-State’s. Despite her love for the school, she chose K-State’s biggest rival as her school of choice: KU. Yet her decision wasn’t based on the fact that KU is ranked 17 spots higher than K-State on the U.S. News & World Report for best colleges. Her decision was based on how well the credits transferred, the professors at KU and the better suited architect program KU has.

Despite the thought that rankings of universities are the best way to choose a university, many people nowadays want to find out for themselves the truth of what really works for them.

At one time university rankings were considered the best way for new students to choose which college to attend. When U.S News & World Report’s best schools ranking came out in 1983, its goal was to help students with one of the biggest decisions in their life: choosing a college. Some ranking systems include Forbes, Money and The Princeton Review, but the most notable is U.S. News & World Report.

In an article in U.S. News & World Martinez.ASFReport, chief data strategist, by Robert Morse writes, “The editors back then, led by Marvin L. Stone, thought the project was worth attempting because a college education is one of the most important—and most costly—investments that people ever make.”

Today, rankings are no longer considered the chief factor in deciding where students go for college. In 2016, the University of California—Los Angeles’ Higher Education Research Institute conducted a survey on what factors help students decide which colleges to attend. Out of 137,456 first-year students, only 17.9 percent stated that national rankings were a factor in their decision.

According to the survey, the number-one factor for students to choose a specific college is based on students’ chances to get a job after graduation. And in a 2015 survey conducted by New America’s Education Policy Program, the number one factor was that the colleges offered programs students wanted.

Ewing said her main reason for choosing KU was that she had the credits for the architect program and that she “liked how the program was setup.”

The question arises whether or not the U.S. News & World Report on best colleges is outdated. A study by Jacob Fowles and George Frederickson, both professors in the KU School of Public Affairs and Administration, found that many colleges don’t change their rankings by much.

“What we find as a result of this process is that it seems to lead to a lot of macro-level stability in those rankings and not a lot of very dramatic year-to-year changes,” said Jacob Fowles, in a KU news release.

The study also implied that rankings protected “privilege” for universities with historically high rankings.

“What the rankings really are doing is continuously reinforcing privilege. The rankings themselves have become a powerful social force that largely preserves and enhances the visibility of that historical prominence,” Fowles said.

As for KU, it bases its success not only on rankings, but on factors such as retention and graduation rates.

“Although rankings are important, they are just one factor KU uses to measure its success,” said Erinn Barcomb-Peterson, director for news and media relations at KU. “KU also tracks its performance compared to peers and focuses on university priorities. That includes student retention, graduation rates and increasing the enrollment of both freshmen and all students.

As people move more toward the practical and realistic factors in college decision making, Frederickson said he believes rankings will play less of a factor in universities’ marketing.

“University strategic plans with goals that include being in the top 10 or the top 50 are misguided and bound to fail,” Frederickson said in a KU news release. “They also show a lack of creativity. Real university change takes many years, persistence and steady leadership.”

Just like Ewing chose KU based on what suited her best, so are many others. And while rankings at one time served as an indicator whether or not a university was doing a good job, they now may be outdated.