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Monday, March 24, 2008 

Ahhhhh....the big companies are taste testing

the blogs!

...Food blogs "may not have the mass reach, but it's a more engaged, specific audience," said Greg Zimprich, a spokesman for General Mills Inc. "Their readers are going to care a lot more about a product of ours."

The Minneapolis food giant tracks dozens of small blogs devoted to rating foods. Most don't get more than a couple of thousand daily visits, but General Mills nevertheless sends off its cereal bars, soups and other packaged foods in hopes of a mention.

Keeping track of popular blogs is part of the job for nearly all the company's public relations officers, who use online services like Google alerts, BlogPulse and Technorati to track brand mentions. The blogs are often among the top links returned in online searches for certain brands or categories.

The way any given company reaches out to food blogs varies widely, of course.

The Hershey Co. invites bloggers to product launches along with the mainstream media. Kraft Foods Inc., which owns Post, makes it a point to keep blogs aware of all its newest products and even advertises on the more popular sites like HungryGirl and Best of the Bite, said Sydney Lindner, a company spokeswoman. - SFGate

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