The only person in the office at Papetti Foods, which makes Better 'N' Eggs, was Spyros Gavis, the Director of Marketing. A snowstorm had kept the rest of the staff from coming in. Spyros seemed happy to hear from someone from the outside world.

"We advertise those coupons maybe twice, four times a year," he told me. The campaigns are planned months in advance. I was curious if the printing and distribution costs translated to a loss of profit for Papetti Foods, but Spyros managed to dodge the question."Well, let's say a company, any company, spends half a million dollars on printing and distributing coupons. That's an average amount to spend on a campaign. And let's say one percent of their coupons are redeemed, that's also average. Then that's a successful campaign."

"Meaning you haven't lost money?" At this point Syros began talking about customer bases and long terms strategies and I knew I had lost him. Just before I hung up, I asked him who their biggest competitor was."Nabisco," he told me, his voice sounding a little hard. "EggBeaters. They're fourteen years in the business." I sensed it was personal.

Read on...