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When James White, the still new CEO of Jamba Juice, stopped by our offices a few weeks ago, we’ll admit we were excited. Who hasn’t been occasionally seduced by the charms of its Pomegranate Pick-Me-Up (Jamba’s signature blend of strawberries, blueberries, pomegranate juice, and raspberry sorbet)? White came by to explain to Fast Company his strategy to turn Jamba Juice into the next billion-dollar brand and potential Starbucks slayer.

Given the whirl of controversy online about Jamba’s new ad campaign being a ripoff of the work of cult cartoonist David Rees’ Get Your War On series, White appears to have forgotten the first rule of holes: When you’re in one, stop digging. Since going public in 2006, Jamba expanded too rapidly and in the wrong locations. It had pulled back on local marketing when its competitors–such as Starbucks and Smoothie King–were growing. And last year, for the first time in the chain’s history, same-store sales were down 8.1%. Its stock price, which closed yesterday at $1.10, is so anemic that it could use an immunity boost. White was brought in from Safeway to turn around the $343 million smoothie maven.

“People know us and people like us,” White explained during his visit. “But in this day and age,” when customers can buy sandwiches at Starbucks and smoothies at Whole Foods, “they want more than frozen-fruit drinks.” Like authenticity.

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New ads present Spam as spark for lively meals

The makers of Spam, long a symbol of frugality, are advertising the often-maligned canned pork as a way to relieve boredom at the dinner table as the recession wears on.

The “Break the Monotony” ad campaign moves to television and radio Monday as consumers seeking to eat on the cheap buy more of Hormel Foods Inc.’s low-cost Spam, Dinty Moore beef stew and namesake chili. The campaign offers new uses for the meat-in-a-can designed to brighten its image — away from the meat notoriously lampooned in a 1970 Monty Python skit and toward a fun, hip ingredient useable in a range of comfort foods.

Sales of canned foods, especially canned meat, have been rising in the recession as people limit their food spending because they usually cost less than fresh fruits, vegetables or meat, said Marcia Mogelonsky, an analyst with research firm Mintel.

“They’re an alternative to just eggs or a sandwich or whatever,” she said. “It extends a meal. It adds a protein.”

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