Archive for the ‘Food’ Category
In A Mysterious Case of Rebranding back in April 2009, Caroline Harrison used her Thursday Night Insight slot to comment on the somewhat unusual case of Sainsbury’s, a leading British supermarket, making the decision to rebrand the fish ‘pollack’ (allegedly too embarrassing for shoppers to ask for) to ‘colin’ (clearly much less embarrassing!).
At the time, according to retailer, the aim of the rebrand was to increase sales of this particular fish, which tastes similar to the ever-popular cod, is cheaper per kilo, and – importantly for those environmentally-conscious among us – is more sustainable. Caroline finished her article by wondering whether supermarkets, grocery stores and fishmongers alike would all see an upturn in sales on the back of Sainsbury’s Easter promotional rebrand and the surrounding awareness campaign/hype.We’re today pleased to be able to answer that question.
According to Seafish, the government body that promotes the fishing industry, pollack has become one of the UK’s best-selling fish, entering Britain’s seafood top 10 as the eighth most popular fish to eat. More than 13,000 tonnes of pollack was sold in the UK retail market last year, outselling both scampi (5,700 tons) and trout (4,400 tons) combined. Salmon is Britain’s favourite species with 49,000 tonnes sold (worth £607 million), and tuna – thanks largely to sales of the tinned variety – is second.
The rising cost of over-fished Atlantic cod combined with a certain frugality among consumers thanks to the recession – not to mention the publicity surrounding the colin rebrand – have all contributed to the increase in sales. According to Karen Galloway, Market Insight Manager at Seafish: "Pollack’s popularity has certainly been helped by the current economic climate as people switch from more expensive fish to cheaper alternatives."
As reported in the Telegraph, a spokesperson for Sainsbury’s has said that renaming pollack was a temporary trial measure. She confirmed that: "Sales did go up by more than 50 per cent. We are currently in consultation about whether or not to change the name."
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In the latest Marketing magazine e-newsletter, bringing us up to date with the top marketing stories from the U.K. and around the world, two stories caught the eye. They focused on two very different industries – food & drink and airlines respectively – but shared a common theme.
In the first article, we were told that Mars and Snickers have reduced the size of their chocolate bars, while retaining the same prices. Both have shrunk 7.2% (from 62.5g to 58g), but a Mars bar will still retail for 37p and a Snickers remains at 41p.
Nobody is denying that many major corporations are under pressure at the moment. In fact, Ryanair last week reported its first loss for 20 years. But this low-cost airline could easily have decided to increase the price of all its tickets by just a couple of pounds without most customers noticing; instead it has chosen a controversial move which has caused uproar, will deter some customers from even considering flying with the airline in future, and does not position the company particularly favourably. Similarly, the Mars/Snickers strategy is being put in place to help these brands absorb the rising commodity costs they are facing, but their competitors are facing the same challenges and, as yet, have not resorted to such seemingly drastic measures.
Never forget how important your customers are. However tough the environment might be for you, things will be just as bad – if not worse – for your customers.
Certainly nobody wants to feel they are getting less for more – or even less for the same price – especially at the present time. The most successful companies when this recession ends will be those who have continued to research, understand and satisfy the needs of their customers. This may not mean offering your product at a cut price, but it almost certainly will mean offering value for money.
It was with interest that we recently read a case study about a small, local, new business doing well in these difficult times.
Based just down the road from our own office in White Plains, New York, and launched little more than a year ago, Carrillo’s Fire-Roasted Salsa is now looking to build on its initial success and become a more recognized household name.
One of the key factors in the success of this brand so far has been that it meets the growing market trend for healthier products. With all-natural ingredients, low in sodium, and made with no sugar, artificial preservatives or concentrates, it is being snapped up by Greater New York’s growing army of health-conscious consumers.
Another string to the brand’s bow is that it is promoted not just as a ‘dipping’ salsa for chips, but also as a useful cooking ingredient, thanks to its flavourful and thick consistency.
Channels of distribution is next on the agenda, with the brand looking to increase its reach from mainly local tri-state (New York, New Jersey, Connecticut) areas to a much larger national presence. Thanks to deals struck with a number of nationwide specialist gourmet stores, the product should soon be flying off shelves in selected markets in the Northeast, northern California, Miami, Chicago, Denver and New Orleans.
As a relatively new start-up with limited budgets, there has been minimal advertising of this brand, but a concentrated focus on in-store sampling, encouraging consumers to try out the new salsa. The product is also marketed and sold through the company website, where individual jars or "CarrilloCases" of any six, eight or 12 jar combination can be ordered.
Already looking to change and improve its logo, Carrillo is not neglecting its branding either.
All of these points serve to remind us that although all companies start small, all the different elements of the marketing mix can be used in different ways to grow a business and help it thrive, even in a tough economy. This certainly is food for thought…
An interesting article appeared recently on AdAge.com. Apparently the major U.S. pizza chains now do around 20% to 30% of their business online, but are keen to make that figure climb a lot higher.
While this story clearly relates to consumer markets and may not have any obvious relevance to b-to-b organizations, the reasons why these pizza chains are so keen to improve and increase their online transactions are of potential interest to companies across the board.
The online customers of the major pizza chains spend more and are more satisfied than non-online customers. Those who order their food online are also more likely to take advantage of special promotions used to drive interest in new products. As an added bonus, serving online customers is more efficient for each individual store.
Pizza Hut expects to do $1 billion in online sales by the end of 2012, which would be an immense increase from $100 million in May 2007. Domino’s, meanwhile, claims that its average online buyer spends $2 more than its customers who order by phone or in person.
According to Google’s director of local and B-to-B markets, the major pizza chains have all been quick to take advantage of shifting spending from traditional media to banner ads and search engine optimization.
They are also constantly looking for ways to help their customers place their orders more quickly – whether they are first-time users setting up an account or return visitors wishing to repeat a past order.
So, while you may not be looking to sell pizzas, their experiences may give you some food for thought.
In this week’s Thursday Night Insight, Caroline Harrison reflects on an amusing case of rebranding and ponders what the outcome may be.
In what surely must be one of the strangest cases of rebranding known to man, UK supermarket Sainsbury’s announced earlier this month that it is changing the name of its ‘pollack’ fish to ‘colin’, the French word for hake. The reason for this rebrand is that Sainsbury’s believes many customers are too embarrassed to ask for pollack because of the way it sounds.
The retailer is hoping that this move will increase sales of the fish, which is cheaper per kilo than the similar tasting cod, and is more sustainable.
Now I have to admit that it took me quite some time to work out why on earth I should be embarrassed to request ‘pollack’. Personally, I think I would feel more stupid asking for ‘colin’. That’s because, although I now know that colin is a French word and should thus be pronounced ‘co-lan’, most English-speaking natives automatically recognise this word as the boy’s name ‘Colin’, and would find it difficult to say anything other than ‘col-in’. Certainly the thought of having to adopt a faux-French accent at my local fishmonger seems pretty embarrassing to me.
Now I am not for one moment suggesting that just because I have no problem asking for pollack, that my views are representative of the wider fish-buying marketplace. Indeed, I understand (and would expect no less) that Sainsbury’s made this move only after conducting market research among its customers.
Certainly you do wonder whether there might be some explanation for the comparatively low sales of this fish – over and above the fact that it’s far less well known than cod in the UK. What’s more, it wouldn’t be the first time that a fish that had fallen from favour with the British public underwent a stunning resurgence following a rebrand. Just a few years ago, by changing the name (not to mention the perception) of the humble pilchard to the Cornish sardine, an unfashionable fish was transformed into a popular national favourite (and gave a much-needed boost to South West England’s economy to boot).
Returning to our friend Colin, the truth of the matter is that this is more than a rebranding campaign. It’s obviously a massive publicity stunt, but it’s also an exercise in raising awareness.
I suspect sales of Sainsbury’s pollack have increased massively in recent weeks, but I’m sure it won’t be because customers are no longer embarrassed to ask for it. It will be, in part, thanks to a curiosity brought about by the media hype of this unusual case. It will, of course, also be because the public is suddenly aware that this fish is a very decent alternative to the more popular cod. I for one, when next at the fishmonger’s, will be aware of pollack (or colin). I now know that it is a good, cost-effective and eco-friendly option, and will likely give it a try in the near future.
I’d also be very interested to know if competitor supermarkets and independent fishmongers who still sell plain old ‘pollack’ as they always have, are witnessing an upturn in sales on the back of Sainsbury’s actions? Only time will tell…
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