How Leading CPGs Are Catering To The New Food Consumer
Growing nutritional awareness has rebalanced the competitive landscape for nearly every food and beverage category. In the past few years, we’ve seen many large, traditional brands suffer while smaller brands with meaningful (or perceived) health advantage have gained significant market share.
But big brands are not all waving the white flag, writes Bruce Levinson, VP of Client Engagement at SGK in his recent Media Post Marketing Daily blog. There are inspiring examples of leading brands that are taking bold steps to win over consumer amid this sea change. Some have reformulated their products to fit today’s expectations. Others have held onto their recipes, but created portion sizes that fit better with a healthy lifestyle. And still others have updated their claims strategy and have highlighted benefits that are not new but only recently became important.
Starbucks’ Mini Frappuccino as a recent example of an offering that allows consumers to indulge in a treat they want, but in a portion size that doesn’t lead to guilt. Various soda and beer brands have also successfully marketed smaller version of their staple products, with a nod towards fewer calories per serving. Often these products are sold at a relative price (per ounce) to their larger-sized siblings, providing the brand with a healthier image and balance sheet says Levinson.
Kraft has pledged to remove artificial colors, flavors and preservatives from its Macaroni and Cheese brand. As a staple in nearly every American grocery store for generations, Kraft Macaroni and Cheese has seen sales negatively impacted by natural brands like Annie’s. It can be risky to significantly change a product, but as Millennials start their own families and look for healthier brands for their kids, Kraft understands the potential for even greater risk in sticking with its current recipe.
These examples are all being driven by consumer’s desires, not government regulation (though that is coming too, either late in 2015 or early in 2016 with the Nutrition and Supplement Facts Labels). Anyone managing food or beverage brands today will do well to consider the implications of heightened nutritional awareness before the rush.