Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Food retail innovation with impact - 'My Supermarket'

I discovered My Supermarket today and now I cannot stop browsing the offers on show. If only I could do online food shopping via the My Supermarket solution! It's not only clever and tempting, you get a bargain too. For a food and food innovation junkie like me I cannot get hold of myself when I see all the lovely offers from the oh so clever food retailers in the UK. Love it!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Youth boosts egg sales in Sweden

Fri Köpenskap reports today that it is the swedish youth who boost the latest sales increase. for eggs. Apparently last year swedes ate 71m more eggs than the previous year! That's a bloody lot of eggs! And it is a sales increase of 5%, the highest in many, many years.

So, what stands behind this development? Why on earth do the swedes eat more eggs? Well, You Gov were commissioned by Svensk Ägg (Swedish Egg organisation) to explore the reasons why in what appears to be an 'only' quant exercise based on 1024 interviews. The very quant answer is apparently that more and more swedes eat egg for breakfast. Almost one in four claim to eat more eggs today than a year ago (this is not the easiest thing to measure - since it is hard to put an estimate on past behaviours!). In the age group 18-29 23% of respondents claim to eat more eggs today than a year ago. In the older age group 50-65, 17% claim to eat more eggs than a year ago. I want to know more. So, do a couple of groups as well will ya and let us know the reasoning, behaviours and attitudes that lie behind!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Mr Oatman - Havrefras ad is one of those ads that stand-out

When I look at brand communication I try not to value its relative entertainment factor. Instead I want to value it's ability to reach those communication objectives that have been set in the first place. And, when entertainment is an important objective - then surely entertainment factor should also be measured. When reading some of the Swedish magazines that comment on ads and communication entertainment factor get a too high score from my point of view. This week I enjoy the Havrefras ad with Mr Oatman. Havrefras is a Swedish cereal brand owned by Quaker Oats. The Mr Oatman ad is running pretty frequently on Swedish television at the moment. It would be interesting to see sales figures of Havrefras during the last few weeks. Surely, they must have risen! I love the new ads ability to create stand-out on the TV, surely brand/product awareness must have risen like mad. And I also think that the creation of Mr Oatman was a clever move for a rather functional brand. In his rather dumb 'silliness' he embodies the emotive links that the brand owners want us to connect to Havrefras as a brand. And the environment in which Mr Oatman acts is also so full of energy and vitality. I want to eat more Havrefras! Another powerful fact is the song. It's power to get stuck in mind is just brilliant!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Comfort & Via Naturals concept - a first sign of brand migration?

I spend two hours a day commuting to and from work and that's probably the reason why I do a lot of brand and innovation spotting as I travel. Yesterday I saw the new ads for the new Naturals concept by Unilever. This new concept has interestingly enough been launched as part of both the Comfort and Via brands. And it's the concept graphics rather than the umbrella brand graphics that hold the concept together. So, what is Naturals then? It is a concept focussed on the emotional and functional benefits of 'a more natural wash'. And, since it's being launched under both the Via and Comfort brands it may also be a first sign of a brand migration strategy. Will either Comfort or Via become the big detergent brand? Unilever are known to be clever about how to maximise the potential of their brands. And they have a good track record of extending brands to cover new territories. I'll certainly be following Via and Comfort more closely from now on. That'll be all today!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Egypt Travel - attractive and differentiated 'heritage' positioning

After a long, fun and interesting day at the Market Research Day in Stockholm on Thursday, and a six o'clock rise the day after I was rather tired, with slighlty cloudy thoughts travelling home from work yesterday afternoon. Despite my slightly hazed thoughs I couldn't avoid the impact of the new Egypt Travel ads on the tube. For years I've seen Egypt Travel, as well as all other countries with the slightest bit of sunshine and kilometres of beach, trying to position themselves as 'the amazing beachspot with crystal clear waters and glorious sand'. The ads have all showed off a beach and some very happy and tanned, fantastic looking people... Wow, that's some serious differentiation and uniqueness!!! I've been bored by this obvious and endless tirade of 'sameness'...

But Egypt Travel has changed! Their new campaign emphasises something totally different and it does so in a manner that I find well executed and highly attractive.

The new 'where it all begins' positioning emphasises Egyps cultural heritage and unique experiences via historical spots and the imagery they use is incredibly tantalising. This tells me that Egypt Travel has done a bit of homework and that they've, for matters unknown to me but perhaps linked to lack of differentiation, changed their positioning and target group. Hopefully this new positioning is also linked to strong insights with regards to travellers needs and a sizing of the new 'heritage' opportunity. Alltogether it's a bold move and it's a move that I like. I hope it works!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Arla Communication - clever use of packaging

It's Saturday morning and I'm sitting around by my kitchen table enjoying a lazy breakfast... Suddenly I realise that I'm not just sitting around enjoying my brekkie. I'm also being communicated to... In a few minutes time while I believe that my eyes have rested on the Arla milk carton I've also learnt about their latest Arla Kelda launch - a Tuscan tomatosoup. That's powerful! I'm being communicated too in my own home by the kitchen table in an engaging and non intrusive manner. I like! And Arla is also keeping it personal and interesting - via little stories and ideas of how I can make my life easier.
I'm impressed with the way that Arla communicates on their packaging. And I'm impressed that their marketing people have made the whole organisation - and particularly production and purchasing who have to deal with an increased degree of flexibility - understand the power of this kind of communication. It sure works!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Cloetta Good - great chocolate, right identity?

I came across a newly launched fair trade chocolate yesterday. It is Swedish Cloetta who have embarked on the fair trade journey with the launch of Cloetta Good, a two product range launch based on the simple motto of ‘feel good/better when you eat good tasting chocolate’.
The good thing about the Cloetta Good milk chocolate that I bought and tried is that it does taste awesome. Far better than average bulk milk chocolate. Cloetta has understood the importance of laddering up their benefits and ensuring that the emotional benefit of ‘feel good about your chocolate eating’ is supported by a strong and equally powerful functional benefit of ‘superb chocolate taste’. So, I certainly give the product benefits a thumbs up!
What’s even more important though is a well-executed differentiated positioning and consumer relevant identity visible via packaging, design and communication. Could the Cloetta Good perhaps have benefited from a more bare, classy and stylish positioning and identity rather than the more mid-range look and feel that they’ve embarked on. That’s the question that I’m left with as I munch on my last piece of milk chocolate…

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Are these the worst food trends of the noughties?

Came across this list when I checked around for trends... It's an article by Simon Majumdar on The Guardians website.

He has summarised his worst 10 food trends of the last 10 years. The list includes:

10. Slates, smears, commas and skidmarks
9. Small plate dining and international tapas
8. Cheap cuts at cut-throat prices
7. Underground pop-up restaurants
6. MasterChef
5. Molecular gastronomy
4. Gastropubs
3. Seasonal and local
2. Bloggers
1. Chef as brand extension

Well written and a good list too. The funny thing is that a lot of these so called 'trends' are just emerging trends in Sweden...