22 Oct 14 Three ways to save a stagnant category
Many factors can cause a product category to fall out of favour and lose popularity with consumers; demographic shifts, health trends, changes in consumer taste. When this happens marketers are faced with tough questions: Which product innovations and messaging can win consumers back? What current trends can be leveraged? Using margarine as an example, Affinnova conducted research to help answer these questions. FREE report to download …
Optimising margarine: Key findings
Americans once consumed almost three- times as much margarine as butter. Since 1976, however, margarine use has declined while butter consumption has been on a slow steady rise. In fact, butter consumption is at its highest level in about 40 years while margarine has hit a 70 year low. This despite the fact that margarine is often much more affordable. What’s causing margarine’s meltdown?
Like diet soda, margarine has suffered from negative publicity and a food culture that’s largely switching away from “processed” to “natural.” Changing consumer perception will be difficult, but margarine can fight back through effective innovation and communication.
Through the process of evolutionary optimisation and testing a large space of messages, claims and new positioning statements, Affinnova identified three potential “reinvention” strategies:
1. Reinvent the messaging : The debate over which is healthier – butter or margarine – has been raging for years and a quick Google search reveals that no one really knows the answer. Margarine needs to amp up the communication of its health properties, focusing on the benefit and claim combinations that matter most.
2. Reinvent the value : Don’t try to compete with butter on who is most natural; instead, position margarine as the super food that helps consumers get more nutrients into their diet. It’s worked for vitamin water and protein enriched pasta.
3. Reinvent the varieties : Keep perfecting butter flavour for the masses but explore interesting flavours that can appeal to the growing “foodie” culture.