Grab New Market Share
in Grab & Go and Super Grains
Hungry for Growth
A Global Ingredient Brand (GIB), hired Retail Voodoo two years after it began experiencing tremendous pricing pressure. This was due to the commoditization of their single ingredient – an ancient ingredient that they had essentially brought to the modern world. A single ingredient that allowed them to be the global leader in their category. The shock of commoditization was understandable because GIB had spent the last decade enjoying category leadership, premium pricing, and a high degree of cultural relevance. Every food trade show wanted them to speak and talk shows gushed over their health benefits. Major food conglomerates sought out GIB, and influencers, athletes and Hollywood were lining up to get in on the action.
They were rising stars. Until the rest of the world realized the product was easy and inexpensive to grow.
Faced with commoditization, competitive product proliferation and rapidly changing consumer preferences, GIB found themselves challenged to develop new products that would leverage their expertise in agriculture, cold supply chain management, and brand building. Simply put, market expansion into areas beyond commodity goods was a struggle.
GIB approached Retail Voodoo seeking innovation that would leverage their expertise in farming, dry goods, and refrigerated foods and get them back into leadership and premium pricing. GIB had identified that the plant-based food macro-trend was still relatively immature and fast-growing. They wanted to get in on the ground floor of the grab & go and snacking categories. Despite having invented their category of ingredient supply, and making it a household name in the world of conscious consumers, GIB’s positioning strategy, and product line were underdeveloped relative to the competition. In decline, GIB had been discontinued at major retailers in all three continents. They found themselves chasing the categories they once led. To compound the challenges of shrinking market share, GIB had been sold to investors who did not wish to back the company to help fuel the growth of the ingredient supply business. The company culture was extremely conservative, cost-conscious, and afraid of change. Despite the writing on the wall, new market-expanding ideas received very little support.
Creating the Perfect Grab and Go Treat for “Fitspo” Mums
To help increase their share of the ingredient market, the Retail Voodoo team adopted an outside-in approach and first took a close look at health-conscious consumers who were buying GIB and competing products. We conducted country-specific ethnographies to further understand how the different nationalities define and practice wellness. This, when combined with quantitative data, empowered us to yield a more holistic view of geographic and cultural differences surrounding wellness. The research helped identify innovation platforms focused around pain points for consumers. In order to jumpstart ideation and guide the growth roadmap, Retail Voodoo defined an indulgent, healthy treat strategy and brand architecture for GIB. We also developed new product and service concepts against the 10 highest priority platforms.
The innovation workshops took place on 2 continents over 6 weeks and included GIB’s founders, key R&D personnel from all three markets, food scientists, operations and supply chain leadership, marketing, and a team from Retail Voodoo.
Using addressable market data, trends forecasting and the disciplines of Blue Ocean Strategy, we aligned upon the top three areas for product development in grab & go. We identified categories, benefits and ingredient profiles that would be on-trend, highly nutritious, and challenging for competitors to quickly mimic.
Sustainable, Better-for-You Foods of the Future
By adopting an outside-in approach, Retail Voodoo helped GIB understand what their existing and future consumers wanted from a grab & go better-for-you snack. This paved the way for new innovation thinking. Among the many outcomes of the work, we developed three new product concepts under a new brand name to open up leadership opportunities in the plant-based, grab & go indulgent treats category in their three existing markets. And provide an opportunity to expand into Asia.
Along with the new grab & go plant-based indulgent treats, more new products, and a new, separate brand name were established for commercialization. GIB also relaunched their ingredient supply brand with an articulated mission – one that keeps their existing core equities intact, yet allows them to adapt to changing market conditions, seek out trend-driven ingredients, and be the first holistic and global supplier of all sustainable grains.