CPGmatters: Sara Lee Drives Brand Growth By Leveraging Shopper Insights
By John Karolefski
Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion
is a summary of a current article from the monthly e-zine, CPGmatters.
For a long time, Sara Lee defined the competitive set of Jimmy Dean as “other breakfast sausage brands” – and the company attempted to gain market share within that segment. The company learned that its iconic brand
represented only 0.7 percent of all breakfast occasions.
“That was absurd!” said
Philippe Schaillee, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for Sara
Lee North America. “We finally understood
that we had blindfolds on and that the opportunity was so much larger.”
Sara Lee studied the need states across the breakfast landscape, which led
to an insight to target the strongest opportunity for long-term volume growth.
That target consumer was the “Chaotic Compromiser.”
“This person juggles raising kids, tending to the household, and likely
has an out-of-home job,” Mr. Schaillee explained in a presentation recently
in San Antonio at a conference hosted by Symphony/IRI Group. “She has
two fundamental, unaddressed needs that go into her family’s breakfast.
She really wants a breakfast that her family can afford, and she has a need
for sustainable energy for herself and for her family. They want a breakfast
that will last until lunch, not something that gives them an empty feeling
in their stomach early on in the morning.”
In addition, telling the Chaotic
Compromiser about the benefits of Jimmy Dean for her family was a priority.
This was done via print, web, social media and in-store messaging and on-shelf
One final step was needed to address some key barriers that held some
consumers back from purchasing Jimmy Dean brands.
“So over the last seven years, we have been able to drive sustainable
growth through product innovation,” he said. “It doubled the size
of our brands, and it transformed the category growth rates. You will see much
more in the coming years from this brand from an innovation aspect.”
“We determined consumers were looking for a convenient weekend breakfast
experience,” he continued. “That’s how the Breakfast Bowls
were born. We learned that some consumers craved really that hot, protein breakfast,
but they were concerned about calories. No problem! That’s how the D-Lights
came into the market.”
Beyond product innovation, new packaging and value
proposition can radically change consumers’ consideration of brands and
translate into a purchase, according to Mr. Schaillee.
“We learned that more shoppers would buy our products if we would
offer a four- and an eight-count package instead of a two- and a six-count,”
he said. “That’s pretty straightforward, right? But to get to that,
we had to test probably a hundred types of combinations with some proprietary
ROI tools to really make sure that we would get to the right packaging combinations
and the right price points.
“As we reinvented our Jimmy Dean sandwich line, we introduced new products
into the marketplace and conducted virtual store testing with one of our preferred
partners. We wanted to ensure that we could partner with retailers to ensure
category growth, not just add more products on the shelf. That’s what
Discussion Question: What lessons can be learned from Sara Lee’s efforts
to reinvent the Jimmy Dean brand?