Limited Editions Tantalize Consumers
Many of us love anything special and can be tempted to try something
new if we believe that it is, in some way, exceptional. But does that necessarily
encourage us to stick to a brand, manufacturer or retailer once we’ve
tried the special thing? Achieving a balance of curiosity and loyalty in consumers
is perhaps one purpose of limited edition products.
Recent special edition launches
include: dark chocolate caramel covered digestive biscuits (vaguely similar
to graham crackers, but round) from United Biscuits-owned Mcvitie’s; fat-free
blackcurrant yogurt from Rachel’s
(recently sold by Dean Foods to French-owned Lactalis); and ketchup with balsamic
vinegar from Heinz (available through Facebook).
Discussing Mcvitie’s, FDIN (The Food & Drink Innovation Network)
explains that "Limited edition variants such as these bring excitement
to a category and will drive incremental sales for retailers." Adding,
to emphasize the point, Mcvitie’s suggests, "Retailers should
make sure they stock up on the full Mcvitie’s portfolio in order to take
advantage of the extra sales generated by this exciting event."
are announced as limited editions without definition of time or quantity but
Heinz reportedly had just 3,000 bottles of its ketchup with balsamic vinegar
on offer through Facebook (in addition to another million being sold through
more conventional grocery channels, according to Marketing magazine).
Not only is the ketchup the first variation on its original flavor, it is also
said to be the first time a food product has been sold through Facebook.
products were available only in the U.K., Campbell
introduced two limited edition "artisanal" soups to ten American
cities at the end of 2010. Just-food reported that Sun-Ripened Yellow
Tomato soup and Harvest Orange Tomato are "made with tomatoes, which the company
uses in its V8 V-Fusion vegetable and fruit juices." The soups would be
available as long as supplies lasted, according to the report.
And finally, rather
than tampering with a highly successful product, Coca-Cola is marking its 125th
birthday with limited edition packaging. Eye-catching perhaps, but as a means
of inspiring loyalty or attracting new customers (other than those wanting
to collect the bottles, cans or fridge magnets), perhaps not that inspiring.
- Mcvitie’s unveils new limited edition dark chocolate caramel digestives
- Rachel’s rolls out limited edition yoghurt – Just-food
- Heinz release limited edition ketchup via Facebook – marketing.co.uk
- Campbell launches limited-edition soups – Just-food
- Coca-cola celebrates 125 years with new limited edition packaging – FDIN
Discussion Questions: What are the pros and cons of limited-edition products in the food space? Can limited-edition products build brand loyalty?