Re-launching a product
A Heinz case study

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Page 2: Market research

Heinz 6 Image 3The overall marketing objectives were to:

  1. target the 20-30 age group in particular and younger consumers generally
  2. create a sense of individuality about the Heinz Salad Cream brand that is 'quirky' and fun
  3. widen consumption of the product beyond merely being a dressing for salads.

Research focused on two key areas: firstly, how best to appeal to consumers in their 20s and 30s; and secondly, to establish just what perceptions consumers held about Heinz Salad Cream. Research findings showed:

  1. Heinz Salad Cream was associated with the lifestyle of a past era.
  2. Heinz Salad Cream had an advantage over mayonnaise in that it was thought to add flavour, not just moisture.
  3. The essence of Salad Cream was that it had a distinctive bold taste that “livens up” dull food.
  4. The Heinz name was associated with quality and trustworthiness.
  5. The product had individuality in terms of its sharp and tangy taste.
  6. The target group of 20+ years of age liked to establish its own individuality, but within the safety of a like-minded peer group.
  7. The shopping habits of this target group are spontaneous; they have less budget constraints than housewives and buy what looks interesting on the day.
  8. The home eating habits of the target group are very functional. Food basics such as pasta, bread and potatoes are flavoured with whatever inspires them at the supermarket.
  9. Substitute products to Salad Cream include mayonnaise, salad dressings, sandwich spreads and tomato ketchup.
  10. There was a feeling that Heinz had neglected the Salad Cream brand by failing to support it.

It was decided, therefore, that a major investment was needed to introduce a whole new generation of consumers to the product. It was also hoped to win back those who may have deserted Salad Cream for other dressings.

Acting on their research findings Heinz decided that:

  1. It would not alter the product itself, but would re-package it in new fluted bottles, based on the original shape, with bright eye-catching labels to give it a contemporary image.
  2. The way Salad Cream could liven up otherwise dull (“wallflower”) food would be emphasised.
  3. In the future, Salad Cream would no longer be associated with just salads, but with any foods chosen by the individual. Its promotion would be re-integrated in such a way that anyone could use Salad Cream with any food they liked.

Clearly, the campaign team had built its marketing objectives on the findings from the research. The next step was to decide upon the most effective way to promote the product.

Heinz | Re-launching a product
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