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Can Nutri-Grain To Go squeeze into consumers’ breakfast repertoires?

April 2019

We’re frequently reminded that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but it’s often de-prioritized as busy work and school schedules get in the way. With research suggesting half of “breakfast skippers” would eat it more often if convenient options were more readily available, it offers brands like Nutri-Grain a tantalizing opportunity to grab a bigger slice of the breakfast occasion.

Being an iconic breakfast staple and having a history of fuelling some of the most gruelling physical challenges (such as the IronMan and IronWoman series, along with getting into work on a Wednesday morning), Kellogg’s looked to leverage the equity in Nutri-Grain to offer a reformulated product in a new pouch format: Nutri-Grain To Go Protein Squeezers. The product is being billed as a ‘140gram, creamy blend of oats, protein, and fiber served in a single pouch for easy consumption on the go’ – and we were intrigued to see whether it could reinvent the way Australians eat breakfast.

To assess its in-market potential we used our three C’s framework:

  • Captivate: Does it stand out and elicit a positive emotional response?
  • Connect: Is the brand instantly recognizable?
  • Compel: Does it pre-dispose people toward purchase?

Captivate

The colorful packaging and pouch format grabbed shoppers’ attention, implying the product was easy and convenient. However, despite that, the proposition didn’t create a great deal of interest and likeability – with people skeptical about the product’s taste given the pouch format, along with its texture and nutritional value.

Nutri-Grain To Go Protein Squeezer - Product Testing - Captivate


Connect

Although coming in an entirely new packaging format, Nutri-Grain kept intact a number of distinctive assets from the brand’s wider cereal and muesli bar range. Specifically, the bold logo, background pattern, and gold highlights all helped ensure easy attribution to the cereal giant.

Although the product’s ‘creamy’ composition was at odds with the crunchy texture people are generally familiar with for Nutri-Grain, the new addition to its growing portable/breakfast range was still considered a good fit with the brand. This was underpinned by the brand’s consistent positioning as a great source of ‘protein’ and ‘energy’, and being suitable for those living an active lifestyle. 

Nutri-Grain Protein Squeezer - Innovation Testing - Connect


Compel

Nutri-Grain To Go tapped into a genuine consumer need, with the convenience offered by the portable pouch forming a core part of the product’s appeal. However, there was uncertainty around its nutritional value, specifically the sugar content and artificial additives – ultimately impeding people from getting more excited about it.

The imagined taste and texture of the creamy blend also put some people off, likening its smooth texture to baby food or soggy cereal. People didn’t fully understand what the actual proposition was as a result, with this uncertainty making them reluctant to consider the product further.

Nutri-Grain To Go Protein - New Product Innovation - Compel


Conclusion

A marketer's number-one priority when expanding into a new category or sub-category is ensuring it’s the right thing for the masterbrand to do – not only making its backing obvious enough, but seamlessly aligning with what it stands for. In this sense Protein Squeezers had reasonably good synergy with Nutri-Grain.

However, the brand’s established connotations around taste and health didn’t successfully carry-over to this new offering, with the pouch format prompting skepticism around the claims. While the idea of “thick and creamy” might work for some breakfast foods (e.g. yogurt), when combined with cereal it conjures up largely unappetizing associations (think: soggy Weet-Bix).

While Nutri-Grain To Go provided convenience, skepticism around the artificial components perceived to be in many ready-to-eat meals ultimately resulted in them failing to deliver on enough of the most important drivers at breakfast – health, taste, and nutrition.

Nutri-Grain Protein Squeezer - Product Innovation - Performance Summary

This is a self-funded case study using our Innovation Testing solution.

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