Sales of Heinz Ketchup and Heinz Salad Cream really took off last year. Now the two products are in for a new round of marketing investment, aimed at prolonging this growth. This is good news for the brands - but the company as a whole is in a weaker position. Despite restructuring efforts, Heinz still has a lot of products that will be much harder to differentiate.
Two years ago, it looked like it was all over for Heinz Salad Cream. But, following the immensely successful "Anything tastes supreme with Heinz salad cream" advertising campaign, the brand was saved from what looked like inevitable termination. Now Heinz has committed to spending GBP5 million a year to continue promoting the brand. This week sees a move away from the old campaign as new advertisements hit TV.
The new campaign is aimed at promoting Heinz as the gold standard of salad creams. One advert pokes fun at the British practice of going to France to stock up on better value wines. It shows a French man traveling to Britain to fill his car up with salad cream and ends with the slogan 'Vintage 1914'.
Salad cream isn't the only Heinz brand about to receive a new marketing campaign. Heinz Ketchup will be the focus of a new print and television promotion. The campaign will develop the 'ketchup with attitude' theme, created for the brand in 1999. The marketing will target teenagers, with commercials appearing on youth-focused stations such as MTV, Comedy Central and VH1, while print advertisements will be placed in magazines such as People and Rolling Stone.
Like Heinz Salad Cream, Heinz Ketchup has recently seen sales boom. The condiment achieved record volume growth during fiscal 2000-2001, as its share of the US market jumped from 47.6% to 51.2%. The growth poured out of the popular EZ Squirt line of green and red ketchup, designed specifically so kids could play with the sauces when they ate.
The new advertising campaigns are designed to continue this growth. Heinz' division into food service units has successfully allowed innovative marketing campaigns to boost growth for individual product categories. However, the company is still left with a lot of commodity products in slow-growth areas - particularly its troubled canned foods division. Heinz will have its work cut out if it wants all its products to stand out from the competition.