Spicing up sales
Consumers have become much more savvy about how authentic ethnic dishes should look and taste, and are increasingly demanding the ‘real deal.’
11 February 2011
At a glance: ETHNIC FOODS
- Discovery Foods is reporting growth of 8.6% year-on-year*
- Discovery contributed towards 75% of total category growth within the Mexican food category and achieved this by attracting more shoppers without heavy discounting*
- Discovery currently ranks fifth in the ‘Top 100 Categories Index’ for the Fajita Dinner Kit
- Within the ambient Oriental category, Blue Dragon is worth £34m growing at 15% in the UK year-on-year
- Blue Dragon has 19% share of the ambient Oriental food market in the UK
*(Source: Kantar July 2010)
The market for a broad range of ethnic options has vastly inflated in recent years as consumers’ tastes become more experimental and they continue to bring ideas home from travelling. Chinese food has long been a favourite on Irish shores with market analyst Mintel reporting Chinese food was the most popular type of ethnic food purchased in both NI and RoI in 2003. The Mexican food category is also currently experiencing strong growth within Ireland, as consumers are increasingly attracted by the idea of easy-to-make yet fresh and healthy meal options such as fajitas and tacos.
Bord Bia research published in October 2010 also found the overall drop in consumer spend in groceries had halted and that ethnic foods were one of the categories helping to drive growth.
Figures released by An Bord Bia quoting data from Kantar Worldpanel showed the average grocery spend here had fallen by 10% per annum over the past two years, while the average annual shopping bill fell from €6,127 to €5,572.
“However, there are indications that spend levels are stabilising, with August 2010 being the first month in the last two years where no price deflation was recorded,” the Bord Bia report said. “At this point the rate of decline has decelerated and the grocery market has in fact just moved back into growth, with only 80 categories experiencing deflation versus 203 categories experiencing inflation. Value growth is seen once again to be a realistic target.”
Dragon breathes fire into category
Chinese New Year 2011 has seen Oriental food brand Blue Dragon embark on a £6 million re-launch. Building upon the brand’s leading market position, the campaign will not only encompass a new brand identity, but also innovative new products and heavyweight consumer and shopper support, including a national TV advertising campaign and an integrated communications programme.
The Blue Dragon re-launch is designed to drive interest amongst new and existing consumers in the Oriental food category whilst enhancing Blue Dragon’s credentials as the authentic Oriental food brand. The brand’s packaging will be refreshed with a new vibrant and authentic Oriental tapestry design.
A key component of the re-launch will see Blue Dragon enter the cooking sauce category with the launch of six popular and authentic cooking sauce flavours – Chow Mein, Sweet Chilli, Sweet & Sour, Chinese Curry, Thai Green and Thai Red – including the market’s first ever Chow Mein and Chinese Curry cooking sauce variants. These classic flavours, housed in bespoke pagoda glass jars, will enhance authenticity within a key sector currently dominated by mainstream brands. Consumer research found that 61% of existing cooking sauce consumers would try the range and positive taste tests saw the classic variants rival key competitors.
Next year will also see Blue Dragon enter into the Oriental oven cook sector with a range of Blue Dragon Sticky Sauces, available in four restaurant-classic variants – Chinese BBQ, Char Sui, Peking and Teriyaki. The range will provide consumers with a convenient short-cut to replicating a range of Oriental appetisers at home by basting or marinating, something which the ambient Oriental category doesn’t currently offer.
Building on the success of its existing stir fry portfolio, new Blue Dragon Stir Fry Shots will also be introduced to the range in 2011. Comprising six unique flavours – Spicy Satay, Sweet Sour, Chilli Coconut, Sweet Chilli, Wasabi Plum and Szechuan Pepper – Blue Dragon’s Stir Fry Shots are perfect for consumers seeking a more intense flavour experience. Their stand-up pouch will also ensure on-shelf prominence and the tear opening will guarantee ease of use.
Four new paste variants will complete Blue Dragon’s range of innovative NPD. Unlike the Indian pastes market, no other brand currently offers consumers an easy-to-use Oriental paste which doesn’t require any additional, specialist ingredients to be added. With its strong Oriental heritage and roots in specialist ingredients, Blue Dragon has transformed this by introducing an authentic and credible range – including Chinese, Thai Laksa, Thai Red and Thai Green variants. The range’s varying flavour profiles and heat levels make Blue Dragon Pastes perfect for timid and adventurous cooks alike, and their bespoke, larger jar size also delivers stand-out on shelf.
Complementing the heavyweight national TV advertising campaign – on air for three months from Chinese New Year 2011 – through the line marketing activity will include: in-store activation and promotions, PR, regional sampling and online CRM activity.
For further information on the Blue Dragon range please visit www.bluedragon.com or for sales enquiries please call 0044 1 942 267 090.
An enlightening Discovery
The Mexican food category is growing significantly and Discovery is spearheading this drive by not only offering exciting products, but also operating a consumer education programme.
Reporting a healthy growth of 8.6%* year on year, Discovery Foods offers an extensive, flexible range that allows the consumer to mix and match to suit their taste buds. In the Squeezy range, for example, the salsa is available in ‘Mild’, ‘Medium’, and ‘Hot’. Meanwhile the meal kits provide an accessible introduction for first-timers to the category, as they require nothing more than the addition of protein or vegetables. Discovery contributed toward 75% of total category growth and achieved this by attracting more shoppers without heavy discounting.*
Discovery is a premium brand offering excellent value and ranks fifth in the ‘Top 100 Categories Index’ for the Fajita Dinner Kit. The opportunity for Mexican food is considerable and Discovery is set to lead the way with innovation and taste.
In 2011, Discovery’s emphasis will be on gaining a more in-depth understanding of its shoppers, how most effectively to reach them, how to continue influencing their behaviour at point of purchase and how to reward their loyalty. Discovery is also embarking on an investment programme including collaborative trade partnerships to help increase its value share within the Mexican food category.
*(Source: Kantar July 2010)