Goetze’s is a fifth generation family-owned company and the largest producer of caramels in the U.S. They produce two iconic candies: Caramel Creams and Cow Tales. When we began working with them, they were looking to drive sales velocity and HH penetration. Despite caramels surging in popularity, sales had been relatively flat for years. Goetze’s was also concerned about losing share to new brands entering the subcategory.
To help Goetze’s realize their objective, Concentric first needed to understand exactly who their consumers were for both product lines, and then understand why those consumers were not purchasing more often—or stopped purchasing altogether. Primary research uncovered a number of insights. First, Caramel Creams and Cow Tales appealed to different consumers, with Caramel Creams consumers skewing older. Second, Caramel Creams had an identity problem. People recognized the candy more by its iconic shape and color than by any connection to the brand. Third, and perhaps most importantly, we discovered that although people loved these candies, the caramels had simply fallen off their radar and thus they routinely overlooked them in a crowded retail environment. However, when reintroduced to the candy, consumers were excited about rediscovering an old favorite.
Goetze’s needed to drive velocity by re-igniting lapsed users, some of whom historically had a deep connection with the product. They could then leverage this nostalgia to reach the next generation of consumers, as well, through sharing.
Capitalizing on the macro-trends of the resurgence of caramel flavors and the love of iconic candies that represented family connections and simpler times, we devised a multi-pronged campaign to allow consumers to rediscover Goetze’s Candy using a combination of advertising, retail in-store, PR and high-profile experiential and sampling events.
To reinforce the iconic look, history and sentiment of the candy, we created a campaign using simple and fresh graphics in the color palette of the product itself. Each iteration of the creative reinforced the name of the product, while suggesting usage occasions consistent with our mid-summer campaign period.
During the initial 12-week campaign period, unit sales increased 11% and dollar sales rose 15%.
Post-campaign surveys indicated we achieved 23% trial of the brand by new consumers (skewing younger), double-digit increases in purchase frequency among all levels of consumers (light to heavy), and increased brand awareness.
The 4-state market area where the program ran increased total brand volume from 19% to 28% during the subsequent 12 months—heavily over-indexing relative to the rest of the US. Retailers like Family Dollar and Food Lion, who had not merchandised the brand with secondary display in years, started to feature and promote it much more aggressively.