Drake’s, a maker of high-end filled pasta, was looking to expand their business beyond their successful food service core into the more lucrative retail. Their current situation was that they were in only 400 regional doors of grocery distribution with a dated, lackluster package. They were looking for a path to growth.
With frozen pasta in decline overall, both category managers and consumers were looking for a better tasting, restaurant-quality product to elevate this segment, one which was filled with lower-end commodity, side dish type products. Consumers’ perceptions about these pasta products ran from “over-processed” to just plain “bad.”
Drake’s needed to shift their business model from being heavily dependent on food service and private label and migrate into higher-margin branded CPG.
We decided to capitalize on consumer macro-trends around convenience, clean label, quality, and authenticity. We moved into an existing whitespace for a higher quality, higher priced pasta line, one with a compelling brand story. Primary research suggested an opportunity and a clear path.
Concentric launched a new label, Parla: a fresh-looking, authentic Italian face in a segment lacking clear brand positions or meaning. Our packaging, website, marketing and in-store POS delivered distinct design, tone and messaging, while Parla’s taste and quality met consumer skepticism about frozen head-on.
In the first four months, Parla was accepted in over 2000 doors of new distribution, led by an unprecedented acceptance of the new brand by Publix, one of the most difficult retailers in the U.S. in which to “pioneer”.