31 August 2022

‘More oblique than direct’: How brands benefit from extensions into adjacent categories

While food companies often stretch their brands into new categories, few stand the test of time. However, brand consultants say the buzz generated from these products can make the endeavour worthwhile regardless.

Heinz may be renowned for store cupboard staples, but the 153-year-old brand is venturing into territories new with the launch of Heinz Beanz Filled Hash Browns next month.

The product is part of Heinz’s new frozen range and its “Beanz liberation” mission, which has already seen the brand launch bean burgers and houmous. The hash browns will be available in Iceland, a supermarket which has been home to many unexpected brand extensions, from Cathedral City ready meals to Butterkist ice cream.

John West On the Go lunch pots, Marmite cashews and houmous, and Baileys celebration cakes are some other examples of food and drink brands which have extended beyond their original category into less expected areas. The question is why, and whether stretching a brand away from its core offer is a wise choice.

Founder of Brandon Consultants Richard Taylor says it makes sense for food brands to extend into new categories when they hit a ceiling with how they can innovate in their existing space.

“A great deal of established consumer goods brands with strong memory structures in our minds have leveraged their equity as far as it can often stretch within the current category where they play. To drive growth, they look to adjacent categories in which they can leverage that equity,” he says.

To read the full article visit Marketing Week.

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