Jello-O Berry Blue

Blue's in the pinkkraft General Foods Canada is far from blue about the performance of its newest flavor of Jell-O brand jelly powder since its introduction this past January.Robert Hall, Jell-O brand product manager, says the launch of Berry Blue, a...

Blue’s in the pinkkraft General Foods Canada is far from blue about the performance of its newest flavor of Jell-O brand jelly powder since its introduction this past January.

Robert Hall, Jell-O brand product manager, says the launch of Berry Blue, a blue-colored Jell-O that is a blend of raspberry and blueberry flavors, was the most successful one for the company in the last decade.

Hall credits it with double-digit growth in the category and a significant increase in Jell-O’s share of the $50 million spent on jelly powders annually.

Jell-O’s primary competition comes from store brands.

Hall says Kraft’s challenge as market leader is to maintain its image through advertising and to continue to meet consumer needs by investing in research and product development.

He says part of that is the introduction of a new flavor at least once every two years.

The last new Jell-O flavor was Punchy Pear, which hit the shelves in 1991.

However, past line extensions have not received the marketing support that Berry Blue has.

Hall says there are a number of reasons for the success of Berry Blue, including the popularity of the color blue, a relatively new color for food, with children.

Other parts of the strategy – packaging, the marketing program and sales force involvement – have also been major contributors.

The packaging, created by The Thomas Pigeon Design Group of Toronto, is a departure not only from the u.s. product but from the other Jell-O flavors in the Canadian line-up.

The package background remains white and the red Jell-O logo is similar in typestyle to the other flavors, but rather than a photograph of actual fruit as the illustration, two smiling animated fruit characters – a raspberry and a blueberry – dominate the front of the package.

The two-tone blue flavor bar across the bottom of the package says Berry Blue in a casual, almost childish, typeface.

Thomas Pigeon, president of The Thomas Pigeon Design Group, says the new look embodies the fun personality of Berry Blue.

Pigeon says packaging is always an important part of a product but even more so for some categories such as jelly powder because it is an impulse, fun-food item.

He says packaging is not always for the consumer.

According to Pigeon, an appealing package can excite the sales force into selling more product and encourage the retailer, including stock clerks, to give it prime shelf space.

He says packaging is just one ingredient of a successful product: ‘A great product, augmented by great advertising support, and the customers’ need make it a winner.’

Jell-O made another departure from the past with the advertising and promotions for Berry Blue, which have been primarily directed to children, unlike previous Jell-O campaigns that appealed to parents.

The successful launch promotion featured an aquarium motif bowl and gummy candy fish which were available with the purchase of three boxes of Berry Blue.

When filled with Berry Blue Jell-O, the bowl became the ocean where the children could submerge the gummy fish.

Other more recent promotions include a free Blue Jay jelly mould, available in-store or through a mail-in offer with the purchase of three boxes of Berry Blue, and, through ytv, prizes of roller blades and a trip to the SkyDome to a Toronto Blue Jays baseball game.

A two-pronged ad campaign got under way in April, with segments directed to children and parents focussing on Berry Blue as a fun new flavor.

The children’s portion continues for several more weeks, while the adult campaign wrapped up at the end of June.

A made-in-Canada tv spot was created for use during children’s programming because the u.s.-made Berry Blue spot starring actor/comedian Bill Cosby would contravene Canadian guidelines which forbid the use of celebrities in advertising specifically targetted to children.

Print advertising supports the tv effort in publications such as Kids Tribute.

The Cosby commercial was adapted for use in the adult component of the campaign, and print ads featuring fun and easy recipes for parent and child to make together appeared in May issues of women’s magazines.

Jell-O advertising is handled by Young & Rubicam, Toronto. PS