Shopper Innovation Awards: Natrel introduces a world of dairy

The brand partnered with a coffee chain to launch its Montreal milk bar.
Natrel Milk Bar_5

This story appears in the April/May 2016 issue of strategy.

Silver: Reinvention
Silver: Custom Retail
Silver: In-Store Engagement

Natrel, Agropur’s premium milk brand, was looking to make milk relevant again in consumers’ lives, especially among urban millennials. Focusing on the Greater Montreal Area (GMA), where Natrel is upstaged by competitor Lactantia, the brand decided to elevate the experience in a category where milk consumption is on the rise: premium coffee.

The brand partnered with Java U, a well-established coffee chain in the GMA. The brands were blended to create a unique “Montréalait” brand platform: the Natrel Milk Bar by Java U. Customers are immersed in a world of dairy, from the Milk Bar’s visual and architectural elements to a seasonal menu featuring Natrel products.

The Milk Bar features seven milk varieties, compared with a typical coffee location that has between three and five. They include lactose-free products in skim and 2% milks, as well as cream. It also offers organic milk, maple-flavoured milk, bottled iced lattes, milkshakes and a food menu that incorporates milk into sauces and dressings. The same milk product portfolio has been added to Java U’s other 21 locations.

To promote the bar, the brand created the “Latte Art Challenge,” which saw 10 local baristas battle it out in front of a judging panel. Consumers were invited to vote online for their favourite latte art for the chance to win an espresso machine. A merchandise collection was also designed and sold both online and in-store.

Sales rose 48% after the flagship opening, compared to the 17 weeks prior. Media coverage reached more than eight million people during the month following the opening. More than 7,000 participants entered the contest. And since the Milk Bar’s launch, Natrel sales are up 9% and market share is up three points in the GMA, according to Nielsen.

Advertiser | Agropur – Natrel
VP, marketing (former) | Caroline Losson
National marketing director | Stéphane Renauld
Agency | Lg2
CDs | Claude Auchu, Marc Fortin, Jennifer Varvaresso
Designer | Hélène Fortin
Creative team | Marie-Pier Gilbert, Martin Baron, Jean-François Perreault, Véronique Gingras
Digital production | lg2fabrique
Media | DentsuBos