Kraft says no to palm oil, yes to new nut butter

If you thought the brand would never deviate from its iconic peanut spread or remove a key ingredient, think again.

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The world is hooked on palm oil as it continues to slip into global supply chains.

Halting deforestation is a task fraught with challenges. However, consumers and environmental bodies, like Greenpeace, still put pressure on the CPG world to at least do their bit by choosing sustainable mills.

Over the years, we’ve seen a proliferation of policies and pledges from consumer brands promising to make sustainable palm oil the norm. Kraft Heinz is one of them. And while the jury is still out on whether any progress is being made by the industry as a whole, Kraft recently took another step forward by removing the culprit of biodiversity loss from one of its products altogether.

This week the company began talking to consumers about its newest product  Kraft Hazelnut Spread, free of palm oil (and consumer guilt).

The spread was first teased out on June 22 with an Instagram poll asking people how they like their hazelnut spread, with or without palm oil. But even before the social media poll, Kraft’s research team already knew the answer: 50% of category users would most likely try the spread in question were they given the opportunity, says Daniel Gotlib, associate director, brand building and innovation at Kraft Heinz.

The new SKU is also low in saturated fats, and Gotlib says Kraft chose hazelnut as a flavour after social listening revealed a desire for other types of nut butters as people stock their pantries with a larger variety of toast toppings.

“Kraft and the brand’s iconic bears are synonymous with peanuts,” he says. “[But] through testing, consumers gave the brand permission to stand for nut spreads beyond just peanuts… they want to see our brand and our quality cues in other nut spreads.”

To support the launch, Kraft will soon go to market with the “Go Hazelnuts” ad campaign. In the meantime, to get Canadians sharing news of the SKU, the brand is asking Canadians (and influencers) to participate in a “social taste test challenge” by pitting Kraft Hazelnut Spread against other nut butters, and then posting their #KraftHazelnutChallenge verdict videos online.

The campaign was developed by Rethink, while Starcom handled media and The Colony Project is managing its PR and influencer strategy.

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