01 May 2008

Branston Baked Beans Relaunch

Branston Baked Beans has overhauled its image after discovering that baked beans are losing favour among one of its core consumer groups.


Branston Baked Beans has overhauled its image after discovering that baked beans are losing favour among one of its core consumer groups.

Branston made the design changes after market data revealed that consumption is in decline among 18 - 30 year olds, traditionally the keenest bean eaters of all.

Consumption has dipped by about five percent among this age group over the past five years.

"Looking at the design of baked bean cans in the market, you'd be forgiven for thinking that beans are the preserve of old farts," said Sheraz Dar, head of marketing for Branston.

"The baked bean aisle in the supermarket just hasn't kept pace and it's no longer appealing to some of our most important consumers." 

Branston Baked Beans, launched in October 2005, has always had a brighter and bolder image than some bean brands, but with so many other products competing for attention the category really needs a bit of a makeover.

"Baked beans are the perfect food for young people on the go," said Dar. "They're inexpensive, versatile, delicious and very healthy.

"Beans have never been cool and our redesign isn't intended to remedy that but it is designed to make them more contemporary and relevant to today's generation of under 30s."

Branston chose a silver label which research had shown to be the most appealing ‘livery' for the products.

He continued: "At last we have an eye catching pack that really does justice to the product inside".  In a poll 76% of people preferred the taste of Branston baked beans.

"Last year we launched Branston Bloomin' Big Baked Beans in a silver can.  They have done really well and people love the eye-catching design of the can.  So we've taken the plunge and given the whole range a dynamic new silver makeover" said Dar.

"Our research shows that this will help to reconnect younger people with their favourite food."

Editors notes

Last year Branston launched a loans scheme for students in British universities. Students were invited to apply to receive cans of Branston Baked Beans during their university courses and delay repayment until they graduated and started working. The scheme was heavily oversubscribed and has now been closed.

Baked beans may be based on a Native American dish in which beans were cooked with fat and maple syrup. It's thought that European settlers adapted the recipe using pork and molasses. Others believe the dish derives from the French cassoulet which sailors brought from France.

Henry Heinz was not the first to can baked beans. There were many other brands on the market prior to the launch of Heinz Baked Beans in 1895, but there is no doubt that the Heinz variety spearheaded the growth of the market, particularly in the UK, where they arrived in 1904.

Beans became a staple of the British diet throughout the 20th Century. Originally the product contained a small piece of pork, but World War II put paid to that. By the time rationing ended people had become used to the veggie version.

The Beanz Meanz Heinz ad slogan dates back to the mid sixties. In 2006 Heinz were horrified to learn that Branston was considering adapting the slogan on the grounds that most people preferred its thicker, richer taste. Despite the appeal of Beans Means Branston, the firm later dropped the plan.

In the mid 90s a baked bean price war broke out. Some supermarkets sold their own brand of beans for as little as 3p a can. One enterprising independent grocer even gave consumers 5p every time they ‘bought' a can!

Pricing has since returned to more sensible levels but baked beans remain fantastic value for money. A 210g serving of Branston Bloomin' Big Baked Beans on a slice of buttered toast represents a nutritious and delicious light meal and only costs around 30p.

The launch of Branston Baked Beans

Branston Baked Beans were launched in November 2005, promising to bring some razzmatazz to a tired part of the supermarket. In a head to head blind taste test against Heinz, conducted among 746,000 consumers, Branston was preferred by 76 per cent of people. Branston's thicker, richer, tastier recipe has been a big hit with consumers and the brand has captured an 11 per cent market share since launch.

Beans and health

Baked beans are low in total fat, contain no saturated fat or cholesterol and provide important nutrients such as fibre, protein, calcium, iron, folic acid and potassium.

1 May 2008

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