Monthly Archives: May 2012

Dear New Covent Garden Soup Co

Dear New Covent Garden Soup Co,

Thank you for bringing some genuine new news to your category for a second time – in 1988, it was fresh soup in a tetra carton, in 2012, it’s Fresh Bowls:

OK, Innocent Veg Pots (worth it when on promotion, too expensive when not) are here-or-here-abouts, but you’ve got a clever bit of packaging tech that stands you apart.

Their veg is just sort of dumped into the pot in a chunky and gloopy mix.

Your veg is suspended, and I quote, “above a sumptuous soupy base on a tray so whilst the soup is being heated, the steam rises to cook through the vegetables until they’re ready to drop into the rich flavoursome base”

Steamed veg – all the goodness retained – is just so much more appealing than microwaved – all the goodness zapped – veg.

Steamed Veg.

That’s the clever bit.

Sure it’s unlikely that Fresh Bowls are ever going to become as mainstream as your trusty tetra carton (prohibitively expensive I expect), but thanks for giving this brand loyalist an exciting new lunchtime option.

The hindsight-is-20:20 brand consultant in me would also like to thank you for re-focussing on your core business of soup. I may be wrong, but this appears to be the case – the New Covent Garden Food Logo and range seem to have disappeared.


The brands-should-leverage-their-equity-into-adjacent-categories-to-grow brand consultant in me is disappointed that you’ve had to retreat.

I thought Risotto was a great brand extension. (Not so sure about Porridge, nor – going a long way back – Fruit Smoothies)

I thought the rebrand to The New Covent Garden Food Company was simple and afforded you space to manoeuvre.

And I thought, good on you for looking beyond your existing comfort zone in the quest for growth.

A shame. But if you hadn’t looked, you would never have known. So thanks for giving it a go.

Thanks again


PS – And thanks for Soup of the Month – a “vote-for-blah” piece of Marketing that actually is genuinely engaging.


Dear Weetabix

Dear Weetabix,

Thank you for being one of the FMCG brands that appears to have thought beyond the “let’s just get the design agency to whack a few Union Jacks onto our usual packs and call it a special Limited Edition” approach to our summer of Britishness.

Cheap (sorry, efficient). Clever. On brand. Relevant. Nice.

And I do likes a pun.

Thanks also to:

And although, not a pun:

I do likes a bit of retro design.

When it comes to celebrating the Jubilee, the list of brands that fall into the “ugggghhhh…c’mon, couldn’t you have tried just a little bit harder?” category is pretty exhaustive, which make  rays of sunshine like Weetabix, Marmite, Kingsmill (and Kellogg’s) all the more impactful.

Thanks again