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.

But.

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

Ned

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

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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

Ned