Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Strategy Session: Tesco Might Want to Get 'fresh & naked' at 'fresh & easy'

Fresh & Easy Buzz Strategy Session

Tesco is launching a new brand and line (called range in the UK) of unwashed, fresh salad greens in 350 of its stores in the United Kingdom (UK).

The brand's name is: "fresh & naked."

The "fresh & naked" brand is the creation of the UK's G's Marketing. The lettuce is grown by Shropshire's, a UK family farming operation that's been around since 1952, and is partnered with G's Marketing.

There are four "fresh & naked" salad green varieties (SKUs) - wild rocket, lambs lettuce, sweet mixed salad leaf and strong mixed salad leaf - at present.

The salad greens are packaged in attractive boxes, pictured at top, rather than in plastic bags. Fresh & Easy Buzz likes the look of the package. And because they're in boxes rather than the expected plastic bags, we think they will draw shopper attention in the produce case. The boxes are 100% recyclable, except for the cellophane window.

The fresh produce company and the retailer have signed an exclusive agreement for Tesco to sell the "fresh & naked" brand and line in 350 stores in the UK. The agreement runs until the end of summer 2010, according to G's Marketing, and can be renewed.

Not only is the "fresh & naked" name, which G's Marketing spells using all lower-case letters, a tad bit naughty and fun, it fits rather well with the name of Tesco's U.S. fresh foods and grocery chain - Fresh & Easy - which similarly is spelled in all lower case.

How about that?

Fresh & Easy Buzz suggests Tesco grab the license to the "fresh & naked" brand for the United States from G's marketing and launch a line of unwashed salad greens, and value-added salads - perhaps replacing its current "fresh & easy" brand or adding to it - in its 159 Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market stores in California, Nevada and Arizona.

Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market already has the local suppliers for the salad greens. All Tesco need do is obtain the rights to use "fresh & naked," including the packaging, for its Fresh & Easy fresh food and grocery chain in the U.S.

The "fresh & naked" brand name would also be good for some other selected fresh produce items. We also think there are some ready-to-eat fresh foods items that would be great under the "fresh & naked" brand name. How about fresh, packaged sushi, which Fresh & Easy sells, for example?

We think the "fresh & naked" brand name would particularly resonate well with the primary demographic, "Millennials-plus six" (Millennials are ages 18-29. We add six years, to age 35, for our Fresh & Easy cohort), that our research has found most likes the Fresh & Easy stores. But it also would likely have appeal to most other demographics; or at least not offend.

But even less scientifically speaking, Additionally, the "fresh & naked" name just fits well with "fresh & easy," from both semantic and marketing-merchandising standpoints.

An introductory (and perhaps ongoing) promotional tag-line for the salad greens and value added salads at Tesco's Fresh & Easy could be: "Get "fresh & naked" at "fresh & easy," followed by a description of the new line. Another one: "They're getting "fresh & naked" in the aisles at fresh & easy."

As you can see, in addition to "fresh & naked" fitting well with "fresh & easy," it has the potential to provide for some catchy marketing copy - and loads of merchandising fun. Humor in marketing and merchandising done well can translate to strong branding and sales.

Additionally, It wouldn't take a whole lot of work to garner a bunch of media buzz over the introduction of the "fresh & naked" salad line at "fresh & easy" either.

Private branding some of its fresh salad greens, ready-to-eat green salads and a few other appropriate items under the "fresh & naked" brand would also go towards a strategy we offered in a May 18, 2009 piece - Strategy Session: Tesco's Fresh & Easy Needs to Move From its One Store Brand Fits All Strategy to A 'Three Brand' Store Brand Strategy - in which we suggested Tesco's Fresh & Easy should adopt a multi-private brand strategy, rather than using its "fresh & easy" store brand across all product categories in the stores.

Since we've published the 2009 piece, Fresh & Easy has added some additional store brands, including "Mother's Joy," for a line of breakfast cereals in the dry grocery category and, most recently, "Eat-Well," for a new line of fresh, prepared entrees and side dishes, which it introduced in early April of this year.

In February-March 2009, Fresh & Easy introduced the "Buxted" brand, which it uses on a few SKUs of fresh meat: beef, pork and chicken items. "Buxted" is positioned as a value brand in the meat category, merchandised side-by-side with the grocer's "fresh & easy," brand for all other category items. [See - March 9, 2009: An English Village, A British Fresh Chicken Brand and Tesco Fresh & Easy's New 'Buxted' Discount Fresh Meat Brand: What Do All Three Have in Common?]

Since it appears our multi-brand advice was pretty spot on in 2009, perhaps it offers some utility regarding the grocer's adoption of "fresh & naked" as an additional private brand for selected use in the fresh produce category, and in a limited way for some ready-to-eat fresh foods like our sushi example? We think it does.

We still argue that Tesco's Fresh & Easy needs a different store brand for its natural and organic grocery items, rather than using the fresh & easy name on both conventional and natural-organic SKUs.

The Wild Oats brand is no longer available. It's in the process of being sold to one of two companies that have bid on it: Topco, a retailer-owned private brand cooperative, and a food manufacturing company in California. But Fresh & Easy could certainly create a natural-organic brand and use it for all of its items in the category, using 'fresh & easy" for just the conventional items.

As a start up, Tesco's Fresh & Easy needs to generate more excitement than it's currently doing, along with building the business. It needs to think outside of the 10,000 square-foot box more often as well.

We think "fresh & naked," as part of that multi-private brand strategy is one of many ways for the grocer to do so.

['Fresh & Easy Buzz Strategy Session' is a periodic feature in which we offer marketing, merchandising and other strategic concepts and ideas for Tesco's Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market and other food retailers.]


fresh produce exec. said...

I like the look of the box packaging. I think it provides a good shelf billboard compared to the traditional bags. I'm surprised more companies haven't used it. Perhaps they will. The cost might be a bit higher but the green cred should be higher. Like it!

Anonymous said...

just as a point of clarification, the mothers joy brand is not a natural brand. It has preservatives and artificial colors that is why it is under a control label.

Fresh & Easy Buzz said...

Thanks for your comment fresh produce exec.

One thing we like, and have seen at some supermarkets and natural foods stores, is when the grocer offers a selection of say a half dozen or more varieties of greens, all priced the same per pound. You can then mix and match the bulk greens, creating a personal, customized salad green mix. It's also "green" from an enviromental standpoint, in that you only use one bag.

Fresh & Easy Buzz said...

Thanks for your comment Anonymous May 14.

You are correct, we looked at the ingredients panel on a box of "Mother's Joy" cereal and it does contain preservatives and artificial colors, unlike the F&E brand cereals and conventional products.

We understand why Fresh & Easy did this; wouldn't want to have all of the F&E brand items without the artificials except the one line of cereals.

But they might want to change the name from "Mother's Joy" to something else. After all, the "Joy" of most mothers today is probably to give their kids a cereal, like the F&E brand, without artificial colors and preservatives.

In fact, "Mother's Joy" might make a good name for a line of natural and organic food items. But it sounds a bit odd for a line of foods with artificial colors and preservatives in it. Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

I just love the Fresh and Naked lamb's lettuce and hope Tescos doesn't discontinue this product as the name goes everythig is "Fresh"