Olymel needed to innovate without alienating their core consumers or cannibalizing their own sales and as a B2B enterprise, add value to their retail partners without relying on promotions and discounts. In the absence of agile consumer insight, new products were created largely on gut instinct, transactional data, and trends identified in purchased industry reports. Olymel’s team needed a way to engage their core consumers in the innovation process and parlay that feedback into shopper insights they could use to secure shelfspace and create marketing programs that would increase sell-through for their retailers.
Olymel activated the Group Meating insight community. Made up of over 6,000 primary grocery shoppers who have consented to give ongoing feedback, they complete an average of three studies a month. Group Meating represents three logos underneath the Olymel banner in a single platform that can address all products, needs, and ideas, irrespective of product category and region.
The rapid setup, economies of scale, and ability to link results to the stores where consumers shop, has made Group Meating an invaluable consumer insights platform for Olymel. Because the time to insights is so fast and reliable, the team is able to include direct consumer feedback in a much higher proportion of their strategic and tactical decisions. Insights inform product innovation and promotional activities, and identify product claims and messaging that resonates with both their retail partners and the end consumer.
In one example, consumer-led rather than fad-led innovation helped Olymel develop a more traditional, plain breaded chicken over a “cheetos-like” cheese flavored version, and to sell it in to retail partners because of the consumer validation at the store level. In another example, Olymel co-created a flavor experience with a retail partner who wanted to promote globally inspired flavors and their consumers whose occasional purchase intent drove the limited time nature of the offer. In a final example, consumer feedback from Group Meating showed that consumers wanted more nitrate-free offerings. These targeted, consumer-validated insights resulted in a nitrate-free product line-up and a new distribution with a major grocer. The program yielded good sales and helped Olymel win two new product innovation awards in 2018.
The ability to deepen their consumer profiles and run longitudinal studies has completely transformed how Olymel operates. They now have the ability to constantly validate new product ideas, packaging, and advertising efforts with end consumers they know and trust. As a result, they make more confident decisions, have accelerated product innovation, deepened retailer relationships, and increased revenue.