Boar’s Head Hummus – adjacent innovation without a purpose

So you have not heard?  Yes, Boar’s Head, the deli meat brand that makes lunchmeat is in BoarsHeadSnacks225the hummus business.  In fact, it launched 10oz hummus tubs of regular hummus and roasted red pepper hummus in 2014 with tepid results.  After all, who wouldn’t want to take a chunk of the $800 million hummus business?

The problem is that retailers across the country are overSKUed – fancy trade lingo for too many products on shelves.  Besides the national brands of Sabra (owned by Pepsi), Tribe (owned by Nestle), Athenos (owned by Kraft), the retailers themselves have launched their own private label hummus.  Apparently, this has not stopped Boar’s Head hummus to get a decent 20% distribution on some products across the retail landscape, and dollar sales nearing $10 million!

But this adjacent innovation – they are already in the refrigerated deli business in lunchmeats and condiments so why not round it out with hummus – does not have a point of different.  As Clayton Christensen in “The Innovator’s Dilemna” asked, what is the job to be done by this product?  It is plain hummus.

With Sabra cashing in at $450 million in sales last year, and Tribe far behind at $50 million, there really isn’t much room for an undifferentiated product.

It’s good to innovate and broaden one’s portfolio, even get into hot trending categories, but you need a point of difference, a “raison d’être” or someone’s going to eat your lunch (pun intended)!


About Stephane

Stephane Bardin has a deep understanding of consumers, combining go-to-market strategy and successful execution to drive sales growth. He is a strong marketing executive with strategic consumer and analytical talents in growing brands in the US and internationally. He is a consumer catalyst, producing results for: - Budweiser Beer - McDonald's - Hasbro - Pfizer - Kraft - Starbucks - Bumble Bee - Designer Whey - Aquafina - Tropicana - BRISK - Pepsi and more • Drove Budweiser Beer achievement of #1 foreign beer brand recognition in China. • Developed strategies to re-launch McDonald’s chicken sandwiches. • Developed top-line revenue stream for Bumble Bee in two new markets • Created the best-ever consumer promotion for Unilever brands. Stephane has a reputation for conceptualizing and executing integrated consumer marketing programs that positively impact P&L results. Stephane Bardin is an expert in using new technologies and media to connect consumers with brands and drive bottom-line results. He is a collaborative contributor who is an expert at building brand equity, loyalty, and ROI for highly recognized consumer products and brands. He has demonstrated performance using key levers of marketing to drive strategy and sales growth: advertising vehicles, consumer promotions, consumer/market research/syndicated data, new product development/innovation, multicultural marketing, interactive/digital/mobile/social media, SEO, public relations, shopper marketing, and partnership/alliance marketing. • Positive P&L Impact and Growth • Branding / Equity Building • Strategic Alliances / Partnerships • New Product Development / Innovation • Social Media/Online/Ecommerce Marketing • Cross-functional / Cultural Team Leadership • Strategic Planning /Tactical Execution • Syndicated Data Analysis and BASES • Advertising and Sales Promotion • Shopper Marketing • Trademark Management • Global Marketing Strategy
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