In 2007, Vitality and Real ingredients were put at the heart of Hellmann’s, Calvé and Amora’s brand vision. Their combined heritage is in real food and they understand how important simple, honest ingredients are to their customers and the most logical place to focus their attention was on a primary ingredient and to change to Good Eggs (cage free) throughout their entire product ranges.
Good Eggs and Compassion
Mayonnaise as a product is relatively basic, being an emulsion of oil, egg yolk, vinegar, lemon juice and mustard. Hellmann’s wanted to build in benefits to their products by improving the attributes of the ingredients. Over the last few years Hellmann’s have talked about the importance of honest ingredients and have focused consumers’ attentions to the oils that they use and the benefits of the naturally occurring Omega 3. Logically, the next focus is to another of the ingredients – eggs. Firstly, to build a relevant story around eggs they needed to explore consumers associations with cage-free eggs and what that could do to improve the perceptions of the product and brand.
Unilever commissioned some research across 6 countries with the aim of exploring consumer perceptions around eggs from different production methods (free range, barn, battery). Off the back of this research they focused their campaigns on positive messages around good, honest, real ingredients, natural, high quality and great tasting food – the very same attributes that consumers associate with ‘Good Eggs‘. It was decided that all marketing activity was to be devoted to championing the egg and the great taste that authentic ingredients like Good Eggs brings to mayonnaise.
Compassion began working with Unilever in 2008 with their move to cage-free eggs and awarded them a Good Egg Award for their commitments to improve the lives of an estimated 1,700,000 laying hens annually.
Amora France – outstanding results driven by their free-range message:
Amora France has literally gone from strength to strength and the post launch evaluation of the move to free-range eggs stands testament to the commercial benefits of Good Eggs.
The campaign centred around ‘Good Eggs’ as a key ingredient. Launch activity included PR and press from Feb through to June, TV spots in June and September and in-store and trade activity.
The overall Amora brand has become stronger as a result of the Good Egg campaign. More consumers who relate to the Amora brand believe that it is ‘made with good stuff’, ‘made with natural ingredients’ and ‘made with simple and real ingredients’.
All metrics are up from the 2008 to 2009 sales periods:
- Value growth YtoY: +9.5%
- Market share YtoY: +5.2%
- Penetration rate: +11.0 %
- Volume/buyer: +3.8%
Launching free-range mayonnaise for Amora has grown the French mayonnaise market and provided Unilever with more buyers buying more mayonnaise.
Overall, Amora achieved great market results and outperformed objectives.
The advantage of moving to free-range eggs has also been replicated by competitors. Maille, also a Unilever brand, uses free-range eggs and now so does Lesieur. These are the 2nd and 3rd most popular mayonnaise brands in France respectively. Along with Amora which is the market leading mayonnaise, free-range eggs dominate the entire category. This trend is seen not only in France but in other markets. For instance, Tesco’s own brand mayonnaise have recently updated their recipe to free-range eggs.
Positive promotion of welfare is good for business and for animals.
Hellmann’s, Amora and Calvé have been trading on ‘Realness’ for many years and have realised the opportunity of being able to further substantiate this claim. By the end of 2009, Hellmann’s, Calve and Amora converted to cage-free a year ahead of schedule across Western Europe and in 2010 Unilever expanded cage-free dressings to Central and Eastern Europe (Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia). Unilever are on-track to meet their target of rolling cage-free across the entire European continent by 2012.
The success of cage-free eggs has also inspired the American market to make the commitment to go cage-free. In 2010 Hellmann’s light announced plans to change the recipe and use exclusively cage-free eggs in North America. Their aspiration is to secure stable supply in North America and change all the ‘Real Food’ mayonnaise recipes to cage-free.