Reduce the sugar, lose the interest? It doesn’t have to be so.

The sugar debate.

20.10.2017

The sugar debate. For those in the know, it’s become a hot topic of conversation that isn’t dying down. Cropping up in the media, it’s affecting anyone manufacturing a product that includes sugar. And even some of those that don’t – the truth is, it’s not going away. 92% of consumers are actively trying to reduce the amount of sugar they consume, but how on earth should we be tackling this from a communications perspective?

An array of new launches hit the shelves in 2017, with reduced sugar, no added sugar, or no sugar at all. In most cases, these products make up just a small proportion of a brand’s offering, but have been snapping up the editorial limelight. A PR department’s dream, we know that new product news sells fast. Despite this, a recent Netmums survey reveals 80% of parents regularly hunt out alternatives to their children’s favourite snacks. However, 30% are unable to find them in-store, suggesting awareness is still relatively low.

Whilst low or reduced sugar items create buzz, they’re not necessarily delivering sales. Raising alarm bells for sales teams, there’s often a reluctance to support these new launches. If they’re not delivering, invest back in what you know sells well. We don’t believe this is the answer. Brands need to start thinking more creatively about how they continue to drive momentum and build loyalty for their ‘healthier’ products whilst protecting their core range too.

Whether your task is to reach gym-goers, office workers, retailers or parents, the same principles apply. Give them a reason to see your brand as different. Create a dialogue with people to build a connection and longer term, trust. You could engage in a sampling programme at a relevant event or high footfall location (see our Little Miracles case study for London Fashion Week for some inspiration). From experience we know that grassroots activations are another effective way of aligning healthy and active lifestyles with a brand. We’ve worked with Beko on its FA Cup activation and a tag-rugby programme that delivered Yazoo to over 2,000,000 children.

There are so many opportunities and touchpoints it can feel like a minefield but that’s what we’re here for. To uncomplicate the process and help you engage with people in the right place at the best time. For more information contact hello@mercieca.co.uk

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