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September 3, 2020

Chicago Vegan Foods to launch first overseas push

Privately-owned Chicago Vegan Foods is to embark on its first concerted push outside North America, with the launch of its flagship brand overseas this month.

By Dean Best

Privately-owned Chicago Vegan Foods is to embark on its first concerted push outside North America, with the official launch of its flagship brand overseas this month.

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The company has secured a listing at UK grocer Asda for its vegan-marshmallow brand Dandies.

Dan Reed, the director of marketing at Chicago Vegan Foods, said Dandies had been sold, through imports, by “some smaller niche-space retailers all over the world at specialty prices” but described the upcoming launch in the UK as “the first time we’re really hitting your market with good, cost-effective pricing”.

Reed said Asda, the UK’s third-largest grocer, was stocking Dandies as part of a “new vegan and vegetarian set” of products, encompassing two bays in stores. “Mid-September is when they do the initial launch. It’s a limited number of stores. I believe it’s somewhere between 100 and 150 stores. And then, in early October, they will be launching that set in 100% of their stores. So, within the first month, we’ll have complete coverage in Asda,” he told just-food.

Chicago Vegan Foods, which sells the Dandies brand throughout the US and Canada, said the vegan market in the UK compared favourably to that in the company’s backyard.

“Vegan is so much more accepted – and has been much more accepted over the years there. That was one of the reasons why it’s always been on our radar,” he asserted. “We’re such a large country, and there are so many different personalities scattered about regionally. A lot of the acceptance with plant-based foods vegan foods has really started in the bigger cities and that takes some time to sort of spread out into smaller regions in the US. It’s changing in the US, it’s becoming a lot more accepted now but it’s been, throughout our careers, with this brand or company, it’s been a bit of an uphill battle.”

In the US, Reed said Dandies had “got 97% coverage within the natural market” and the company’s plan to grow the brand’s sales was through more mainstream outlets. “We see our growth plans for the future in conventional grocery,” he said. “We’re just barely scratching the surface on that. Consumer habits in the US have also shifted over the past couple years, where customers are shopping less and less in natural consumers and they’re shifting their shopping over to the conventional stores, where they are starting more of a one-stop shop. These conventional grocery stores are picking up more and more natural food items. Customers don’t have to go and shop at three, four different stores to get all the products they want. They can really get them all in one place.”

Reed, who is a minority shareholder in Chicago Vegan Foods, said the company does not disclose its annual sales. The firm has two, smaller brands – Teese vegan cheese and Temptation vegan ice cream – which are both aimed at the foodservice market. Dandies accounts for the majority of the company’s revenues, Reed noted.

Asked how Covid-19 had affected the trading performance of Chicago Vegan Foods so far, Reed, focusing on Dandies, said the brand’s sales were initially affected by shoppers focusing on “essentials” but then demand grew, boosted by consumers spending more time at home. “Fast forward about a month into it, we started to see a pretty big increase in demand for our products, stores were replenishing and, while people were spending far more time at home, they were doing things like a lot more home baking. They’re spending more time in the backyard roasting marshmallows. We started to see a pretty, pretty big increase so the impact was actually positive,” he said.

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Unilever- A Deep-dive into Product Launches and Advertising Strategy

Unilever product advertising is mainly through mainstream TV channels. Out of the products advertised so far at least 50% (over 850) of ads have been run on TV, while print media comes second with 496 ads. Unilever also utilizes social media platforms for advertisement. Unilever products are categorized by innovation ratings and tags in our product launch database. The North American region consists of almost 74 products with innovations related to the formulation of the product. Europe and other regions also have more products categorized under formulation-related innovation, followed by the packaging and positioning of the products. Most Unilever products are tagged with “High Vitamins”, “Recyclable”, and “Natural” tags to understand what the product differentiator is from other products available in the market. The majority of products belong to the personal care industry with a total of 5,788 products to date. This report, through the Unilever Example, illustrates how GlobalData Explorer enables you to:  
  • Track product launches by FMCG companies to get an understanding of the product-level strategies including geographic concentrations, innovation types, product claim, category focus and more
  • Monitoring the advertising strategies of various brands and gain insights into channel focus, regional focus, and more
  • Perform company-level analysis to understand business model, size, and geographic focus
Don’t miss out on key market insights that can help optimize your next investment – read the report now.
by GlobalData
Enter your details here to receive your free Report.

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