View all newsletters
Receive our newsletter - data, insights and analysis delivered to you
  1. News
March 1, 2021

Maple Leaf to relaunch plant-based brands after Q4 sales disappointment

Canada's Maple Leaf Foods is taking action to boost two plant-based brands after seeing sales from its meat-free division slow.

By Leonie Barrie

Canada’s Maple Leaf Foods is planning to relaunch its Field Roast and Lightlife brands after seeing sales from its meat-free division slow.

Free Report
img

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.

Speaking to analysts after Maple Leaf published its 2020 financial results, the company’s CEO, Michael McCain, said: “The biggest disappointment was a slowdown in the back half of the year in our plant protein revenue growth rate.”

In 2020, Maple Leaf’s plant protein division recorded sales of CAD210.8m (US166.1m), 19.5% up on the previous year’s total but 10.5% lower than the company’s target. In the fourth quarter, the division saw sales rise 5.5%. McCain said: “There are a lot of reasons for this, and we are acutely, acutely aware of each one of them.”

The company's COO, Curtis Frank, added: "We are closing in and nearing the completion of the renovation and relaunch of two of North America's best-known and most-loved plant-based protein brands in Lightlife, which focuses on clean and simple ingredients, and in Field Roast, which is doubling down on its commitment to delivering bold and adventurous taste. Paralleling the success of our brand renovation in meat protein, we believe these brand strategies offer focus points of differentiation that are backed by significant consumer research."

Outlining the issues the division has faced, McCain said: "In addition to the supply chain challenges that we had, Covid contributed to category deceleration, impacted our ability to commercialise our innovation pipeline in the year and limited foodservice channel growth. Additionally, there was a new retail channel entrant which drove competitive activity in one of our many sub-segments.

"Of course, these things are always concerning in the short term. But they don't change our conviction to the long-term thesis."

McCain said the supply chain obstacles are "being sorted out" and insisted Maple Leaf has a "very robust innovation pipeline" to support its growth ambitions. 

He said: "As an investor in Maple Leaf, I can appreciate that this is a challenging period, one which could test conviction around our investments in plant-based businesses. 

"I am certainly fortunate in that I have the ability to see first-hand the pace of innovation, the vibrancy of the market and draw parallels between the investment and transformation that we've made in the past in our meat protein business and what we're doing now in plant protein, that our relentless focus in food innovation, brand renovation and the pursuit of operational excellence will pay off as evidenced by our success with the same playbook and the resulting exceptionally strong year we've had in meat protein."

He added: "We unequivocally believe that the investments we're making in this business will be rewarded, albeit causing valuation dislocations in the short term. We believe that staying the course with our investments is the right course of action. The reasons for our disappointing revenue growth rate in the back half of 2020 are certainly well understood, and we're acting on them."

Related Companies

Free Report
img

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.

Topics in this article:
NEWSLETTER Sign up Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. A weekly roundup of the latest news and analysis, sent every Friday. The industry's most comprehensive news and information delivered every other month.
I consent to GlobalData UK Limited collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy
SUBSCRIBED

THANK YOU

Thank you for subscribing to Just Food