Green & Black’s organic chocolate is being repackaged and relaunched for the mass market. Despite success in the niche organic market, it has until now failed to get into most consumers’ shopping baskets. By emphasising the quality and luxury aspects of the chocolate, and placing the organic/ethical benefits in the shade, the brand will have a better chance of widening its appeal.

Green & Black’s organic chocolate is being relaunched in the hope of broadening its consumer base to more mass market shoppers. Originally, the brand was very successful in the niche organic market, trading not only on its natural origins but also its ethical stance as a promoter of fair trade.

However, in sales terms, the organic market is a pale shadow of the mainstream. Green & Black hopes to expand its original restricted revenue stream into a chocolate fountain and enter into competition with brands such as Lindt or Galaxy. It has redesigned the packaging, reducing the emphasis on organic and ethical attributes and making more of an appeal to luxury, quality and sophistication.

This move demonstrates a good understanding of one of the emerging weaknesses of the organic or ethical market. While consumers were at first willing to purchase products for altruistic reasons, this enthusiasm has faded and there is increasing demand for more personal advantages to consumers.

Marketers need to recognise that, while consumers want to derive dual benefits from a product, the benefits for the individual need to be stronger than the benefits to any given cause. As daily routines are becoming more time-pressured and stressful, people are looking to get back to basics. Consumers are demanding simpler, more wholesome products that have a long-lasting value and not just a fleeting appeal.

Lifestyles are changing in other ways too. Health has always been important, but nowadays there is greater emphasis on achieving total well-being by feeling and looking good. Consumers expect their daily shopping to provide them with functional and emotional benefits.

By targeting the more selfish instincts of consumers, Green & Black should be able to move out of the limited organic niche and compete in the mass market while retaining the brand’s more altruistic benefits.

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