- B&G Foods is backing the Green Giant brand with innovation and marketing investments in an effort to regain frozen food market share the brand lost in recent years, B&G Foods president and CEO Robert Cantwell said during an investment conference presentation earlier this week.
- Pinnacle Foods' Birds Eye frozen foods unit has been a major benefactor from distribution losses the Green Giant brand suffered under General Mills' ownership before B&G acquired the languishing brand last year, Cantwell said.
- Cantwell hinted at four new frozen vegetable platforms the brand will launch as early as August, two of which are "not just me-too innovation" and "are very unique; nobody was selling anything like it in the frozen space," he said. B&G will back that innovation with significant marketing investments, including a summer campaign described internally as "awakening the Giant."
The summer campaign will be one of the earliest products of a marketing investment B&G announced for Green Giant earlier this year. The investment doubles the brand's marketing spend under General Mills, at $32 million now from about $15 million to $16 million previously. Cantwell described the summer campaign launch as "relatively large" followed by "a bigger launch in the fall."
The marketing support will be critical for Green Giant's innovations, which Cantwell said aren't just new to the brand but are "something that nobody else had."
Getting consumers to notice and accept a disruptive innovation from a legacy brand like Green Giant may require significant marketing efforts. The brand must generate interest, explain the innovation, and make it appealing to consumers who are already buying less frozen food in lieu of fresher, store-perimeter products.
However, Cantwell exuded confidence in Green Giant and the plans B&G has for the brand in the near term. At the conference, he said he believed the new innovations and surrounding marketing push for Green Giant could benefit the frozen vegetable industry as a whole by driving increased interest and foot traffic to that area of the store.
Bringing back consumer demand for frozen food could help B&G beyond Green Giant sales, as the company said in January it intended to make more acquisitions in the frozen food space.