- Nielsen named Nestle's Lean Cuisine Marketplace brand the grand prize winner of the first-ever Nielsen Design Impact Awards at the HOW Design Conference in Chicago, according to Nielsen. The company's revamped branding helped drive a sales increase of $58 million in the following year.
- Lean Cuisine’s winning design focused on the brand's position as a modern health and wellness partner rather than a "diet" brand.
- "The new design was the No. 1 reason the Lean Cuisine brand was able to turn itself around — we went from declining sales to significant sales gains even before we turned on media support," Daniel Jhung, vice president of marketing at Nestlé USA, said in a statement. "This complete turnaround demonstrates the power of investing in effective package design and designing it with consumers in mind."
Lean Cuisine had been declining for a few years before its packaging redesign, losing "hundreds of millions of dollars and a significant chunk of market share," Jhung told MediaPost. The company observed that in order for the brand to survive, it would have to change consumer perceptions about the product and the overall frozen food category.
Dwindling sales left the company with a small marketing budget, but enough to implement a packaging overhaul. The huge sales success that followed the redesign should encourage other struggling frozen food brands to consider similar initiatives because design changes can reach a large number of shoppers, where TV ads don't have as much reach.
Manufacturers should also try to identify key words or positions that are holding their brands back. The new Lean Cuisine packaging distances itself from the unpopular word, “diet” and plays up the health and wellness attributes, something more consumers are looking for in their foods.
Davidson’s Organics recently underwent a packaging redesign and saw success, as well. However, companies should be aware that not every redesign will be a home run. Package design changes can be costly and could actually have a negative impact on consumers who dislike change. Still, for brands like Lean Cuisine, it could be the product's last chance for sales growth.