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This year, the J.M. Smucker Co. focused on identifying emerging trends and consumer purchasing behavior within baking to develop platforms for growth across the aisle. The company undertook several research projects to try to help identify these growth platforms. The insights gained from this research indicated that there was an opportunity to develop new products to address consumers’ unmet needs.
Nutrition is still an important issue among Americans. Smucker’s research found that 82 percent of consumers are reading the nutrition labels on foods, and more than 41 percent of consumers said they’re specifically looking at the sugar content. Additionally, 72 percent of consumers are actively trying to cut back on or completely avoid sugars in their diets.
According to additional findings, an estimated 26 million people in the United States are currently living with diabetes, and 79 million can be classified as pre-diabetic.
Focusing on these trends, Smucker developed a line of sugar-free cakes, brownies and frostings that were launched in June 2010 for the Pillsbury brand. These products represent true innovation within the dessert baking mix category, as they meet the needs of a reduced-sugar consumer and have a broader reach by including diabetic consumers with the sugar-free appeal.
Consumer panel data collected from SymphonyIRI after the launch of Pillsbury sugar-free products indicates that these products were up to 60 percent incremental to their respective categories.
Pillsbury sugar-free items have outpaced the growth of the better-for-you segment within dessert baking mixes, and more importantly, the growth of the segment throughout the baking aisle.