Strategizing Simple in the Food and Beverage Marketplace

Since 2003, we have counted roughly 62 line extensions of mainstream CPG brands that have
attempted a “simple,” “natural” or otherwise less processed positioning.1 In 2015 alone, we
have seen an uptick in launches from major brands as well as several corporate announcements
regarding systematic, enterprise-wide plans to deprocess their branded food to varying degrees. The latter
tactic is too new for us to analyze its effect on specific brands. But many marketers continue to wonder if
the former tactic, the simple/natural line extension, actually produces a meaningful consumer response.

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