Pietercil Foodservice is keen to continue the steady growth of the Gran’Oliva Gran’Tapas brand and private label Beliès into the future. They have established a strong position in foodservice in the category of Mediterranean olives, dips and antipasti over the past several years. In the years to come, they aim to remain partners in this category in the Benelux by continuing to lead by example. To this end, GROUP7 was asked to work with the Pietercil Foodservice team to draw up a category development plan based on category drivers, and to establish strong positioning for the Gran’Oliva Gran’Tapas brand and PL products (customer value proposition).
The Gran’Oliva Gran’Tapas brand has helped grow the Mediterranean olives, dips and antipasti category, particularly in Belgium. As the category has grown considerably over the years, it has also become more competitive. The challenge is to continue collectively growing the category by staying at the forefront and continuing to meet the (latent) needs of the customers. To achieve this, it is wise to align the strategy and plan with the user drivers. Getting answers to questions such as: What role does the category play for users? Which applications and occasions are involved? What does the decision-making process look like? How does this vary across segments? What role do brands play? What is the brand associated with?
A project team was put together with sales, marketing, procurement and product development. Based on the Objective Goals Strategies Measures (OGSM) method, the objective of strengthening the position in Foodservice Benelux was translated into a concrete action plan detailing who does what and when. GROUP7’s project manager ensured that the process moves forward and has a broad responsibility for the category development plan.
In collaboration with the project team, we work on establishing the category development plan step by step. The first step is acquiring insight into the market and category drivers. In addition to a benchmark analysis, desk research and assortment analysis, an external survey of category drivers was also conducted by ‘Het Nederlands Kokspanel’ (The Dutch Chefs Panel) & Food Service community. By conducting in-depth interviews, Pietercil Foodservice gained insight into the category drivers within hospitality and catering.
Based on the insights gained, the direction for the category development plan was then determined. A SWOT analysis and the customer value proposition model were used to determine the role of the brand and PL within the category. The category development plan identified growth opportunities based on macro trends, category drivers and benchmark analysis. These opportunities were translated into what this meant for development of the category, development for each account and implementation for the end consumer (based on the 4Ps).
The journey provided a clearer picture of the category and user drivers as well as what was the best role for the brand and Private Label within it. This provided a solid foundation which in turn allowed Pietercil Foodservice to assume their leadership role within the category and shift gears faster. Due to the lockdown period, the preferred actions were adjusted from introducing products to a focus on concepts with existing products based on user moments and drivers. For instance, the Borrel & Bites and Happy Apero concepts for on-the-go drinks occasions were accelerated. Both concepts were met with enthusiasm because they responded to the challenges faced by catering professionals and wholesalers at the time.
“It’s nice to have a fresh external perspective; it helps you distance yourself,” reflects Mirjam Mastenbroek of Gran’Oliva Gran’Tapas. “You are right in the middle and think from the point of view of the brand. I really liked the structured approach using different methodologies such as OGSM, SWOT analysis, value proposition and brand key. This helped in taking a step-by-step approach to the circumstances and the customer, what we stand for as a brand and private label, and how to bring this all together. Because this is now clear for us, we are also able to define a sharper briefing for the rebranding process we are currently working on.”