Buitoni approached Vivaldi Partners in 2005 suffering from low awareness among US consumers. The chilled pasta was hard to find in the refrigerated section of the supermarket, it was more expensive and seemed more complicated to cook than dry pasta, and the low-carb craze of the early 2000s certainly wasn’t helping growth. The 150-year-old Italian food brand needed to rethink its strategy for the US market.
Buitoni partnered with Vivaldi Partners to relaunch the brand with a new growth strategy and in-store merchandising for the US – one that would draw shoppers to the display in the store and forge a quick connection at the shelf.
Vivaldi got us to stretch Buitoni out of the current footprint by seeing the potential of what the brand could be, and identified the path through which to get there. What I liked about working with Vivaldi is that Vivaldi kept us honest, kept us on time, and kept us focused on the end game.Brigid Gilmore, Director of Marketing, Nestlé USA
Insights on Appetites
To carve out a meaningful space for Buitoni, the Vivaldi team reframed the opportunity beyond pasta to ‘all meals to linger over’. We undertook a rigorous brand assessment and conducted consumer shop-alongs and in-home research to examine the consumer demand landscape and explore how the simple authenticity of Buitoni products could improve daily life.
Employing our proprietary ConsumerFirst methodology, we studied the daily habits and routines of consumers to give us a deeper understanding of how Buitoni could better fit their daily life contexts. While Vivaldi’s research revealed that most consumers related to Buitoni’s Italian heritage, most weren’t aware of the benefits of Buitoni’s products, such as why fresh pasta is superior to dry.
Parents are placing greater emphasis than ever before on feeding their families healthy meals – we needed to communicate that Buitoni was a convenient, nutritious solution for busy families who still want to enjoy dinner together. Our in-store strategy helped to do just that.David Tran, Engagement Manager, Vivaldi Partners
The Joy of Good Food
Vivaldi developed and tested five possible brand positioning concepts, finally settling on “The Joy of Good Food,” comprising four key dimensions: passion for great tasting food; carefully chosen ingredients; fresh tasting and succulent dishes; and elegantly simple but bold flavors. The positioning was extended to the demand opportunities identified in our research to create three distinct growth platforms, with new products, packaging and innovations tiered along 3 horizons to build the brand frachise over time.
Vivaldi’s ConsumerFirst research had also uncovered a strong appetite for more authentic Mediterranean cuisine and healthy, yet delicious, foods. While consumers demonstrated a clear preference for healthy meals, time-crunched households struggled to find the time necessary to plan nutritious convivial dinners. By applying those insights to the brand positioning, Vivaldi created a fresh merchandising concept – “Come to the Table.”
Based around the idea that busy moms and dads are pressed for time but still want to have sit-down family dinners, “Come to the Table” invites consumers to gather around the Buitoni table – a place to share ideas about food and life around it. This was sampled across major US food retailers with great success.
As a direct result of Vivaldi’s work, Buitoni’s US revenue grew three-fold in just five years.
Der Experte/ Die Expertin
Chief Marketing Officer