Looking to build on the success of its Natural Choice line, Hormel Foods has introduced a new logo and packaging, with a supporting campaign that includes extensive print advertising, videos starring actress and author Judy Greer, and social media.
Launched in 2006, Natural Choice was the first nationally distributed line of "all natural" lunch meats: the products contain no preservatives or artificial colors or flavors. And thanks to the increasing demand for "simple," additive-free products, it has continued to be one of Hormel's fastest-growing brands.
The print ads for the new "Make the Natural Choice" campaign, from BBDO, feature surprising headlines, such as "Preservatives are for mummies, not mommies" and "Open wide ... your mouth, not your pocketbook," along with photos of inviting sandwiches and salads made with the meats. The ads are running in parenting, home, health and other magazines.
The three videos — each with 30-second and extended versions now posted on YouTube — consist of vignettes in which Greer informs her whacky aunt (who has taxidermied former pets all over her living room), a woman in labor, and a gathering of oddball nudist artists about the easy, all-natural lunch meat option, Natural Choice.
Known for playing frank-but-likeable best-friend and sidekick roles on shows including "Arrested Development," Greer was "the perfect fit" for the campaign "because we wanted moms to think of the Natural Choice brand as a girlfriend sharing a good piece of lunchmeat gossip, not like an ad telling her what to do,” said Noel Haan, BBDO’s executive creative director.
Natural Choice's new packaging features an earth-tone color palette and a more expansive view of the product inside — research-based changes that consumers perceived as "natural, hip, premium, fresh and simple," according to Hormel.
The company says that it's also expanding the line, which already includes more than a dozen varieties of deli sandwich meats (including Millennial-friendly "bold" flavors like Sriracha Chicken and Black Peppered Bourbon Ham), plus Canadian bacon, Applewood-smoked dinner ham, sausage and other products.
Analysts note that Hormel's product innovations and acquisitions, including expansion of "better for you" offerings, have helped it deliver stable to growing revenue since its fiscal 2010 — including a 6% revenue increase in fiscal 2014 — even as many major food companies have been struggling in the face of younger consumers' rejection of traditional consumable CPGs.