The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and its advisory council on Saturday awarded Big Heart Pet Brands and PepsiCo Inc. with the 2014 CPG Awards for Innovation and Creativity. The awards are given annually to companies that have demonstrated creativity and innovation and that have made a significant impact on the industry knowledge base.
“The CPG Award for Innovation and Creativity embodies the spirit of our industry, which has long relied on ingenuity to drive growth and ensure that we are serving consumers efficiently and effectively,” said GMA President and CEO Pamela G. Bailey. “We are proud to recognize Big Heart Pet Brands and PepsiCo as they continue our industry’s strong tradition of inspired and bold thinking.”
GMA evaluated applications in two manufacturer divisions—those from companies with total sales of less than $3 billion (Division A) and companies with $3 billion or more in sales (Division B).
Big Heart Pet Brands took the Division A award for its successful development and launch of Milk-Bone Brushing Chews.
Citing oral health as the No. 1 healthcare issue for dogs, Big Heart Pet Brands and Milk-Bone set out to dramatically improve dogs’ oral health by transforming the way pet owners think about it. They faced two primary challenges: developing a chew that would be as effective as traditional brushing and reframing oral care for dogs in a way that would motivate pet parents to care for their dogs’ teeth as they do their own.
To guide their efforts, Big Heart Pet Brands formed a dedicated cross-functional team with resources from research and development, consumer insights, marketing, sales, package development and operations, and leveraged 3D prototyping and neurological research testing along the way. The result was Milk-Bone Brushing Chews, a ground-breaking oral care product that earned the Veterinary Oral Health Council’s Seal of Acceptance for retarding tartar accumulation.
Supported with a unique 75-degree twist design, distinctive packaging design and a 360-degree path-to-habit marketing plan, which includes advertising, sampling, shopper marketing, veterinary outreach and more, Milk-Bone Brushing Chews are on pace to be a Top 10 CPG product launch for 2013.
“As a company of pet lovers, we developed Milk-Bone Brushing Chews because we saw a significant problem we thought we could solve—many pet parents do not or cannot brush their dogs’ teeth, which leads to periodontal disease in 80 percent of dogs by age 3,” said Geoff Tanner, Big Heart Pet Brands’ VP of pet snacks. “The project was a natural fit with our promise to provide pet food and snacks—accessible to all—that will help provide long and fulfilling lives for pets and the people who love them. Because we know that healthy and happy pets make all our lives richer. To be recognized with the CPG Award for Innovation and Creativity by our industry peers makes our efforts all the more rewarding.”
PepsiCo earned top honors in Division B for its highly successful “Do Us A Flavor” Lay’s potato chip promotion.
Seeking innovative ways to engage Millennial consumers with a return to Lay’s core brand values of taste and flavor, PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay team imported the “Do Us A Flavor” program that had been successful in other global PepsiCo markets. “Do Us A Flavor” is based on the simple premise of inviting consumers to submit ideas for new flavors of Lay’s potato chips and vote to decide which of the three finalist flavors would remain on shelves. The program focused on inviting millennial consumers to immerse themselves and engage with the brand in new ways.
Guided by consumer insights, PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay team created a robust, three-phased promotion that played to Millennials’ desire for self expression and strong sense of individuality. It leveraged events, celebrity spokespeople and shopper marketing, along with more traditional tactics, to drive consumers to a Facebook-centered social media experience where they could directly engage with the brand. The program generated millions of flavor submissions and Cheesy Garlic Bread potato chips became the latest flavor in the Lay’s portfolio. The program also boosted sales, increased brand penetration among Millennial consumers and generated unprecedented social media engagement.
“For ‘Do Us A Flavor’ to succeed, we knew it had to be guided by deep insights about Millennial consumers,” said Ann Mukherjee, chief marketing officer for PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay division. “Our deep understanding of consumer behavior allowed us to create tools and applications that engaged consumers in innovative new ways. The campaign was an undeniable success for our company, and we are honored to be recognized by our peers for it.”
The awards were presented at the GMA Leadership Forum in Colorado Springs by Greg Smith, global lead partner of KPMG LLP, and chairman of GMA’s advisory council.
In the feature photo above: Geoff Tanner, VP of pet snacks for Big Heart Pet Brands, accepts the GMA award from KPMG’s Greg Smith, chairman of GMA’s advisory council, which sponsors the award.