Navigating the sugar issue
Following a lack of investment from previous owners and resulting falling sales, Halo Foods, owner of Honey Monster, engaged Finn to re-launch Sugar Puffs cereal as Honey Monster Puffs. The brief was to show retailers that Halo Foods was investing in the brand to help generate listings, and to improve brand visibility in order to drive awareness and sales. It was also critical that we address the brand’s anticipated corporate reputation challenges to position the cereal as a responsible option with an active sugar reduction programme in place.
The cereal rebranding and reformulation occurred at a time when sugar was under the public, political and media spotlight, with the most scrutiny falling on breakfast cereals. This meant that sensitivity to corporate and brand reputation had to underpin all consumer and trade activity. Sugar Puffs’ sugar content had been steadily reduced over the past decade but this had not been communicated to consumers or trade. As a result, the product was often cited as one of the worst offenders for cereal sugar levels, leading to negative media coverage and sales decline. The opportunity was to position the cereal as a responsible option with an active sugar reduction programme in place.
The PR campaign tackled public concerns head on, positioning the brand as taking a responsible approach to health and nutrition. As well as communicating a reduction in the sugar content of Honey Monster Puffs, Finn’s re-launch strategy focused on promoting the importance of a healthy, balanced lifestyle for children and the need for food companies to provide transparent nutritional information to allow parents to make informed choices. Finn worked with Halo to develop an influencer and media engagement programme to help achieve brand positioning. Traffic light nutritionals were added to front-of-pack, making the brand one of the first cereals to take this step. Finn also developed an issues management plan along with messaging and media training for the Halo executive team, stress-testing the strategy ahead of launch.
Finn worked as a true partner with us to navigate an extremely challenging situation. They helped us make sure that we were genuinely taking responsibility for helping parents make the right breakfast choices. Not only did Finn help us successfully re-launch the product, with the excitement around the rebrand translating to improved brand performance but they also achieved what we would never have thought possible in such a short space of time – convincing our harshest critics that we are an example of a brand doing good things in sugar reduction.
Honey Monster Puffs’ reputation has been transformed to the point that campaign group, Action on Sugar, cited the cereal as an example of a brand leading the way on sugar reduction without compromising taste, saying, ‘If a product like this can do it, others can.’
Widespread national, trade and social media coverage across The Times, Metro, MailOnline, Daily Mirror, The Grocer, OK! Magazine, Chat, The People and broadcast via Loose Women, positioning the brand as taking a forward-thinking approach to sugar reduction
Have a project in mind?
Whatever your PR problem, we have the bespoke team to solve it.