The Publication For The Grocery Trade
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Retailers reap the benefit of health aware Green Giant

Newspaper headlines have ensured we are all aware of the latest health issues that we should be seriously concerned with, such as the sharply rising occurrence of obesity among the young - but this has led to nothing but continuing success for Green Giant sweet corn as the brand has always had the health of the nation close to its heart.

With characteristic initiative, and instinct for what its consumers really want Green Giant, marketed by General Mills UK, has not only extended its no salt and no sugar offerings, with the launch of the Naturally Sweet triple pack, but also increased its output of Organic Green Giant.

If this isn't enough the recent hugely popular TV ad campaign used the health-conscious "one of your five a day" strap-line - reminding mums that Green Giant is a great way to give children one of their five servings of fruit or vegetables, especially as sweet corn is one of the vegetables kids actually enjoy eating.

"The message for retailers has to be to tap into the health phenomenon and continue to provide shoppers with products, such as Green Giant sweet corn, that offer taste, versatility, convenience and, most importantly, one of their five a day," said Andy Foweather, Sales Director of General Mills UK.

And it looks as if things will only get better for Green Giant as growing health awareness has - and will continue to be - a key factor behind the retail success of the sweet corn which is already the UK's No 1 canned vegetable brand.

On top of this Green Giant reached new heights recently with 22.5% household penetration, the highest in the last five years1 - it is also growing at 7% annually and is the only sweet corn brand driving value growth in the sweet corn category, and now accounts for 63.4% value share.1

But being at the forefront of healthy eating hasn't caused the brand to lose any of its family fun feel, as the current popular TV advert also features the iconic "Green Giant" character - and to make sure this ad hit home a significant part of this year's 3 million marketing budget was spent on it.

This was money well spent as it meant the brand was on air during the key back-to-school period with the now classic Grow Up ad that features two young boys sitting at a kitchen table discussing the role of food in their lives and the fact that 'you are what you eat.'

"Green Giant sweet corn has a key role in a healthy diet, as part of the recommended five-a-day intake of fruit and vegetables. Added to this, it tastes great and children love it. TV is an ideal vehicle to communicate these messages and highlight the brand's health benefits, product quality and versatility," said General Mills UK Marketing Director, Linda Hipkiss.

She added: "The shift in consumer attitudes over the last couple of years means people - particularly those with children - are more demanding of the products they buy. Consumers today don't simply want foods that are filling or cheap: they want products that are versatile, full of goodness, convenient and help them maintain their healthier lifestyles.

"We've recognised this and are focusing on Green Giant's health credentials in every aspect of our marketing support.

"This supports the advice of the UK Government and health professionals who have identified that a diet rich in fruit and vegetables is beneficial to consumers' health.

Andy Foweather, Sales Director of General Mills UK added: "Green Giant is the only major canned vegetable brand investing above the line - and this underpins its strong sales performance."

Other activities that underline the brand's health credentials include teaming up with Annabel Karmel, the UK's best-selling author on cooking for families. Karmel has created a series of quick and easy recipes to help mums ensure their kids get one of their "five a day" intake. Each recipe has Green Giant sweet corn as a core ingredient - demonstrating sweet corn's versatility.

Recipes include turkey pasta salad with honey and soy dressing, chicken and corn chowder, mini pizzas, corn quesadillas and chicken and corn tacos. The recipes are supported by handy hints from Karmel on how to achieve speedy solutions to everyday challenges.

Source: IRI Grocery Outlets 52 w/e 11th August 2007

All of Karmel's recipes can be found online at www.jollygreengiant.co.uk.

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www.jollygreengiant.co.uk