Posted by Will Butterworth on May 31, 2011
This weekend a few sport-loving Engineers made the trip up to Manchester to watch John Mousinho, son of our Joint Managing Director Katy Mousinho, play in the League 2 Play-Off final for Stevenage Borough FC vs. Torquay United FC. Despite the horrendous traffic on the M6 we all made it in time to see a Stevenage victory, made even sweeter by John scoring the only goal of the game in the famous Stretford End at Old Trafford.
Having only secured promotion to League Football last year the prize at stake for Stevenage Borough was promotion into Football League One, a new challenge which begins in August. Congratulations to John and the Stevenage team from a very proud Katy and everybody at The Value Engineers.
Posted by Paula Coutts on May 30, 2011
A recent study in The Journal of Consumer Affairs has shown that health warning labels on food are more effective in reducing consumption of unhealthy foods than a fat tax. This seems to be because a moderate tax increase doesn’t make a big enough price increase to deter many consumers. In some cases a fat tax can even have unintended consequences, encouraging more bulk buying of unhealthy products to make savings to offset the tax. The health warnings resulted in a reduction in consumption even in the group with largest BMI.
In the future will we see a picture of a muffin top on our muffins?
Posted by The Value Engineers on May 27, 2011
Last week we celebrated the 25th anniversary of TVE’s first ever day of trading.
Colleagues and friends of the business got together at The Front Line Club in Paddington to celebrate a quarter-century of The Value Engineers.
Speeches were made by our founders, Paul Walton and Graham Harding and our joint managing director, Richard Oldham.
We would like to extend our sincere thanks to Elaine Dayan, our founder who could not be with us, for her role in creating The Value Engineers and her continued support throughout the past 25 years. Thank you, Elaine.
Our thanks also to Jossie Clayton and Will Butterworth for organising such a fantastic event.
Posted by Catherine Little on May 25, 2011
We woke up this morning to the news that Marmite has been banned in Denmark.
The offending spread now joins the ranks of Horlicks, Ovaltine and Farley’s Rusks – all products considered by the Danish health authorities as threats to public health.
The loss of a European market with the potential for others bound by EU legislation to follow suit will be of serious concern for Marmite. And perhaps even more dangerously, this is a very public attack on the health credentials of the product at a time when consumers are becoming increasingly conscious of what they eat.
But, what’s the silver lining for Marmite?
The high publicity ban and the protest already gathering amongst tweeters and the media is a fantastic (and free) confirmation of the cornerstone of the Marmite brand: you either love it, or you hate it. As a means of reconfirming brand identity and consolidating support amongst the core marmite “lovers”, this is second-to-none.
And presumably, it is not the Marmite brand that has been banned by Danish health officials. It is the product itself. No doubt we will soon see a new, lighter version of Marmite hit the shelves in Denmark, and perhaps even elsewhere. In the meantime, Marmite will retain its brand presence in Denmark through its non-spread lines. Looking further beyond Denmark, it’s a question of turning the publicity on its head and harnessing the interest for the good of the brand.
We’ll be watching to see what Marmite do next.
Posted by The Value Engineers on May 25, 2011
In celebration of our 25 year anniversary, we asked some of our earliest clients to cast their minds back to their “first time” working with The Value Engineers. Here, Kees Van Der Graaf recalls the development of the fruity ice cream phenomenon, Boomy.
In 1988 the Unilever Ice Cream Researchers developed a great new technology. It was now possible to create an ice cream which could be truly 3 dimensional, with no need for any symmetries. It was basically an application of the injection molding technology from the plastics industry. The only thing that needed to happen was to find a product for which this technology could be the long awaited technical solution.
It was a perfect example of a total disconnect between research and marketing. Marketing had to dream up a concept using this unique and patented process. At the time I was Marketing Director of the Spanish ice cream business. We were known for our creativity, and got the task to launch a great concept exploiting the technical possibilities. As I worked with the Value Engineers in my Walls Meat days I called Paul Walton and shouted “help”. Paul and team did not need a lot of convincing to come to Barcelona to work on this mission Impossible. As we all know no bridge is too high for Paul.
After some initial briefing sessions, including a visit to Unilever Research, TVE came up with some great ideas, of which the one with 3 different fruits on a stick tested very well (see photo). The concept was further developed into a very strong complete marketing mix. Boomy was the name of a fruit eating monster, who would do anything to get his portion of this fruit ice cream. The target audience was young children. Boomy was reasonably priced. A cartoon character, lovely comics and a funny TVC supported the launch.
The launch went very well.
Too well. Unilever’s central marketing resources took over the international roll out, and started to tweak the concept without involving The Value Engineers or the Spanish company. The price went up, the positioning was extended to all ice cream consumers, and by doing so they ruined the concept. A great pity, that this piece of brilliant marketing was never given the chance to conquer the market.