Grilling-up Growth for a New Brand in a Highly Commoditized Food Segment
Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation (PPC) is a publicly traded American multinational food company, presently one of the largest chicken producers in the United States. The company operates on a vertical integration model, having its own divisions for every stage of the process, from “egg to table.” Historically, PPC’s primary revenue source was business-to-business sales of fresh poultry products to Kentucky Fried Chicken, Wendy’s, Walmart, Publix, and Costco. However, this segment experienced a continuous decline in profitability over the years due to intense competition driving down prices.
In late 2016, PPC made a strategic move into the branded poultry segment through the acquisition of Gold’n Plump. Subsequently, they introduced their own premium brand, Just BARE, in an effort to restore profit margins.
The primary challenge for PPC was to successfully launch Just BARE in a highly competitive and commoditized food category, dominated by established players like Tyson and Perdue, with deeply entrenched brand-loyal consumers. A secondary challenge involved convincing skeptics within the PPC organization that expanding into consumer-facing brands would be beneficial for the company’s bottom line.
To address these challenges, we developed a comprehensive advertising strategy, encompassing everything from TV campaigns to shopper marketing tactics and all intermediary steps. Their approach was straightforward: align advertising efforts with the retail salesforce responsible for promoting the Just BARE brand with key retailers such as Publix, Stop & Shop, Costco, and others. As time passed, they expanded their advertising footprint across multiple retail chains, transitioning from a regional to a national presence.