Blount Fine Foods
Mar03

NEWSCLIP: Grocery Headquarters Talks Shop with Bob Sewall

"Bob Sewall, executive vice president of sales and marketing at Blount Fine Foods, says quality is driving ready-to-eat soup sales."

Bob Sewall, EVP of Sales & Marketing at Blount Fine Foods

What is driving sales in the ready-to-eat soup category? 

Bob Sewall: As the market leader in fresh retail soups, we are quite pleased to say that quality drives sales more than anything else. I am proud of this because I believe we set a very high bar when we began to create this category 15 years ago. Since that time, the quality of fresh soups available at retail has just continued to improve. Today, we are at a point where a consumer can walk into a grocery store anywhere in the country and get a restaurant-quality soup.

In the last year or so, we are seeing consumer focus turn to the ingredient label in search of not only delicious soups, but soups made with wholesome, simple ingredients. This has expanded our advantage in the marketplace not only with our licensed brands, but also with our expansive private label portfolio, and now with our Blount Organics brand.

What is new with the Blount Organics brand?

At last year’s IDDBA show, we announced the national launch of a full line of Blount-branded premium organic soups created to meet the demand for authentic, certified organic foods by an ever-growing segment of the marketplace. Up to this point we had only dipped our toes into the marketplace with our own brand. Based on all that we have learned, and the trust we have built with retailers, we realized the time had arrived to go all-in. 

The rollout comes after more than two years of testing, development and innovation of organic soup recipes, including ingredient sourcing and handling, as well as consumer packaging and marketing.

For the last two years, our team of chefs has been working with restaurant chefs to refine our true-to-nature, delicious handcrafted organic recipes; improving our sourcing and collaboration with certified organic farmers; and testing and studying consumer attitudes, tastes and desires as they relate to premium organic soups.

Why is now the right time for the Blount Organics brand?

As the popularity of prepared foods has exploded at retail, we have seen the call for organics to be part of the solution grow from a murmur to a rumble to a roar.  

Our consumer marketing strategy up until now has been to use licensing agreements to sell retail soups under well-known and respected brands consumers seek out, and to be the manufacturer of choice for many of the country’s most successful private label soup programs. Now, both will only be enhanced by our entering of the Blount brand into the marketplace.

With this launch, we are introducing a third option, the brand restaurant chefs have loved and trusted for decades, a brand retailers rely on for their hot-to-go business and a brand consumers will quickly come to understand gives them more.

What will the support of the Blount Organics brand look like in the marketplace?

The line will launch with both trade and consumer promotional campaigns, the latter being a first for Blount. The retail trade campaign kicks off this month with online and print advertisements as well as direct response marketing targeting buyers of fresh prepared foods. 

To maximize their success in store, retailers will have access to a catalog of in-store collateral support that includes digital files for video screens and social media, floor signage and menu boards, tabletop soup ID cards for cross-promoting at the hot-to-go bar in the prepared foods section, channel strips, shelf-talkers and floor graphics.

A fully integrated consumer campaign kicks off in September, just as the days get colder and shorter, and soup season kicks into high gear.     

See the original story here.