Think about it, in the beverage industry you have Coke and Pepsi on top of the sugary, carbonated side, and then on the juice side you have Minute Maid, Welch’s and Ocean Spray chugging away at the market share. But with a new strategy and direction, V8 is hoping that they can turn things around.
While V8 was among the first brands to offer healthy drinks on grocery store shelves, they lost the brand in recent years when new competitors entered the market with options that seemed fresher, less salty and, cooler. With a sales drop of 16% over the last two years, despite the growing desire for vegetable and healthy juice options, V8 has smartly decided that they need to fix something that is clearly broken.
“We’ve been juicing for more than 80 years.” says president of Campbell’s U.S. Retail, Ed Carolan. That statement forms the nucleus of V8’s new mission. The decision has been made to shift focus from a target that was looking for ways to sneak an extra serving of vegetables into their diet to (in Carolan’s words) “fit and hip explorers” who are actively looking for fresh and healthy additions to their every day regimens of overall health and fitness.
That 16% drop in sales over the last two years has been due, in part, to the growth of the at home and speciality bottled juicing trend. And while V8 has always offered juiced vegetables in their product, the perception of fresh and healthy has faltered with the product stuck in the juice aisle of the grocery store instead of in cooler sections, or with fresh produce as newer brands have done in recent years. V8 has also been seen as too salty, which has gone against the healthy branding that they have strived to be. In order to turn the ship around changes needed to be made.
As part of the new direction being taken by Campbell’s juice brand, three new flavours will be introduced early in 2015. The strength of the names Golden Goodness, Healthy Greens, and Purple Power can be argued, but the point is that V8 is directly attacking the target market where they believe they belong. These new juices are being created and will be marketed to the crowd that wants to juice, but don’t have the time or equipment to do it at home. And they should come to market at a lower price than Starbucks’ line of Evolution Fresh juices that can cost as much as $6. Gaining traction with these more affordable options should assist V8 in reaching their new goals.
Will this new direction and these new products make V8 cool? Maybe not. But, there is a chance that they can help turn the brand around and bring new customers (and increased sales figures) to their 80 year old brand community.