Case Study: National Consumer Launch
With new market research, advanced manufacturing methods, and no small amount of soul-searching, the Sauce Division of Lipton Consumer Foods, Englewood Cliffs, NJ decided to bring a premium pasta sauce to market that would be sold at the supermarket level. Named Five Brothers™ (the name Four Brothers was already taken), the new sauce was to compete directly with the premium segment leader, Classico. Unilever, Lipton’s progenitor, “owned” the pasta sauce category with its popular Ragú brand. Plus, they were one of the world’s leading tomato growers. Then, there was news in the Fresh-Pack® manufacturing method whereby tomatoes could be harvested, cooked and jarred in less than 24-hours. Of course they had their hard-driving public relations agency to tell the Five Brothers story. The timing was right. The bigwigs said yes, and off to a saucy adventure they went.
The staff at Bambe Levine Public Relations knew what to do: The launch would be set for fall when Five Brothers would make its bow. World-class chef Roberto Donna would make a great Italian press luncheon that would be held at the former James Beard House in Greenwich Village as Beard is called the “Father of American Cuisine.” Then came down that Barilla Pasta was introducing a new sauce line. Humm! Nothing like a little competition to get the juices going… The race was on for whom will rule the dinner plates of America.
Market research showed a family scenario of five Italian brothers who worked together in the hot Tuscan fields. Their sister would soon be married and the mamma ruled the kitchen. This so-called family legend gave consumers a real sense of a genuine Tuscan family life where fresh ingredients played an important role in the food that was prepared each day.
Then again, the fresh-pack processing and jarring the sauce in less than 24-hours was real news, not only to the food trade, but especially to the consumer. “Freshness in a jar” had real meaning, with the word fresh written on every label.
Food and life-style editors gathered at a press luncheon that was a feast.
A glossy Five Brothers cook-book, A Year of Tuscan Cooking, was published with a forward written by famed LA restaurateur Piero Selvaggio. We put it on QVC where it immediately sold out. We started a culinary club and sent out recipes to over half a million friends of Lipton, worked the press with recipe booklets, made personal appearances on the Food Network, created ideas for women’s magazines, and heard that Five Brothers was the one sauce used by editors in their test kitchens.
Five Brothers was no doubt the best new sauce on the market. Not only do the sauces represent “freshness in a jar,” they beat every taste test done at that time.
Today, Five Brothers can be found on supermarket shelves under the Bertoli, Five Brothers name (Lipton).
There are some foods we know we can always count on… Heinz 57 Ketchup, Hellman’s Mayonnaise, and Bertoli-Five Brothers Sauces. Veramente Delizioso! (Truly Delicious!)