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Wegmans

Wegmans : Product Innovation & Brand Activation


The Ask

Partner with a brand to innovate a new product line.


Situation

When you have a busy schedule fitting in the time to buy groceries, prepare, cook and eat a meal seems impossible.  Sometimes necessity calls for something that is quick and easy. This is why frozen food was created; to be a convenient option to cooking. 

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Idea Vs Reality 

The idea of frozen food checks all the boxes, but the reality is a disappointment. 

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You expect to get the appetizing meal on the front of the package, but what you get instead is food that:

has lost its integrity

has a slightly off taste

has a weird texture

has been manufactured with preservatives and additives

 

 

 
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Fresh VS Frozen

We have a culture that is obsessed with fresh food ,  but frozen food does have its benefits. 

It takes less prep work to make.

It doesn’t go bad as fast as fresh food.

It retains the nutrients within the food for longer.

It creates less food waste.


 

Right now frozen food feels like something we have to eat, but could it be something we want to eat?

 

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How Could

we do frozen food better?

(Survey n= 123)

"If it didn't taste so dried compared to non-frozen food."

" If there was more transparency so it felt less artificial and more like regular food."

"I am hesitant to buy frozen foods, but have no problem when I freeze my own food. "

"If it felt closer to the food I normally eat."

 

Consumer Learning

People have an aversion to “frozen food”, not to food that is frozen. 

 

Consumer Tension

Through the survey we conducted,  we found people have no problem with eating leftover lasagna that they froze themselves.What they had a problem with was food that had been designed to be frozen. Food that doesn’t feel like "real" food. 

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Innovation Strategy:

Create a product line of freshly frozen meals. 

 

Brand partnership

To create this product line we will partner with America’s most loved grocery store, Wegmans. 

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Why Wegmans

 
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Wegmans has seen declining sales of its private label frozen food.

 

The brand is known for providing quality food with no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.

 
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Current customers identify as meal planners who are environmentally conscious .

 
 

How it works

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Chef's Case

Wegmans pioneered the “Groceraunt”. A concept where you don't only sell fresh ingredients, but fresh meals as well.

Chef’s Case is where Wegmans sells freshly prepared, made to order meals, that consumers order at the beginning of their shopping trip and pick up at the end.

 

Made to order meals Meet the freezer

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Chef's Freezer

We will introduce a flash freezer into the Chef’s Case section of Wegmans to take the same freshly prepared meals customers are currently buying and create a made to order frozen option.

Customers will be able to pick an entree and two sides and have it flash frozen on the spot.

 

Why Flash Freezing

Past methods of freezing use liquid nitrogen which tends to degrade the taste and flavor of the food. This process also requires that the food be heavily processed with extra salt and fat to compensate.  

The Rejoice Flash Freezer's method of cold air circulation freezing : 

Evenly freezes food from all sides to prevent degradation in texture and taste at a molecular level.

Maintains the frozen content's original freshness and preserves nutrients.

Has a high thermal conductivity and short freezing time of around 10 minutes.

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This product line won't be your traditional "frozen meals", but will be: 

Creative Concept:

Your food frozen.

 

In-store promotion

To introduce Chef’s Freezer to Wegmans customers, we will have in-store signage and displays. 

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Freezing stays fresh

To reinforce the freshness of our meals, Insulated bags will then be available for consumers to purchase to bring their frozen meals home in.

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Flash Facts

For those who are slow to adopt, we will tote the benefits of flash freezing by printing "flash facts" on all of Wegmans grocery bags.

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Freshly Frozen

A new line of fresh food frozen will also be available in the freezer aisle of Wegmans.

To further emphasize it’s fresh origins, we will create stickers, similar to the one’s displayed on Lush products, that show who froze your food and what time it was frozen.

Out of Store Promotion

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Freeze Lighting

We will then create a flash freezing truck and bring Chef's Freezer’s freezing capabilities on the road to food festivals and farmers markets to further associate our freezing with fresh foods.

 

Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative 

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Freeze One, Feed One

Each day Wegmans throws away food from it’s hot bar and shrinks out the wasted food as a loss.

Instead we will start a "Freeze One, Feed One" social initiative where for every meal frozen that is purchased, Wegmans will donate another frozen meal, that previously would have been thrown out, to local charities.


What I loved about this project:

Innovating around the question " how could we do X better ?"

Understanding how powerful a small distinction like frozen food and food that is frozen can be. 

Creating a social initiative that is not only good for people, but good for business. 


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Team: 

Aaron Mayer - XD

Adrienne Johnson - CBM

Jenn Chau-XD

Lynn Nakamura - AD

Thea Ryan- Copy Writer

* Sorry Adrienne about the photo choice!

We might have all worked really well together, but we didn't take good pictures together.