Imag!ne snacks competitive landscape - Annie's & Horizon (Part 1 of 3)
For Horizon Organics, brand activation is a key element in their marketing strategy while Annie's Homegrown isn't as much of one. Annie's Homegrown does more TV advertising than Horizon Organics such as during the Superbowl, has online videos and doesn't appear to be into sampling strategies. Horizon Organics uses social media for its marketing, as well as sampling through Association of Children's Museum. Both company's focus/purpose are promoting healthy and organic foods to American households. Here's a spreadsheet compilation of the information gathered.
Brand activation is a concept where brands reach out and interact with consumers. Annie's Homegrown uses it to an extent by doing online videos and planning TV adverts around special times of the year. Horizon Organics uses it extensively by having social media for advertising and having sampling campaigns in partnership with kid-related entities like the Association of Children's Museums. Both say their purpose is to promote and supply healthy, organic food to the US.
Annie's uses a play on word to describe their mission; "We are on a mission to make Organic for Everybunny " and at the bottom of the page go into further detail; "Our mission is to cultivate a healthier and happier world by spreading goodness through nourishing foods, honest words and conduct that is considerate and forever kind to the planet." This relates to the kids snack place and you will see in this link that there is consideration on what children eat.
In 2017 Annie's invested in a made-for-TV commercial to authentically tell its story. This was the first time the company had done advertising; "Designed by the creative agency Bellshop, the spot is a quirky, brightly illustrated animation that communicates Annie’s commitment to craft kid-friendly options without the added sugar, artificial flavors or synthetic ingredients.
“Thirty years ago, kids ate what was yummy and moms didn't say no," says the narrator, over depictions of dancing macaroni and cookies. “Then, parents got curious about what was inside, and away those foods went, with fake flavors and dyes. That’s when Annie’s stepped in.”
The spot concludes with a watering can cleaning the artificial colors off of happy-looking pasta. “Each illustration, each character is a product of the same care that goes into every product we make and the wonder that underpins our mission to make the world a better place"
In an effort to capitalize on e-commerce and reach millennial parents with kids in the household that are 12 years and younger Annie's created a "Your House. You Snacks' social media campaign including a series of 15 second videos, photography and social creativity to "demonstrate the many reasons why kids shouldn't be picking their own snacks." This also appeals to adults through its style and information.
In 2017, Annie's partnered with the NFL in advertising timelines with an event close to the Superbowl: "inspired by Animal Planet’s annual Puppy Bowl—and celebrating Bernie, the long-eared Annie’s mascot whose image graces its merchandise, Annie's homegrown staged its first ever Bunny Bowl".
Overall, Annie's Homegrown doesn't do as much brand activating as Horizon Organics. It only does relatively passive videos and otherwise resorts to the TV advertisement format. It targets both kids and parents with its marketing.
It's mission statement is rather similar to Annie's, "More than 20 years ago, our founders helped pioneer the organic dairy movement and became the first company to supply organic milk nationwide. We realized early on the responsibility that comes with producing food for America’s families, and our commitment to the organic movement and values like health, community and environmental stewardship has never wavered". It goes on to say, "The company's focus is on providing American households with organic dairy products in an effort to "pave the way to a healthy planet for all"".
The company had just launched a kid's snack line called Horizon Organic Good & Go! in 2017. We were unable to find any advertising for Horizon Organics kids snacks anywhere reached by the common consumer. This is due to the extensive use of social media instead of common advertising.
This is Horizon Organic's twitter page. Here you will see there is a social media campaign using the hashtag HorizonSayCheese and features pictures of young kids snacking on Horizon snacks. This is geared towards both parents and kids as kids are the ones who get to eat the snack and pose; parents are the ones who get the chance to share their kids enjoying Horizon snacks
As part of a back to school initiative in 2016 "The Association of Children’s Museums (ACM) announced a national partnership with Horizon Organic to celebrate the start of the school year with new products for families. This August, Horizon Organic will offer free sampling at children’s museums across the U.S. during events celebrating the end of summer." ; "Horizon Organic’s sample offerings will include Smiling Strawberry and Bunches O’ Berries Fruit Snacks and Organic Milk Boxes. Horizon Organic offers a variety of tasty lunchbox options made with organic ingredients, such as Organic Cheese Sandwich Crackers, Cinnamon Snack Grahams, Organic Mozzarella Sticks, and Organic Apple Fruit Crunchers that complement its milk and dairy offerings. Sampling will be offered at three ACM Member Museums:" This activates the brand by being associated with learning and other positive aspects for a wholesome childhood, while also familiarizing potential consumers with their product.
In terms of brand activation strategies, Horizon Organics has the upper-hand to Annie's Homegrown. This is due to their social media use, choice in partnerships and the use of sampling strategies. Annie's Homegrown is creative with their marketing, but it remains mostly in the realm of the TV, with little sampling campaigns. We hope this information is helpful to your goals.