Shelf Life: Contemporary nougat from 1701, SA stuck on Stikeez
Cheryl Hunter (shelflife at marklives.com)’s weekly pick of all things new — product, packaging, design, insight, food, décor and more!
- New luxury nougat hampers from 1701
- Stikeez take South Africa by storm
- Hungry Lion brings back Lucky Buckets
Hedonistic pleasure from 1701
A mother and son team have combined traditional Cordon Bleu training, culinary expertise and cooking creativity to create a new luxury nougat recently launched onto the SA market. Nicholas Scher speaks to Shelf Life about his passion for creating the brand that is the 1701 experience.
Nicholas Scher: We recently launched the 1701 brand in Johannesburg through our website and by word of mouth as a honey-nougat business, but decided to expand this offering with 1701 Luxury Hampers.
SL: Where did the idea originate and with whom?
NS: The idea originated with my mother — Lianne Scher, a Cordon Bleu trained chef — and myself, using my BA degree in brand building from the Vega School of Brand Management. Together, we created the 1701 brand and gave it that name because 1701 is the year that nougat was believed to have been founded in the small town of Montelimar in France.
SL: Who designed your packaging, colour palette and logo?
NS: I designed the packaging over a few months. We used a global company to help with the manufacture of our 1701 Honey Nougat boxes, but all of our 1701 Luxury Hamper packaging is locally made and manufactured.
The thinking behind the packaging was to create a look-and-feel that was classy, unique, trendy, sophisticated, and makes our customers excited and interested in the product.
Our goal is hedonistic pleasure and our packaging is based on pastel colours — colours that are easy on the eye, create emotion and at the same time have a classy and sophisticated feel to them.
Our unique logo was developed by local company Thought Capital. We wanted a logo that [stands out and catches] peoples’ attention. We decided that gold [is] the perfect colour choice and it also happen[s] to stand out beautifully against our pistachio-green colour.
The inside of our logo is a honeycomb shape (nougat production using the predominant ingredient, honey). The bottom of the logo plays on the idea of being handmade (grown) and resembles a plant. We have drawn inspiration from Paris for this logo, and our brand in general, as the French are always leaders in confectionery products and cooking in general around the world. Their cooking is filled with love and passion, and so we decided on the tag line for 1701: “Made by Hand the French Way”.
SL: This is not an every-day nougat. Who is your target market?
NS: We are aiming our sales at the high-end luxury market in SA; we want to differentiate ourselves as being the cream of the crop when it comes to confectionery and trend-setting homemade items in SA.
Each nougat box that we sell is a pleasure to give and a delight to receive, as are our list of 25 Luxury Hampers that start at R575 each and go up to R17 000 for our Ralph Lauren and Acqua Di Parma hampers.
So far the response from our customers has been amazing. We have expanded our list of stockists around Joburg significantly and have started supplying Tashas Cafe’s for their special occasions.
Our nougat is one of a kind: We use real ingredients (no powdered egg whites); we also don’t use preservatives or flavouring. Each nougat piece is 100% handmade, cut by hand using a guillotine and hand wrapped.
For the last few weeks, there’s been a new craze on the streets of SA: Stikeez. A set of squishy, squeezy, sticky collectible figures with suction cups that stick to any flat surface. Shoppers are rewarded with a free Stikee for every R150 spent at Pick n Pay stores nationwide. The critics are vocal… but FB swap groups tell another story.
Stikeez have taken SA by storm and not only children are involved. Adults are fascinated by the odd characters and a plethora of Stikeez swap groups have sprung up on Facebook.
Admittedly, parents are being driven nuts by kids constantly demanding to go shopping at Pick n Pay and I’ve heard a few teachers threaten unspeakable acts because of the audible annoyance factor of suction cups being removed every three seconds from all classroom surfaces, but rumours have it that sales at stores have soared.
Yes, they’ve been criticised as a gimmick and very un-green, but, realistically, what are MacDonald’s toys? Kids don’t go there for the food. Just as with every other marketing gimmick, it gets feet through the door and that’s when you have a chance to impress the consumer. Consumers who had perhaps been shopping elsewhere but were pressurised by their children into going to a Pick n Pay may decide they like the service or convenience or savings. And they may return.
There has to be a larger strategy at play here and I’m sure the marketing folk at Pick n Pay are on top of it. Hong Kong manufacturer Zing Toys are suppliers for Stikeez, so it’s not an original marketing idea.
This is just the start of the invasion, according to Pick n Pay, which says it has more surprises up its sleeves to be revealed along the way [oy vey — ed-at-large].
Lucky buckets for Africa
Shoprite Holdings company Hungry Lion’s new Lucky Bucket campaign launched recently with a Harley Davidson pillion ride and a fun stunt, promising South Africans instant prizes in excess of R10m.
Hungry Lion, which was launched in 1997, has seen a rapid growth trajectory and now has a network of more than 180 stores in Africa, with operations in eight African countries. Over the past two years, the brand has undergone major changes to its management, brand, stores and menu in order to achieve its goal of being a first-world quick-service restaurant.
Tashalene Reid, brand marketing manager at Hungry Lion, says: “The three-month campaign, which has been running for just over a week, has proven to us that South Africans love getting more. We have already seen an impressive 568% increase in consumer engagement in comparison to last year’s campaign.”
Reid explains that the objective of the campaign, created by J Walter Thompson (JWT) Cape Town, is to build brand loyalty and get more people to share in the Hungry Lion lifestyle experience. “We will achieve this through multiple touch-points for the duration of the three-month campaign.”
Reid attributes the increase in sales and consumer loyalty to Hungry Lion’s new brand image, refurbished outlets, the brand’s proudly South African heritage and a good product in the form of bigger portions of chicken served up in branded buckets: “Our Pride Bucket has been iconic to our stores for more than 13 years and, this year, our lucky bucket mascot is even cooler.”
The integrated campaign comprises a new TV and radio commercial, digital, PR, on the ground activations, Shoprite in-store activity and a WeChat partnership, which promises to ‘give Mzansi more’.
“Our goal is to provide all communities in Africa with tasty chicken in a first-world environment at competitive prices, whilst staying true to our 100% homegrown SA offering,” she adds.
Hungry Lion currently serves over a 1.5m customers per month across SA and other African countries.
Cheryl Hunter (@cherylhunter) has written for the South African media, marketing and advertising industries for more than 15 years. A former editor of M&M in Independent Newspapers and contributor to Bizcommunity, AdFocus, AdReview and the Ad Annual, she has also produced for various television networks and currently consults on communication strategy and media liaison.
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