10 May, 2021
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Andy Wardlaw, Chief Ideas Officer
02 Mar, 2021 | 3 minute read
Just before the world was turned on its head, RE:NOURISH began revolutionizing the soup category with a range of chilled products supporting contemporary health goals. "In 2021, business is booming" says Nicci Clark, the brand’s founder and CEO.
So, what’s so special about this challenger brand?
There’s something about RE:NOURISH that quickly draws you in. Its distinctive identity and elegant simplicity elicits 'efficacious', 'convenient', and 'high-quality' without any need to think.
When the MMR sensory team unpacked the IMMUNITY soup in 2020, they recorded ‘a forceful alignment of brand, pack and product execution that drives home the product benefit through the act of consumption.’ In other words, the user experience is wholly convincing.
And with a threatened population steadily demanding more from their food and drink, I see RE:NOURISH as extremely well placed to broaden its reach in the months ahead – and it is therefore the latest recruit to my Class of 2021.
To get some reaction to my prediction, I caught up with Nicci online for soup and sales talk. “We’ve had the most amazing year! We’ve leapt an incredible 248% [AC Nielsen 52 weeks to 21.02.21) and we’re now Britain’s fastest growing soup brand! That’s not bad considering we’re still absent from the top 4 food retailers.”
What makes this performance even more amazing, is the backdrop of Nielsen’s read for Total Chilled Soup – which is down 3%.
So, what was her inspiration to make some noise in one of most established categories money can buy?
“I set up RE:NOURISH to shake up the soup fixture for a new generation. I wanted to create product that was genuinely healthy, full of goodness and deliciously tasty. Something that felt homemade. My training has been in medicine and nutrition and this helped me identify an opportunity for a functional health proposition.”
And all this was before a global pandemic, which has seen some brands struggle and others accelerate. For Nicci, it’s clearly the latter.
And as we move into the next normal, where the threat from Covid is unlikely to be fully eradicated, building resilience against disease is set to become a daily habit for more of us – with a particular focus on immunity.
“Immunity is breaking out of breakfast and becoming an all-day concern, and we know that people are looking for ways to enhance their bodies defenses. Our IMMUNITY soup is now around 30% of our sales - and we expect further growth as people start to move back into public spaces again.”
This tallies with the latest poll from MMR and Toluna that found that immunity now leads people’s health priorities across the U.K, U.S and China – closely followed by sleep and heart health.
"The pandemic is recalibrating people's relationship with food, with more people realizing that they must take more responsibility for their health"
Reason enough to place this brand into a class of its own.
Each product features what Nicci calls a ‘Souperstar’ – an ingredient directed toward supporting a particular health goal. “For example, kale, which is high in Vitamin C, is the ‘Souperstar’ in our IMMUNITY soup. Ginger takes the title in our DIGEST soup and Passionflower helps with anxiety in our CALM Soup. And all our soups are rich in naturally occurring vitamins and minerals.”
For Nicci, it’s a passionate belief in the power of food, and that ‘you are what you eat.’ “Natural foods have been used for centuries to aid the body, and we’ve brought this philosophy to our range. We’re excited to be launching two new soups in the spring, bringing the total range to eight. One is high in vitamin B1 and fibre and supports heart health and the other features Ashwagandha for more stable mental health.”
“I think people regard soup as an effective way for the body to absorb, nutrient dense foods”, Nicci adds.
RE:NOURISH may come at a premium to some brands of soup, but Nicci is keen to point out that we’re still talking less than the average Starbucks coffee! At the end of the day, it’s about value and Nicci is confident that people will recognise the integrity of her range.
“I feel quite strongly about the food industry and its responsibility to the consumer. We must be careful not to hoodwink people by implying one thing and delivering another.”
“We’ve seen an avalanche of products claiming to boost immunity recently – and the nutritionist in me knows that you cannot ‘boost’ immunity with diet alone. Immunity is the sum of many external and internal factors that contribute to the body’s natural defense against disease. These factors include sleep, diet, exercising, reducing stress.”
“What you can do is support the normal function of the body’s natural defenses.”
“So, how on earth is it that a brand that is high in sugar containing some vitamin C can claim “Immunity” when we know sugar causes inflammation – which is detrimental to the normal function of the immune system?”
This is what I call ‘passion’.
Talking to Nicci, it is clear that this isn’t just about soup. This is about a determination to raise standards across the food industry.
As a self-confessed ‘consumer goods enthusiast’, I am well aware that there are many questionable products out there in terms of nutritional value. Products that have been engineered to meet a price point, perhaps.
RE:NOURISH is not such a brand. And as diet becomes even more important in a world where we're all feeling a little more vulnerable, I feel sure that this is going to be quite a year for Nicci and her team.
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