Heinz: smart sizing to grow the core

Heinz Baked Beans have been a staple of the UK & Australian diet for several generations. In the UK the brand is still the undisputed leader with sales of £847m in 2015. In Australia, they hold a similar iconic position. However, to stay on top there is a need to constantly renovate and refresh the core. Kraft Heinz is doing just with a bold launch of four new can sizes. The bold bit is that they are replacing the ‘Heinz’ brand name with the name of the size. This is an example of smart sizing to grow the core.

Post by David Nichols, Group Managing Partner and global Head of Innovation.

This launch is well integrated with a delightful, animated film about Geoff who just loves his beans and becomes the Heinz Beans Innovation guy. You can read more detail on the Y&R NZ campaign here.

Why is this a good way to grow the core?

  1. Build on a strong insight

  • In this convenience-obsessed world that we market in, there is always room to meet needs better. By focusing on sizing Heinz are addressing wastage and convenience without the expense of moving fully away from the can (just yet). They have used sharp insight into the consumer’s real needs to open up an opportunity to serve people better whilst also reminding them of the brand at times of instant hunger.
  1. Engage your core

  • Just like a good session in the gym, you need to engage your core. Heinz know they need to stay truly relevant with their core consumers, families, and keep them engaged and warm towards the brand. This innovation and communication campaign is clearly focused directly at this core, family consumer.
  1. Win on shelf

  • It’s a very big call to change or remove your brand name even if it is temporary (we assume!). Heinz can pull this off thanks to their distinctive ‘tombstone’ identity. The great benefit is that without any further point of sale materials, the new launch will stand out on shelf. Creating disruption and news at the key moment of truth is a great way to make all the advertising dollars drive sales in-store.

In Summary

Even when you are the undisputed brand leader with a dominant share in the category, you can still create growth. Challenge yourselves to listen harder to consumers, use different techniques to see new things in your category. Explore the full mix for opportunities to add value, not just the product, and make your campaign drive all the way to the shelf.


To get some practical help to grow your core business, you can download our Core Growth Driver toolkit by using the form below. This walks you through the 8 core growth drivers we’ve used on consulting projects and in training for leading companies including Mars, Unilever, Mondelez and AB InBev.

We also offer a short, on-demand course on our brandgym Academy platform here. The course is only £95+VAT and is fully refunded if you go on to take the full Mastering Brand Growth program.

To explore grow the core more, check out this other post.