Entering a new product category successfully

Anna Raventós

The challenge: enter the children’s cereal category

The following is a use case based on the actual facts of one of our clients, which will help you get an idea of the usefulness of our smart insights platform. Find out how to enter a new product category successfully with our real case study.

usage and attitude research guide

We place the utmost importance on our client’s privacy and confidentiality, therefore we won’t be disclosing their identity.

A premium formula milk brand in the child nutrition category, part of an international dairy product producer that leads the market with more than 70% of the market share decides to enter the children’s cereal category to offer its consumers a complete portfolio.

It’s also considered one of the brands most present in consumers’ minds, with 80% of Top of Mind, and is in such a consolidated state of growth that its Directive Committee decides it’s the perfect time to enter a new category.


The brand’s objective is to go from simply being formula milk to being considered a global benchmark in child nutrition, with a range of products that cover all the child’s growth stages and needs.

The leading brand in the children’s cereal category started out several decades ago and is part of a global company that finds itself very well positioned. If the brand wants to enter the category competitively and reach a relevant position, it must overcome the challenge of creating a different and unique value proposition.

The process

1. Market analysis

The brand’s target audience has always been mothers, therefore it carries out tracking of consumer habits inside the children’s cereal category over a 3-month period to understand:

  • The value attributed by mothers to children cereals as part of their babies’ diets
  • How they include them in their diets
  • What are the preferred feeding times are
  • With what other foods complement them
  • Who advises them to introduce this food into their babies’ diets
Examples of consumer behavior questions included in the study
  • Do you recognize these two products?
  • Do you consider both of them to be part of the same food category?
  • Taking into account the brand’s reputation, do you trust it launching a new product inside a new category?
  • Would you be willing to buy it?
  • Would you consider replacing your current cereal brand with this one?


The results surprise and impact the brand: the category leader has been in it for so many years, hardly without any competition, that its brand name has gone on to name the whole category.

95% of consumers don’t know that they are buying children’s cereals and think that the competitor’s brand is the actual name of the product.

This entails an added difficulty for the brand to position itself, as it will have to compete against an absolute reference of the category it wants to enter.

2. Name and packaging tests

The brand tests several naming options for its new product, even including one with the name of the brand followed by that of the category leader.

Additionally, in order to get mothers to link the product to the category and choose the best name, another study is launched including packaging options with images of the baby accompanied by the cereals and other ingredients of the product.


There’s a clear winner, 75% choose the name of the brand followed by the category

3. Measuring purchase intent

To find out whether mothers would be willing to purchase a product similar to that of the category leader, a study is launched that places the new product next to the leaders, to see if they see them as equal.


Results show that 80% are willing to buy it and 35% would consider changing brands.

Consumers  trust the brand because in every category it’s positioned as a market leader, helping them trust it. They know that if it launches a new product it’s because it believes in its capacity to provide value to the category and add a differential element until now is non-existent. 

4. Communication plan

A communication plan focused on explaining the importance of cereals as the baby’s first food is created, as well as the long-term benefits, both physical and cognitive.

The brand also collaborates with nutrition experts that validate their statements, thus increasing the trust that mothers place in the product from day one.

Before launch, several pretests are carried out to find the most relevant content to include in the communication, regarding both copy and artwork, for all the ad pieces of the campaign. 

5. Brand awareness tracking

During the 6 months following the launch, the brand continues tracking Brand Awareness of the new product category. Results show that consumers are, day by day, more aware of how important cereals are in their babies’ diets during their first years of life.

Overall results

The study’s results give the brand the green light to launch the product.

Market Share

During the first semester of the product launch, it obtains a 30% of the market share is great thanks to the fantastic growth of the children’s cereal category, a direct consequence of the educational campaign launched by the brand.

Consumers have begun to learn about the category’s existence and its relevance to their everyday lives, which in turn increases the brand’s Brand Awareness levels as well.

Brand Awareness

Thanks to these efforts centered on informing consumers about the category as a whole, the brand manages to increase the category’s Brand Awareness from 23% to 55%.

Additionally, it gets 55% of Top of Mind’s, very high Brand Awareness figures considering it had entered a completely monopolized market by the category leader. The brand manages to enter a new category, diversifying its portfolio and turning into a global reference in children’s nutrition.

How about you? Have you ever faced a challenge like this? Have you got all the tools at your disposal to determine the best way to create or enter a new product category?

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