Spend more time on better, not cheaper, says Sealord

4 October 2016

New Zealand FMCG companies need to spend more time doing better, not cheaper, and focusing around innovation and premiumisation, says Sealord Group General Manager NZ Stuart Yorston.

In a NZ Food and Grocery Council video interview on sustainability through innovation he says many businesses spend a lot of time and resource to get new products to the shelf “but you can see that the majority of these aren’t successful and they fail to make an impression with consumers.

“I think we need to spend more time doing better, not cheaper, and focusing around our innovation and premiumisation and how do we add value to consumers. We’ve seen it in multiple categories where there’s an added value – if you look at ice cream and chocolate, for example. However, even with the stable non-treat category it’s possible to add value.”

He points to Sealord’s new premium range within its ambient tuna category. “It’s changed the way consumers buy – it’s the unique flavours that they can’t get anywhere else, and it’s added real value to the consumer and our customer through premiumisation in what is a relatively stable category.”

He says it’s about thinking about innovation all the way through the value chain, “and about where can I make differences or changes that are going to make a benefit to our consumer.

“There’s a lot of work to be done across the industry around making sure our innovation is well targeted, well understood by consumers, and drives value for not only the businesses but for our customers as well.”

Stuart Yorston also details a unique new method of catching fish, developed with the Government and two other companies, that will benefit the whole ecosystem.

FGC Chief Executive Katherine Rich says Sealord has shown that thinking outside the square can help to introduce new consumers to a regular product category.

“It doesn’t matter what the category is, using innovative approaches to give consumers new reasons to try a product can drive growth in local and export markets.”

View the Stuart Yorston interview here