Winners 2018/Food Producers Gold

Project: Putting the love back into Lean Cuisine

Client: Nestlé USA

Design: Pearlfisher

Lean Cuisine’s sales were waning at a dramatic rate in the US until a rebrand reversed the trend virtually over night.

With attitudes towards health shifting from calorie counting to nutritional value, Lean Cuisine’s ‘diet’ frozen food was no longer relevant. The brand’s core consumer had dropped 70% by 2014, and Lean Cuisine was in danger of becoming extinct.

Following thorough research, a new brand positioning was developed redefining what Lean Cuisine stands for, with the rebrand focusing on enjoyment and culinary fulfilment. The range was simplified into new health-focused lines and premium feel packaging was designed to reinforce the wellbeing message.

The new look arrived mid-May 2015. Within a week of launch, sales declines slowed; within a month, they stopped. By July, the brand was in growth for the first time in seven years – sales had grown from -20% in April to +15%.

Household penetration increased by 9% post-relaunch and buy rate jumped 8.6%. Such was the success of Lean Cuisine, it also drove an incredible turnaround for the frozen nutritional meals category.