Alameda, California (EastBayDaily) — Musco Family Olive Co. is shaking up the olive category, with an assist from the innovation consultants at GameChanger Products. Thanks to in-store testing conducted in GameChanger's Retail Lab, Musco has found retail success with Pearls Olives to Go!, a portable, no-mess snack pack that's creating a new generation of olive lovers and fueling retail sales.
Musco developed a new technology that allows olives to stay fresh without being submerged in brine, as canned and jarred olives are traditionally packed. Pearls Olives to Go! black ripe California olives are packaging in liquid-free, single- serve snack cups that are convenient for lunches, car trips and other on-the-go occasions. Musco came to GameChanger for insights on how to best market this groundbreaking packaging and find a new audience within an otherwise mature product category.
GameChanger tested Pearls Olives to Go! in its Retail Labâ¢ testing program at selected Stop & Shop grocery stores in Massachusetts. Using live sales of the product, Musco was able to identify the optimal shelf placement, pricing, flavor lineup and marketing plan for the new line. The test also provided a full set of sales data, giving Musco the ability to understand the national potential for the line. Based on the strong test results documented by GameChanger, including positive responses from children, Musco was able to confidently invest in production and distribution.
Following the test, Stop & Shop expanded distribution of Pearls Olives to Go! to all of its more than 375 stores. In the past four months, Pearls Olives to Go! has penetrated 60% of the U.S. market, with a broader national expansion planned within the year.
“We always thought this was a big idea, but we weren’t sure how or where to merchandise it in stores,” said Felix Musco, owner and CEO of Musco Family Olive Co. “We’re delighted we did the test and are very pleased with the results. GameChanger helped us find the right mix of marketing, message and location to reach an entirely new audience.”
GameChanger's Retail Lab allowed Musco to test placement in four different supermarket sections, including the produce and chips aisles. To everyone's surprise, sales were strongest in the olive section.
Through the Retail Lab, Musco was also able to test five different marketing tactics aimed at generating awareness and trial. The tactics included in-store promotions, as well as online marketing and sampling. GameChanger’s modeling of results allowed Musco to calculate the relative payout rates on each activity. As a result, the company is focusing on two tactics during launch, most notably an in-store freestanding shipper display program.
“Our Retail Lab is an ideal test bed for products like Pearls Olives to Go! because companies get to see how they are selling in a live store setting, not just based on consumer panel feedback,” said Larry Popelka, CEO of GameChanger. “We’re proud to be part of the ongoing success story of this long-time family business.”
About Musco Family Olive Co. Musco Family Olive Co., a third-generation privately held family business, is the leading branded retail supplier of table olives in America. The company’s Pearls® and Early California® brands command over half of the total national branded market share of black ripe olives. Pearls and Early California brand olives are available at supermarkets and grocers nationwide. A convenient store finder is located at http://www.olives.com/finder.html .
Musco is a leader in environmental sustainability, with a unique closed-loop water recycling program, a waste program that diverts over 95% of the company’s waste from landfill into beneficial reuse or institutional recycling, a patented forage system that actively removes salt from the soil, and an award-winning renewable energy wastewater system (RENEWSâ¢) that makes Musco one of the cleanest burning biomass plants in California, if not the nation. For more information, go to http://www.olives.com or join the Facebook community at http://www.facebook.com/PearlsOlives.
About GameChanger Products GameChanger Products, LLC is a new product development, testing and research company based in Alameda, Calif. GameChanger’s tools, like its Retail Lab testing program, focus on helping companies get real-world learning about their products to generate better innovation. For more information, please visit http://www.gamechanger.net.