Harraways is one of New Zealand’s most beloved producers of wholegrain oats. However, due to a highly competitive marketplace the company was looking to differentiate itself, potentially by expanding the brand reach into ‘Premium’ cereals. Research First, on behalf of Harraways, sought to assess the consumer perspectives of Harraways in comparison to competitors, and to determine the level of desirability of the proposed new premium product range, along with reactions to a selection of the proposed packaging designs, communication options and recipe selections in each category.
A qualitative approach to the research was taken in order to gain a depth of understanding of core strengths of the Harraways brand and the potential for brand stretch. The research challenged a number of pre-assumptions as to the market opportunity at hand, and clearly ring-fenced where consumers saw Harraways sitting in the market and where they were prepared to let them play. Expanding into the premium market with new products under the Harraways brand was found to hold limited appeal.
A number of key category insights into purchase and consumption behaviours were also uncovered throughout the research which subsequently informed a different expansion strategy for Harraways.
This research changed the direction of the intended new product development; preventing Harraways from moving into a sector where many had failed, and to focus on an alternative product suited to the lifestyle of the target audience.