Viewpoints on Innovation

Strategic Brief: Three Wisdoms of Pop-Tarts

Strategy Consumer Goods

Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts® have grown sales every year for 32 years. Pop-Tarts' innovation results took time to build and investment to sustain; however, results have lasted through seven stock market crashes and three recessions. Kellogg's grew sales over time by keeping true to three wisdoms of innovation:

  1. Understand the Value in Pop-Tarts. The customer benefits of Pop-Tarts include tastiness and convenience. They can be eaten without dirtying hands or smelling of eggs. The average American now spends just six minutes preparing breakfast, and Pop-Tarts support this reality. By understanding the value in Pop-Tarts, Kellog's was able to expand uses without alienating the core customer. Periodic brand audits help avoid strategy and innovation missteps.
  2. Customer Lifecycle Marketing Strategy. Kellogg's markets Pop-Tarts to the young consumer - teens and young adults - through concert events and social media. They keep a pulse on adult flavor trends. Perhaps most importantly, Pop-Tarts do not market directly to children, which allows them some safety from health organizations. 
  3. Complete Innovation Strategy with Metrics. Although Pop-Tarts have their core products, they have an innovation strategy enabled by technology. The strategy focuses on improving sales by keeping customer interest high. They keep a close eye on sales and have been known to change production output or re-introduce high-selling flavors based on market data. They use past data to improve future performance, and have seen a 3.9% growth rate in sales over the last year.


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Originally published on September 18th, 2014

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Topics: american, breakfast, food, innovation, Innovation Strategy, strategic brief, strategic briefs, strategy

About the Author

Rein Singfield

Rein Singfield

Rein is a Senior Consultant at Kalypso
More Viewpoints by Rein Singfield

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