Conagra & Lextant
Conagra Brands’ portfolio of frozen food brands had become stale – losing sales and relevance as consumers’ tastes shifted to more on trend ingredient profiles and healthier options. The organization’s structure and the processes it was using to create and test products was not translating into meaningful innovation and sales. And, the development cycle was taking too long.
Conagra’s executive team made the bold choice to pursue systemic change. They engaged Lextant in the process and focused on turning around the Healthy Choice brand. The goal was simple: deliver a relevant, compelling brand experience to win in market and, in the process, test a new user-centered experience approach to product development.
The Work – Healthy Choice
Lextant began by developing a deep understanding of consumers’ desired experiences exploring areas around mindful eating, premium experiences, plant based and animal proteins, ingredient profiles, vegetable-only eating and more. Conagra and Lextant used this foundation with customers in participatory research sessions using visual and verbal triggers to co-create the ideal experience framework for the brand.
Actionable Insights Translated To Design
Lextant synthesized the results with proprietary analytics to create a model of the key drivers of the Healthy Choice experience. The team then applied its proprietary Insight Translation process to articulate exactly how the brand needed to look, feel, taste and smell to deliver the consumer’s desired experience. These sensory cues were brought to life in a visual framework so the entire design team was crystal clear on what they need to do to win with the consumer.
Equipped with this precise roadmap for brand revitalization, the Conagra team was able to move innovation forward with focus and pace. All stakeholders were aligned on what it would take to deliver accelerating speed to market.
The culmination of this effort was the launch of Healthy Choice Power Bowls, that built on the brand’s legacy equity with innovation centered on consumer desires for a variety of recipes including plant-based proteins, more recognizable, modern ingredients and flavor profiles, easier to us bowls vs traditional trays and more sustainable packaging. A new brand design completed the process signaling change in the market with significant impact:
- Generating sales increases of over 25% for two consecutive years
- Expanding the market for Healthy Choice brand by appealing to millennials who hand not previously engaged with the brand
- Returning the entire Healthy Choice profile to growth through the halo effect of the new brand experience
Enterprise Impact – A Cultural Shift
The Insight Translation process fueled a cultural shift at Conagra changing the way it approaches product development and design innovation. The process change removed friction points and aligned stakeholders allowing innovation work for other Conagra brans including Marie Callendar’s and Reddi Wip to move forward with focus, pace and ultimately with impact in the market.
Ongoing Impact: Extending Competitive Advantage
The longevity of the insights generated with Lextant set the foundation for future, lean innovation. Conagra has used Lextant’s tools to foster a design culture grounded in rigorous behavioral science and an in-depth understanding of ideal experiences that continues to drive Conagra brands beyond incremental growth toward disruptive change.