Marketing Strategy

How can HAK achieve growth within the canned vegetable category?

HAK wants to grow further within the canned vegetable category. But how do you do that when you already have a strong position within the category and the shelf is full? By optimally matching the assortment to the needs and behavior of your (potential) customers.


A strategic category framework

HAK came to Blauw with the request to develop a strategic category framework that could serve as a starting point for the category and marketing plan. The strategic framework had to provide insight into how HAK's various propositions connect to the cooking habits and needs of different target groups. Who uses which proposition at what time from what need?

At the start of the issue, it was clear that the model needed to provide insight into consumers' differentiating choice factors. What makes someone use proposition X versus Y when cooking. We were not yet sure what the differentiating factors were, although we had ideas about this.


Understanding the cooking habits and needs of Dutch consumers

In consultation with HAK, it was decided that in order to arrive at the framework, an understanding of consumer cooking habits and needs was needed.

  • What does the evening meal look like on weekdays and weekends?
  • What solutions do people use when cooking them?
  • Why exactly do they choose those solutions?
  • To what extent does it vary by target group and/or by time?


Understanding context through community research

We started a qualitative exploration in our Blauw Community. The community has a group of about 400 active members. On the basis of 6 assignments, we entered into a conversation with a selection of them for 1.5 weeks about their cooking habits and the choices they make. During this period we were in close contact with HAK to discuss which insights were interesting to find further depth on.

The advantage of community research is that members use storytelling and images to convey and clarify their opinions and experiences. This provides rich insight into the context in which choices are made and products are used. This context was essential to better understand the results from the subsequent quantitative phase.

Understanding the difference between target groups through quantitative research

To arrive at the strategic category framework, it was important to gain insight into the extent of some behaviors and needs and the differences between target groups. We gained this insight by submitting an online questionnaire to n=1000 Dutch people.

The questionnaire was divided into three parts:

  • Who is the consumer?
  • What dish does one eat at what time and how is it made?
  • How is HAK's assortment evaluated?


All insights summarized in one report

Finally, we incorporated the insights from the research into one report where we placed the insights from the quantitative research in context with the results from the community research. In the report, we initiated the strategic category framework that was further refined by HAK. To make the report as accessible as possible, we designed the report as visually as possible. For example, by placing results in a matrix or on a line and supporting them with images and quotes.

Want to know more about our approach to category research? Read more here

"A big advantage in the research design was a clear project flow with multiple moments of feedback and discussion."
Ron Rutgers
Category Development Manager HAK

More on this




Wondering if we can do something for you?

Frederieke van Leeuwen
Frederieke van Leeuwen