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Marketing Case Study: Becel Margarine

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Becel Margarine: Reinvigorating Growth 1. Problem Statement/IdentificationWhat changes should Becel make to its marketing strategy to increase sales, market share, profits and maintain rapidly growing trend in the long run?

The current strategic objectives and goals of the margarine giant Becel are to:

Deliver strong short and long-term growth

Sustain and consolidate current record market share

Deliver a brand that helps consumers meet their health heart needs

However, in order to achieve its strategic aims the firm must consider the following overriding factors:

Limited growth potential in a thoroughly competitive marketing environment.

Rapidly changing demographic landscape of Canadian consumer and households.

Tight and stringent federal and provincial government regulations stifling growth and innovation

Incompetent and grossly inefficient communications strategy failing to effectively target vital consumers.

The company’s pricing strategy is becoming incompetent as it’s product move through its life cycle.

2. Analysis of the Situation 2.1 Market Analysis

The Canadian consumer market consists of around 31 million people who purchase many billions of dollars of goods and services each year making it one of the most attractive consumer markets in the world. Lipton Foods, a division of Unilever Canada in 1978 decided to launch a healthy and credible alternative spread for consumers wishing to consume a margarine spread which looked after the needs of their heart.

2.2 Cultural and social factors

During the last decade Canadians have noticeably become more health conscious and aware of the consequences of poor dietary intake through the increased number of illnesses such as heart disease, cancers and strokes. A new demand for delicious, nutritious and healthy products has grown and consumers want to gain a healthy lifestyle by balancing calories with reduced saturated fat and trans-fatty acids in their diets.

2.3 Demographic trends

The demographics of people who use margarine and Becel in particular, are disproportionately weighed towards affluent and senior households. However marketing intelligence shows that although a significant portion of the volume of margarine purchased is by people with large families, particularly with four or five members and who tend to have lower than average incomes. The target market for Becel is very close to that of butter, and although the brand enjoys very high customer loyalty, consumer’s factor in more than simply the price and health aspect in deciding in what spread to purchase.

The changing age structure of the population however, provides huge potential growth for the brand which has targeted seniors through its “Young at Heart” campaign. Becel can continue drumming home the message of active, fit outgoing seniors enjoying life to its fullest while enjoying a heart healthy diet, including the consumption of Becel. By associating healthy seniors with a time in life in which is traditionally one ravaged by deterioration and illness, a positive brand message can be reinforced to consumers wishing to purchase the brand.

2.4 Impact of technology

As a premium brand, Becel has to invest and utilize technological gains in order to gain a competitive advantage in the market. By offering constant innovation and differentiating their new products Becel can become Canadians’ most popular choice spread for heart healthy eating. New product development is vital and requires innovation on behalf of R&D to deliver the latest brands to drive sales and growth. The creation of Becel Light and Becel Salt Free demonstrate the ability of the firm to create highly sophisticated margarine products which can help consumers adhere to sodium restricted diets and reduce saturated fats.

New communications technology (such as Internet) also helps company develop more integrated marketing communications.


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