After 90 years in business, Gerber is facing some of its toughest competition yet. Once a staple in Baby Boomer homes and commanding 75% market share, competitors have chipped away at that share, which now sits at about 61%.
Boomers loved Gerber, owned by Nestlé, but their children are all grown now and a new generation of Millennial moms are taking a look at startup brands like Plum Organics and Happy Baby that offer all-natural products and convenient packaging like pouches.
With the U.S. baby food market ringing up $1.6 billion annually, there’s plenty of room for growth.
Gerber CMO Aileen Stocks spoke with Brandchannel about the challenging climate and said the brand’s focus and mission remain the same. A new campaign features improvements to its puree pouches called Smart Flow. One humorous video uses the hashtag #PouchFail and shows kids spurting and slopping purees from other brand’s pouches before advertising the #PouchWin and sharing news of the Smart Flow technology.
In February, Plum Organics targeted Millennials with the Do Your Part(ner) campaign, what it calls a “movement meant to empower parents to make love … a priority.” The message is relevant to its food products because it “believes that a healthy relationship between parents is important for the entire family.” The new campaign is a continuation of the brand’s Parenting Unfiltered, its first national advertising campaign launched two years ago. As its name suggests, the message is a call to action through print, video, social media and influencers for parents to share their experiences as parents—not just the happy, shiny moments, but the meltdowns, the fights over tablet use and pumping breast milk at work.
“Our Do Your Part(ner) campaign uses humor to empower parents to prioritize their relationships and make time for each other year-round, not just on Valentine’s Day,” say Ben Mand, dad and senior vice president of brand marketing and innovation at Plum Organics. “As a baby food brand, we’re also not shy in acknowledging that more quality time between parents might just lead to a few more babies for us to feed.”