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Kevin J Clancy - Marketing Transformation
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Hall of Fame


Ethicon Endo_Surgery

From faint idea to category killer


  • Grace, Kennedy, the most dynamic conglomerate in the Caribbean, was searching for new product ideas to boost the profitability of its ailing foods division.

  • The single-serve juice category had enormous potential, not only in the home market, but also worldwide, driven by growing consumer demand for convenience and healthier juice drinks.

  • V8 Splash, owned by Campbell Soup, dominated the
    Caribbean market.


  • V8 held a commanding market share, but did not “own” the single-serve juice market. Consumers were open to considering other brands, particularly from companies they trusted and/or offered healthy options with natural ingredients (and a high % of real fruit juice).

  • Grace had an entry in the ready-to-drink juice category, Grace Juices, in large family size bottles and cans. Therefore, the company had juice category experience, brand credibility, the capabilities, and infrastructure
    to enter the single-serve juice market—all that was missing was a product entry.

Strategic Research

  • Grace initiated a series of qualitative and quantitative studies to expose consumers in Grace’s Caribbean markets to new product concepts including a single-serve juice. Potential positioning opportunities for each concept were identified.

  • From this study, a single-serve juice emerged as the most promising concept. Grace conducted taste tests on new flavors and measured positioning “fit” between the new product and the Grace brand.

  • Concept and taste testing subsequently were conducted in export markets to assess international opportunities for the new product followed by simulated test marketing.

Strategic Options

  • Focus on the current products line-up and back-burner new product development

  • Extend an existing line, building on the awareness, consumer familiarity, and equity of an already established brand.

  • Enter the single-serve juice market with a new offering, something dramatically superior to current entrants in the category.

Strategic Choice

  • Grace followed the data and built the single-serve juice concept it had tested into the Tropical Rhythms brand with Copernicus providing targeting, positioning, and advertising consulting.

  • The original concept tested was Grace Juice in single-serve containers, but with new exotic, and tropical flavors. Particularly among key target segments, trial and repeat scores were significantly higher than the
    average new beverage product.

  • Based on the positive reactions to the concept, Grace created a new brand, “Tropical Rhythms,” to address needs customers indicated they had for a single-serve juice: healthy, thirst-quenching with genuine fruit

Performance Results

  • Tropical Rhythms exceeded “even our most optimistic projections,” according to Grace. It quickly became the Caribbean market leader, with a 50% share—cutting V8 Splash’s share in half—and helped propel the Foods Division out of the red and into the black.

  • Only a year after its introduction in export markets, year-to-date international sales were up by 114%.

  • Tropical Rhythms was awarded both the Caribbean Innovative Product Award from Caribbean World Magazine and the Canadian Grand Prix New Product Award.


Selected Case Histories

  Air Products
  Citizens Bank
  Ethicon Endo-Surgery
  Green Mountain Energy
  On The Run