CleverFoodies gains distribution fast for category-creating product with co-branding

By Elizabeth Crawford

- Last updated on GMT

Creating category & co-branding helped CleverFoodies gain distribution

Related tags Egg yolk

Startup CleverFoodies secured national distribution at major retailers with enviable speed for the launch of Scramble natural mix-ins for eggs by creating a new category and partnering with well-established brands to generate visibility.

Scramble, a salsa-like blend of vegetables, herbs and spices designed to give scrambled eggs, omelets and frittatas a bold flavor boost, is CleverFoodies' first product and even though it only launched a few weeks ago it is already in more than 100 Price Choppers in the Northwest and 1,100 Publix.

“Things have been happening fairly quickly, and we are in a phase of extreme excitement. We didn’t expect such a positive and strong reaction from the market,”​ considering it takes most new food and beverages several years to break into major conventional chains, said Paolo Volpati-Kedra, who co-founded the young company with Marc Gascon.

Volpati-Kedra attributed the instant success to there being nothing else like Scramble on the market.

“Creating a new category really allowed us to get into amazing retailers out of the gate,”​ agreed Gascon.

CleverFoodies was able to side-step some of the initial confusion that can slow down category-creating products by having a clear in-store positioning that generated added sales value beyond a new product for retailers.

Scramble is positioned next to the eggs in the dairy aisle to create an obvious meal solution that can increase basket size by inspiring the purchase of eggs, too, Volpati-Kedra said.

Scramble “brings excitement to a category that is otherwise dull,”​ he said. “The dairy and egg category only sees eggs in the category – nothing exciting. We bring colors, nuance and quality and excitement to that shelf that is otherwise fairly boring.”

Partnerships provide credibility, visibility

CleverFoodies also was able to secure broad distribution quickly by partnering with Egg Land’s Best and Cabot Creamery, which gave the brand’s Scramble gravitas that usually comes with time.

The Rancheros flavor of Scramble includes Cabot Creamery’s sour cream as an ingredient and includes the Cabot logo on the side of the container. This co-branding encourages consumers who trust Cabot to try Scramble, while also extending Cabot’s brand visibility.

The partnership with Egg Land’s Best also helped Scramble secure prime positioning in a high volume, high velocity category along the store perimeter, where consumers increasingly shop, Gascon said.

It also is a win-win for each brand because “we hope to sell more Scramble through eggs and more eggs through Scramble,”​ added Gascon.

The companies will extend their partnerships beyond in-store positioning to include promotional material, including shelf-strips that show consumers how to use Scramble by depicting an equation with eggs plus Scramble equals “fast and delicious scrambled eggs, omelet or frittata.”

The companies also will launch a joint feature ad in the near future, as well as pricing promotions, Gascon said.

Natural appeal

Scramble already is moving off store shelves at a notable pace, even though the promotions have not yet run because consumers are drawn to the bold flavors and visually appealing packages, Volpati-Kedra said.

In addition to Rancheros, which is a traditional Mexican-American breakfast flavor profile, Scramble comes in Leafy Greens and Mediterranean flavors, which all are on trend currently. Each flavor has its own distinct color and personality, which helps catch consumers’ attention, Volpati-Kedra said.

He explained that the company is able to capture the “amazing color and flavor”​ through a “traditional and artsy” ​approach to production.

“We don’t put everything in the kettle all together. We are very sensitive to how we layer the flavors” ​ and use only “top quality ingredients,”​ Volpati-Kedra said.

The product also appeals to consumers because it is convenient, noted Gascon. Scramble allows consumers to create a great tasting meal easily by “avoiding choosing, washing and cutting vegetables because it is already done for you,”​ he explained. “All you have to do is add the eggs.”

The product also is versatile and can be used as a “life hack”​ that retailers and early consumers are sharing with each other, Volpati-Kedra said.

Fundraising for the future

Even though Scramble has been on the shelf for only a few weeks, CleverFoodies already is exploring new flavors and products to keep retailers and consumers interested.

Its goal is to keep consumers coming back and to increase the number of facings of Scramble at retailers to create a billboard for the brand, Volpati-Kedra said.

While the company is well-positioned to meet demand for its initial products, it currently is raising seed money for future growth on CircleUp​, an online marketplace for products to reach investors, to help expand the brand in the future. 

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