New World tries to mix up some more miniature magic, focuses on food-based experimentation

Brace yourselves, parents (and weird people who like to collect things from supermarkets). New World has launched an updated version of its ridiculously popular collectables line. And it’s aiming to inspire some food science with the Little Kitchen.

Last year, Little Shop madness swept New Zealand as children (and more than a few adults) scrambled to collect the full set of miniature groceries. A Trade Me search for “Little Shop New World” still returns more than 1900 hits, and at the height of their popularity last year, complete sets of the free items sold for more than $500.

Steve Bayliss, general manager of marketing for Foodstuffs New Zealand, told Stuff news that the promotion had been great for customer engagement.

New World has remixed the collection to encompass emerging restaurant trends and it’s got London “food architects” Bompas & Parr to contribute in the form of food experiments that can be recreated at home.

Sam Bompas and Harry Parr are best known for their glow in the dark jelly, flavoured fireworks and London landmarks made from jelly.

Bompas says Kiwi kids will be able to turn everyday household products into creations like glow the dark ice cream, flavoured clouds and musical sausages using the Little Kitchen products.

“We are passionate about the history of food and incorporating crazy ideas into every one of our projects. We were delighted when New World approached us to help them bring to life this year’s promotion and we have really challenged ourselves to think creatively when we designed some of the experiments,” he says.

Customers will receive a sealed package containing a mini grocery collectable and a Little Kitchen activity or ‘Lab Note’ with every $40 spent at New World. There are 38 new collectables (we’re sure all the kids will be screaming for a Woman’s Day and Lemon, Ginger and Sesame tuna packet). Marketing can be a profit centre in retail and, as per usual, the brands involved had to pay for the privilege, but no word on how much (ASB isn’t a brand instantly associated with the kitchen, but Kashin is in there hoping to get those kids signed up early). 

Once again, the campaign seem big enough to become something of a marketing ecosystem and Sealord has followed up its Little Boat effort, which won gold at the 2015 APMA Star Awards after exceeding sales targets by 300 percent. 

The obligatory extras, which range in price from $3 to $20, include kitchen items such as a carry case, cupcake baking sets, character utensils, cookie cutters, and a pig and chicken chopping board set. In a nod to Bompas & Parr, each boasts its own special effect, such as glow in the dark, scratch and sniff panels, colour changes with temperature and sound elements.

There will also be limited edition bonus mini collectables, to be discovered across the campaign; for those who crave completion, there is a Facebook app for swapping; and it’s also trying to inspire experiments from punters by offering a year of free groceries

The lab notes for each item are aimed at using shoppers’ enthusiasm for New World’s collectable items to convert them into buying their full-sized equivalents. They encourage families to purchase the retail items and use them in experiments – making bubble art out of Morning Fresh dishwashing liquid, for example. So there’s a semi-educational function here, just as Countdown said there was with its Super Animals campaign. 

Countdown aunched its latest collectables campaign, which tapped into the immense popularity of Disney Pixar and tried to increase the popularity of dominoes, a few weeks ago. 

New World has had a stellar run and initiatives like the much-loved Every Day a New World brand ads, the Fresh Every Day campaign, which was widely thought of as ground breaking in the category, the quirky ‘we’d do anything for netball’ sponsorship ad and the launch of New World Clubcard in the South Island (which recently won the ‘Excellence in Grocery’ category at the global Colloquy Awards) have all helped New World improve its brand metrics and grow its market share in 2015—with value share growing significantly more than volume share. And it’s done it with decreasing share of stores in comparison to its main competitor Countdown and in the face of unprecedented media spend from Progressive Enterprises, which faced a difficult year after being accused of using heavy-handed tactics against suppliers. 

And while there’s no doubt these campaigns have proven extremely popular, not everyone is so enamoured with them, however—parents and schools included. Writing about Countdown’s very popular Dreamworks campaign from last year, Kath Dewar said they may be “skillfully structured to require a spend of slightly (5 percent) above the average household spend on food and beverages for the period”, but they have a sting in their tail, and they can be socially and environmentally damaging. 

As she wrote: “In the UK, research shows £2 billion (NZ $3.82 billion) a year is spent by parents on things they don’t need as a result of ‘pester-power’. While 50 percent of parents explain to their children they simply can’t afford the items, always a fun conversation, as many as 10 percent just buy the item finding resistance ‘too hard’. So there’s no doubt pester-power is effective and puts an added strain on households already facing hardship.” 

  • This is an edited version of a story that originally appeared on The Register. 


Creative & Content: Colenso BBDO
Promotion / In-store / POS / Retail TVC: .99
Website: Touchcast
Media: FCB

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