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Identifying new market potential for T-Sugars

The sugar refinery of Tienen (Raffinerie Tirlemontoise or Tiense Suikerraffinaderij) is a Belgian company focusing on refining sugar beets into sugar. T-Sugars is a strong brand in Belgium, mainly because of its innovative sugar product range, both on a product (with the well-known hard sugar cubes, the candy cassonade and the icing-sugar mill) and packaging level.

The ambition of T-Sugars was to increase their specials market share outside Europe (and some untouched European countries) and hence create more value in those countries (i.e. get out of the commodity trap). To make this work, T-Sugars wanted to identify the market potential within several of these countries like the USA, China, South Korea, Greece etc. and get advice on the most optimal product range.

What did we do?

To help T-Sugars deal with this challenge, we developed a concept screener to identify the long-term innovation opportunities of 6 innovative concepts already existing in Belgium. We set up an online survey among 1,500 US sugar users, including a complete unpriced concept evaluation with qualitative key outtakes, likes and dislikes, a price sensitivity meter and a priced concept evaluation. Finally a target group profiling was added to the research. Follow-up studies were done in China, South Korea and Greece to understand market potential in each of these countries.

The results

Based on this research, T-Sugars got a better knowledge of these new and unknown markets in terms of their competition landscape and their buying and consumption habits. However, the most important results were the specification of the product range which would work best, the way the brand should be positioned and the way the (packaging) communication of these new products should be tackled, as well as the prices at which the products should be launched. For each product, consumers helped improve the products in terms of look and feel. Based on this report, Tiense was launched as the T-Sugars brand in the US.

How did the client experience it?

“InSites Consulting created significant value for T-Sugars by determining the right building blocks for the launch plot.”
Geert Van Aelst, Marketing Manager at Raffinerie Tirlemontoise (Tiense Suikerraffinaderijen)