Generating & activating ketchup insights for Heinz

H.J. Heinz, commonly known as Heinz and famous for its ketchup, is a U.S food processing company. Good insights lead to the discovery of something that is not yet obvious. A good insight should be recognizable and real and allow us to translate it into actionable business opportunities. InSites Consulting accompanied Heinz in a consumer insight activation project. In order to fill the innovation funnel, Heinz was looking for insights on ketchup.

What did we do?

The core of this consumer insight activation process was multimedia ethnography. All participants were asked to report on personal and family usage of ketchup and cold sauces: participants photographed their cold sauce consumption moments for 3 weeks. On an interactive blog, people described the context of each picture and reflected on drivers for consuming this particular cold sauce. In order to stimulate the connection between Heinz’ marketeers and consumers, daily updates of consumer news were sent to the Heinz team via different (private) social media. The results from the ethnographic part were analysed through crowd interpretation: the analysis of research data by a group of research participants and clients in order to obtain a richer, more accurate interpretation of data that leads to insights. This was done in a fun, engaging game that was played by both marketeers and consumers.

The results

The process lead to 40 insights from the data. Eight insights (20%) came uniquely from the crowd interpretation. The daily updates of consumer news lead to more involvement of Heinz marketeers with the study. Marketeers and researchers at Heinz were excited about the crowd interpretation game. It stimulated their thinking as it tested their expertise in consumer know-how and also tapped into their inherent competitiveness as the game virus hit. Furthermore all consumer stories were collected in an interactive story-telling board that allowed the Heinz team to further explore the consumers stories. The insights from the study were validated in a follow-up quantitative insight validation and are currently used as springboard for innovation and brand activation.

How did the client experience it?

I really encourage all of you to spend this hour, as it is not only a crucial part of the process to get your thoughts and thinking on this but it is also a fun learning experience for yourself. I just finished it myself and considered it time well spent despite my busy schedule. Maybe this is another incentive: I guess none of you want me to win this game…:-)

Mariken Kimmels, Marketing Director at Heinz Continental Europe

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