In the world of tortillas, Mission Foods has always stood on top. Holding a 40% market share in the tortilla category, their products can be found in stores across the country. Yet despite being a food CPG brand that is so well-known, Mission Foods was never a brand that was known well. So in an effort to keep up with competitors in their category, Mission Foods sought to stand for something ownable and unique in the minds of consumers.
Here’s how we helped Mission Foods adapt and expand their brand to increase sales, HHP & purchase frequency.
In our ever-growing digital world, new trends are always being brought to the table. That’s why despite holding the majority market share within the tortilla category, Mission Foods faced difficulty staying on top in the last few years. As new, regional brands with strong brand loyalty, healthier product options, and millennial appeal began to enter the market, Mission Foods could no longer rely solely on their shelf space to maintain or increase their 40% market share.
With such significant success resulting from a strong distribution system and retailer relationships, we knew we wanted to establish brand consistency for Mission Foods so they could reach more consumers beyond the aisles of a store. Meanwhile, in the minds of the consumers we wanted to reach, tortillas are almost exclusively associated with “Taco Tuesday,” burritos and Mexican food. Because of this, we knew that we needed to get consumers to think beyond Mexican and traditional tortilla usage in order to increase purchase frequency and drive usage occasions. Moreover, the number of people following the keto diet, Paleo diet or adopting vegan lifestyles has significantly increased YOY. This created an opportunity in the market for more low-carb and vegan-friendly product options.
In order to extend Mission Foods’ success beyond their retailer relationships, we had to adapt this food CPG brand in a comprehensive manner. Beginning with the development of a brand strategy and purpose, we helped Mission Foods establish brand consistency, loyalty and millennial appeal through campaign development and execution, category expansion, social media management, and website development.
When we first began working with Mission Foods, we knew that in order to help them establish brand consistency, we needed to give them something they could be consistent about. So, we developed a unifying brand position for Mission Foods that clearly defined the company’s vision and goals.
First, we did a deep-dive into Mission Foods’ business strategy and target audience to get a comprehensive look at both who they are and who they aim to reach. From this, we were able to establish a few directions we could guide Mission Foods’ brand efforts toward. We then took our ideas to the people by testing key messages with consumers. With these consumer insights, we finally landed on the big idea that would ultimately guide our work with Mission Foods for the next three years to come.
Titled “A Taste of Exploration,” this platform guided the creation of a full brand toolkit for Mission Foods, complete with high-level consumer insight and values, a brand platform establishing what Mission Foods stands for, key messaging pillars, and brand personality, tone of voice and design guidelines to ensure that Mission Foods is brought to life consistently across all consumer touchpoints.
Once we developed a brand platform for Mission Foods to stand on, we wanted to bring “A Taste of Exploration” to life across the entire product portfolio. By leveraging paid, earned and owned channels, we aimed to drive awareness, engagement, household penetration and, ultimately, sales.
To achieve this, we helped create a marketing calendar for the upcoming year that mixed in seasonal campaigns with our “always on” media strategy. This two-fold strategic approach was crafted with the intention that campaigns would compliment one another throughout the year. Seasonal campaign hero specific products during peak time periods while ensuring the full product portfolio maintained consistent support.
Seasonal campaigns enabled us to capitalize on key times of year, such as holidays and Super Bowl season. During these campaigns, we highlighted specific Mission Foods products through a variety of tactics, ranging from in-store activations to sweepstakes to paid digital media amplification. When these campaigns weren’t live, our “always on” media strategy ensured there was consistent support for key products across various Mission Foods product lines.
Each campaign began with the development of a creative concept that laddered up to “A Taste of Exploration,” followed by photoshoots we art directed for in-store POS and recipe images. When campaigns entailed a paid digital media extension, we mixed together a media plan with all the necessary ingredients: the role of media channel, flighting, budget by channel, partner selection and rationale, audience targeting and measurement benchmarks. Upon approval, we cooked up campaign creative tailored toward target audiences for each media channel and placement.
Once a campaign launched, we continually monitored and optimized each media channel based on performance and provided mid-campaign reports. At the conclusion of a campaign, we provided Mission Foods with a holistic measurement report comprised of media and site performance to gauge what we achieved and what could be further improved in upcoming campaigns.
In tune with the consistent growth of keto, Paleo, and vegan diet adoption, we supported Mission Foods throughout the launch of several new “Better-For-You” (BFY) products to compete against regional challenger brands. These products spanned Organic Tortillas and Tortilla Chips, new-and-improved Whole Wheat Tortillas, plant-based Protein Tortilla Wraps and Gluten Free Spinach Herb Tortilla Wraps.
With Mission Foods’ paid advertising in a good groove, we felt it was time to refresh the brand’s organic social presence. Using insights gathered from a brand perception survey, we centered on a new social strategy that aimed to “Feed Curiosity.” With this concept, we wanted to encourage our audience’s curiosity around tortillas and chips within their own cultural context, as well as their interest in Mission Foods products and clever ways to use them.
To bring this message to life, we laddered posts up to three content streams. Reconcepted on a quarterly basis, these streams were dictated by what our consumers wanted from Mission Foods and themes that were trending on social. As we unfolded and built these streams into our social channels, we slowly revealed more of Misison’s brand personality and values.
Along with this refreshed social strategy came the need to revamp the Mission Foods website. Rather than update their main brand site, Mission Foods invested in disjointed and costly microsites that not only added confusion for consumers, but limited SEO potential. So, we created a full-site redesign that aimed to stitch together each of Mission Foods’ microsites while simplifying the user experience.
Built mobile-first in recognition of the way consumers are accessing the web, consuming content and finding new recipe inspiration, the new site was built to be responsive to any devices. As a whole, the redesign incorporated site hierarchy and wireframes, SEO strategy and recommendations, measurement framework, creative design, front- and back-end development, content population, and ongoing content strategy.
As all of these changes were created, we utilized a comprehensive redirect strategy to ensure all traffic from the existing website and all microsties would be driven to the appropriate page on the new site. We also developed and easy-to-update CMS for any necessary ongoing content changes and campaign page templates to allow for faster and more efficient deployment.
Throughout our three-year partnership, Mission Foods experienced an evolution as a food CPG brand. From our original brand strategy through the development of their website, Mission Foods’ growth as a brand garnered an increase sales, HHP & purchase frequency.
Sales growth from 2017 to 2018
Increase in traffic to websites from 2017 to 2018
Increase in total social following
Growth in Instagram followers from 2018 to 2019
Sales growth in carb balance products from 2017 to 2019