On Shelf
On Shelf

#OnShelf: Brands repackaged for 2021

by Louise Burgers. Nestlé, Nespresso and BOS deliver innovative marketing strategies to meet 2021 head on.

by Louise Burgers. There is no doubt that innovative brands are well prepared for 2021 and are focusing on sustainability with ‘purpose marketing’ strategies, buy local campaigns, and innovative ecommerce and delivery options, like these strategies from Nestlé, Nespresso and BOS.

Smart move by Nestlé

Smarties is the first global confectionery brand to switch to recyclable paper packaging, removing approximately 250 million plastic packs sold globally every year. Nestlé announced this month that its popular Smarties brand is now using recyclable paper packaging for its confectionery products worldwide. This represents a transition of 90% of the Smarties range, as 10% was previously already packed in recyclable paper packaging. Nestlé began introducing Smarties sharing block packed in recyclable paper in the UK last year. Alexander von Maillot, global head of confectionery at Nestlé, said: “Shifting Smarties packaging to recyclable paper is one of our key sustainable packaging initiatives in the confectionery category. It is a further step in realising Nestlé’s ambition to make all of its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025 and to reduce its use of virgin plastics by one third in the same period.” The new Smarties paper packaging is sourced sustainably and is made of a coated paper, paper labels or carton board. Information about how to properly dispose of Smarties paper packaging is also included on its labels to raise consumer awareness. The transformation of the Smarties packaging is only one of the brands’ ‘SMART Initiatives’, which aim to support sustainability and enhance the overall product experience. Nestlé invested significantly to upgrade its factories globally, including in Hamburg, Germany, one of the company’s largest factories for confectionery products.

BOS launches product subscription service

Like many in the beverage sector, BOS Brands was hard hit under early lockdowns as consumers switched to bulk buys of essential goods. It used 2020 productively to switch to a direct to consumer model in South Africa; as well as sourcing new distribution pipelines internationally; and ramping up R&D to take rooibos into other product categories. Part of the brand’s direct to consumer model included the relaunch of its webstore and the addition of a product subscription service in December. Giving their customers 5% off monthly orders for BOS products such as iced tea, hot tea, functional health shots and fruit ‘icys’, the subscription service has already proved popular with consumers who no longer want to spend time in the aisles at retail stores. Will Battersby, CEO of BOS Brands, says: “We have a strong and loyal following of BOS fans, and we want to encourage them to use our online store and our pure play partner Takealot. Consumers are generally shopping less often and buying in bulk more, so a subscription service makes a lot of sense in the current climate. In 2020, online sales accounted for 5% of our sales, where previously it represented only 1%, and our plan is to grow that to 10-15% in 2021. We have been forced to push our ecommerce thinking five years ahead and make other adjustments based on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The company’s 2020 strategy was to introduce organic Rooibos based products beyond just iced tea, launching a range of Rooibos health shots in March – an immunity shot, a collagen shot, a CBD shot and a gut health shot – which are listed at Pick n Pay and Spar and on their online store. Fruit Icys, a rooibos infused fruit ice lolly confection was launched in September. In the past five years the BOS brand has expanded its operations to the United States and Europe. “Our business is currently 60% in South Africa, 30% in Europe and 10% in the US, and we are looking to introduce BOS products to a wider global network of distributors in 2021,” says Battersby.

What does Cape Town taste like?

There are many answers to that question, not all of them PC, but Nespresso would have you think of coffee first. The brand has actually launched a coffee dedicated to Cape Town, encapsulating “the richness and vibrance of our Mother City”, in order to celebrate South Africa’s culture, heritage and local flavour. So, is it wine-flavoured? Fresh and salty? The new flavour coffee is called Cape Town Envivo Lungo and blends Indian Arabica and Robusta to “deliver an intense and full bodied Lungo with a punchy, bitter note and woodsy aroma”. Bitter and smelling woodsy sounds about right for Capetonians right now, always complaining about something (like the weather and beach closures) and hiking lots. Launched as part of its new World Explorations range, the Nespresso capsules are made from 80% recycled aluminium and Cape Town is one of six cities included in the new range to celebrate its rich history with coffee. Local artist Baba Tjeko has designed the vibrant packaging. The other coffee cities are Shanghai, Buenos Aires, Stockholm, Tokyo, and Vienna.


Main image credit: Photo by FLY:D on Unsplash.


Louise Burgers is the Publisher and Editor and Co-Founder of RetailingAfrica.com. She has spent over 20 years writing about the FMCG retailing, marketing, media and advertising industry in South Africa and on the African continent. She has specialised in local and Africa consumer trends and is a passionate Afro-optimist who believes it is Africa’s time to rise again and that the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) will be a global gamechanger in the next decade.


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