Product: Heinz Beanz Snap Pots
People behind it:
Name:Nathan Ansell and the Snap Pots development team
Nathan Ansell led a 20-strong team that took two years to develop the new Heinz Beanz Snack Pots, four individual servings of beans in microwaveable plastic tubs. Ansell, who has now moved to Birds Eye, stresses that it was very much a team effort, involving people from across the business. On the surface, Snap Pots was just another line extension, but in fact it recognised a fundamental shift in preparation and consumption and took the product out of cans and into plastic for the first time.
The core insight behind the launch was the realisation that half the Heinz beans eaten in the UK were heated in a microwave – yet the product was still sold in the same metal tin it was launched in 110 years ago. The project took two years from start to launch, and involved a core team of 20, including production specialists, food scientists, sales and marketing, led by Ansell (who has now moved to Birds Eye).
In January 2008, Heinz UK said Snap Pots had delivered 5 million unit sales and had already taken a 5.5% share of the UK baked beans market, which is estimated to be worth £22m and growing at 7% a year. The success of the Beans Snap Pots has encouraged Heinz to add Spaghetti Hoops Snap Pots as well, and no doubt other products will follow.
How it fits
The Heinz team looked at something that had not been challenged for 110 years – the Heinz beans can – and thought outside it. The snap pots are easier to carry than cans, can be microwaved without the need for pans to cook in or bowls to eat from, and mean less waste because they contain one regular portion. The challenge was always going to be cost, but the marketing seems to have overcome that.