How a sellout product got retailers to reconsider Heinz Big Soup

On a mission to re-engage fans of “no-nonsense” soup, Heinz’s limited-edition Christmas Big Soup sold out within three hours and had retailers clamouring to get the product back on shelves.

Heinz Big Soup MW Awards
Source: Heinz

A store cupboard staple for decades, by autumn 2021 sales of Heinz Big Soup were in decline and supermarkets were delisting the product.

The brand needed a campaign that would resonate with men aged 35-plus and persuade key retailers to consider re-listing Big Soup in 2022.

Teaming up with Wonderland Communications, Heinz research revealed 37% of men consider Christmas dinner their favourite meal. In response the brand turbocharged its production, developing a limited-edition Christmas dinner flavoured soup featuring everything from turkey to sprouts.

To build hype, Instagram-friendly Big Soup hampers were sent to media, celebrities and influencers, while the product was made available to buy and win through its DTC platform Heinz to Home.

The soup sold out within three hours and to build momentum for the second batch, Heinz hijacked the John Lewis Christmas advert conversation on TikTok with a parody that gained 1.5 million views.

Overall, the campaign garnered 729 pieces of media coverage and 553 social impressions, becoming the fifth most talked about Christmas campaign. Coverage was secured in the target audience’s top three news titles – The Sun, Daily Mail and Metro – while Heinz also generated 199 pieces of broadcast coverage.

The campaign attracted 46,500 sign-ups to Heinz to Home, while a higher proportion of men visited both the product landing page (51%) and registration page for the second batch (46%).

The Christmas variety drove a 14% week-on-week sales uplift in standard Big Soup varieties. Crucially, key buyers at all major multiples asked to stock Christmas Dinner Big Soup, results which helped Heinz scoop the Marketing Week Award for Consumer Goods.