CASE STUDIES

SUGAR ALTERNATIVE

This was an internal project undertaken to strengthen our knowledge of marketing consumer products. It is one of several TS Brands.

Check out more at www.zuga.co.za

CONSUMER STRUGGLE / DEMAND

Sugar intake has become a key concern among consumers. Quitting sugar is difficult and the alternatives do not satisfy, whether on a taste, health or usability level. Consumers tend to “relapse” and feel guilty.

A gap in the market therefore exists for a non-sugar alternative that doesn’t compromise on taste or usability, and that has better health credentials than existing alternatives.

PRODUCT / SOLUTION

Sugar alternatives fall into two groups: artificial sweeteners (such as aspartame) and natural sugar alcohols.

It was obvious to us that artificial sweeteners would not work, so we turned to the sugar alcohols and found…

ERYTHRITOL

Erythritol is an all-natural, non-nutritive sweetener that is easy to digest and has a glycaemic index of zero. This means that it doesn’t metabolise (add calories) or affect blood sugar levels. It simply passes straight through your system. Finally, erythritol doesn’t have a laxative effect unless consumed to excess, making it far superior to xylitol (the most well know sugar alcohol) which does.

It the best alternative to sugar and wasn’t available to consumers in South Africa when we found it.

RETAIL SPACE RECON

Sugar and sugar alternatives sometimes share adjacent spaces, but other times are in completely different areas.

Some artificial sweeteners have longstanding presence, but are not as popular as they once were – our product would be competing with xylitol and other sugar alcohols.

Sugar alcohols look like sugar but are almost always packaged in plastic bags – they appear medicinal and unappealing (whether by design or the lack thereof).

Sugar alternatives

OUR SOLUTION:

CREATE A BRAND FOR AN ERYTHRITOL PRODUCT

  • Appeal to sugar conscious consumers.
  • Surveys have revealed that the more complex the ingredient’s name, the less appeal it has – our product needed to have a simple name with an intuitive meaning that could create emotional pull.
  • Position the product as a replacement for sugar – our product needed to compete with sugar in the consumers’ eyes, not sweeteners.
  • Communication needed to pay special attention to scientific claims and health benefits – provide reasons to believe.

BRAND IDENTITY DEVELOPMENT:

Visual Inspiration

Name generation & packaging directions

We chose the name Zuga because it sounds like Sugar – an easy mental shortcut for the consumer.

Objectives / Characteristics required for packaging

  • Impactful / Bold
  • Friendly / Accessible
  • Legible / Clear
  • Premium
  • Natural

Artwork elements for pack

We began with a funtional tagline (“universal sweetener”) but changed this to a more emotional call-to-action (“change the way you sweetnen”) that reflected the brand’s positioning.

A supporting device was created to communicate that the product was natural (rather than artificial) and speak to consumers who feel guilty about their sugar intake – Zuga is their solution.

Final pack design

LAUNCH & ROLLOUT:

Point of sale – merchandising unit, shelf strip & wobblers

Website

BRAND EXTENSION

We are partnering with Pretoria University Food Science students to create new product offerings.

Student interaction with Zuga

ZUGA ICE LOLLIES & KIDDIES SAUCES

In order to market a sugar-free alternative to kids, we branded our products with bright colours and playful character designs in order to portray the ‘sweetness’ of the products.

Visual cues were taken from the original Zuga sugar alternative pack to maintain brand consistency.

Illustration and character development

Zuga ice lollies packaging design

Zuga kiddies sauces packaging design

SINCE LAUNCHING ZUGA IN NOVEMBER 2015, WE HAVE SECURED SHELF SPACE AT 20 OUTLETS ACROSS GAUTENG, KZN AND THE WESTERN CAPE.

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