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Nature Valley Crunchy Granola Bars with a canoe on a lake in the background and the text: Inspired by nature

Revitalizing Iconic Brands

Driving Double-Digit Growth for Old El Paso and Nature Valley

Overview: South Africa faced challenging market conditions, exacerbated by a volatile exchange rate and stretched disposable income. In response, General Mills shifted to a distributor model in 2017. The meal solution market was declining, and cereal snacking faced significant volatility.

This case study demonstrates the success of dynamic strategies, showcasing adaptability in challenging markets, the power of multi-channel campaigns, and the significant impact of strategic in-store placement.

Old El Paso meal kits with a bottle of el Jimador tequila

Old El Paso:

Portfolio Optimization:

  • Conducted a comprehensive portfolio review.

  • Discontinued SKUs with a negative impact on profitability, minimizing returns and write-offs.

Re-engineering Strategy:

  • Implemented a pricing and promotion strategy to enhance competitiveness.

  • Introduced innovative New Product Developments (NPDs) to stimulate consumer interest.

Multi-Channel Campaigns:

  • Executed impactful social media campaigns, print ads, and shopper marketing.

  • Implemented visibility drives, including product placement in the Fresh section strategically near the store entrance.


  • Collaborated with tequila brands for joint print ads and in-store Point of Sale Materials (POSM).

Nature Valley POSM with all crunchy packshots

Nature Valley:

Mass Sampling and Micro-Influencers:

  • Conducted mass sampling campaigns, reaching 1 million consumers in the first year.

  • Leveraged branded vehicles and micro-influencer campaigns for wider reach.

Brand-Driven Social Media:

  • Maintained a strong social media presence with brand-driven messaging.

  • Executed visibility drives in-store to enhance product visibility.

Strategic In-Store Placement:

  • Implemented pricing and promotion strategies in-store.

  • Achieved the highest sales during distribution drives, strategically placing products near tillpoints and at gondola ends.

Nature Valley gondola end planogram mockup



  • Old El Paso:
    Enjoyed double-digit volume growth for four consecutive years in a declining category.

  • Nature Valley:
    Achieved over 70% volume growth in the second year.


Impactful Strategies:

  • Micro-Influencer and Social Media:
    Micro-influencer and social media strategies had the most measurable impact on visibility and brand sentiment.

  • In-Store Components:
    The in-store strategy was pivotal, focusing on visibility, pricing, and promotion mixes during distribution drives, leading to the highest sales.


Key Learnings:

  • Adaptability: Responding to market challenges by optimizing portfolios and introducing innovative strategies.

  • Multi-Channel Approach: Leveraging a combination of social media, print ads, and in-store visibility for comprehensive brand exposure.

  • Strategic Collaboration: Partnering with tequila brands showcased the importance of strategic collaborations for mutual brand enhancement.

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