Management Summary

This paper tells how baby food brand Ella's Kitchen overcame a declining market full of 'me too' imitators, by shifting focus from retail to relationships; ripping up the rule book and focusing on serving parents, rather than selling to them.

Background

Ella's Kitchen rose to become no.1 brand in just seven years. However, as time went on, the brand faced serious challenges to its growth; from copycat competitors to declining category sales and maxed-out distribution. Yet despite all this, new owners Hain Celestial expected Ella's to deliver 10% growth annually.

Objective

10% annual sales value growth for 3 years, from £46m (2014) to £51m/ £56m/ £63m.

Scale of Task

Ella's Kitchen's achievements had been so great that rival brands had imitated its style and recipes.

Its example also inspired parents tomake their own 'kitchen-made' meals, leading to sales of shop-bought meals falling by 14% (2012-2015) – something Ella's couldn't be seen to discourage.