Design consultancy: Pearlfisher
Advertiser: Nestlé USA

Executive Summary

Lean Cuisine's redesign represents a stunning reversal of fortune. Both the brand and the category it dominates in the United States were in steep, long-term decline, starved of affection from even its longstanding loyalists – until Pearlfisher's new packaging hit the shelves and reversed the decline immediately. Yes, immediately.

Lean Cuisine's new look arrived on shelves in mid-May 2015. Within a week, sales declines slowed; within a month, they stopped. By July 2015, the brand was in growth for the first time in seven years. In those few weeks, Lean Cuisine went from -20% sales trend decline to +15% sales trend growth; from a dollar volume decline of -4.45% to growth of +4.31, with no promotion of any kind beyond the impact of the brand in the hand.

Lean Cuisine is the dominant brand in the frozen nutritional meals market by a large margin, and its renaissance also drove an incredible turnaround for the category overall, transforming a declining YoY dollar percentage change of -8.6% in the back half of the year prior to re-launch, to a positive 3.5% in the back half of the year following. The redesign has recruited new consumers, improved overall buy rate, increased household penetration and reintroduced existing buyers to previously indistinguishable SKUs.