Anticipating the Next Normal: Connect with your Consumer

Anticipating the Next Normal: Connect with your Consumer


Consumer Packaged Goods play a vital societal role in fulfilling both basic physical needs and more discretionary human ‘wants.’ During these times of change, we believe deep consumer understanding is necessary for the CPG industry to more effectively provide for needs during the COVID-19 crisis and pivot to address an emerging ‘Next Normal.’

Many are following changes in consumer spending and sentiment, which provides a lagging view of events as consumers deal with the global pandemic. We believe it is equally important to understand why consumers are making choices in the near term and identify how brands and retailers can better meet rapidly changing needs moving forward. The Seurat Group is fielding ongoing ethnographic discussions with consumers across the country to develop a real time understanding of the drivers of choice and how those will change based on disruptions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Changing Consumer Needs

More consumers are necessarily spending more time, energy and resources meeting foundational physical needs. At the same time, more unstructured hours spent at home affords some consumers a unique window to seek purpose and fulfillment. Both impact purchase decision-making and it is critically important for brands and retailers to understand how the needs of consumers are changing at a granular level, since the impact of COVID has been very uneven.

Disruption of Decision-Making

Over the past two months the consumer decision process has been completely disrupted. Prior to COVID-19, many consumer decisions were based on a habitual, subconscious process used to simplify a sea of options. Now, decisions are more deliberate as consumers match new priorities to a rapidly shifting consideration set.

While the negative human impact of the crisis cannot be overlooked, the current situation provides a unique lens into human decision-making, revealing how brands and retailers can better provide consumers with what the need and want, now and in the future.

Anticipating the Next Normal

Every brand in the world is emailing me some story. It won’t convince me to buy something. But I won’t forget the companies that are actually making things better for me.

While there is no crystal ball view to the future, we used our consumer ethnographies to develop a model of behavior to better understand, and predict, how choices made in the consumer goods space will continue to evolve. Applying the model at the category level reveals opportunities for brands and retailers to better meet consumer and shopper needs. It measures the change in consumer need prioritization, pain points, and desired benefits sought from goods and services. It is a forward-looking perspective that is crucial to prepare for the ‘Next Normal’ and reveals some of the changes we observe now are temporary while others will be far more enduring.

Example of the Consumer Model in Action: Baking at Home

Consumer Behavioral Change ‘Stickiness’

Understanding changes to consumer need priorities and pain points, along with the ability of manufacturers and retailers to consistently deliver against these changes during COVID, is key to mapping the near-term impact. Identifying the level of long-term change to consumer needs and assessing how well brands and retailers performed during the crisis shows us the ‘Next Normal’.

Growth Scenario: Delivering on changing needs, addressing pain points and building trust

I started shopping at Aldi to save money. Their organic produce surprised the hell out of me. I’m sold and don’t feel the need to go back to Whole Foods anymore.

Decline Scenario: Underdelivering on changing needs, not addressing pain points and eroding trust

I tried to order click-and-collect for groceries but things were out-of-stock, I couldn’t figure out how to use it efficiently and there were no delivery windows for 2 weeks. Not going to be trying that again.

1 in 2 online delivery grocery shoppers reported wait times of 2+ days

How should CPG Manufacturers and Retailers Respond?

During these unprecedented times it is critical for brands and retailers to stay connected with consumers and shoppers in real time to identify the impact of COVID on consumer needs and pain points and continually assess how they can adjust their offer to better deliver in the near term. At the same time, there is a need to use forward-looking insight to determine what the ‘Next Normal’ will be and develop strategies to deliver on this future state at a matrixed consumer, brand, occasion and local level.

Key steps for brands and retailers as they work to provide for consumers now and build enduring relationships:

1. Build deep empathy and understanding across consumer cohorts in real time
  • Build a view of consumer needs, pain points and the brand value equation
  • Re-construct the consumer / shopper journey
  • Focus on speed of perspective and depth over precision
  • Decisions will be made on incomplete data—declare a belief in what will happen, and don’t waver
2. Develop a clear, consumer-based vision for the future. Everyone is inundated with what’s happening day by day.
3. Implement a blueprint for the ‘Next Normal’ now, using a task force structure grounded in the consumer.
  • Track, learn and adjust based on the gapping between initial thinking on what will happen vs what does happen.

Reach out to the Seurat Group team for additional information on ways to build the insight foundation needed to prepare for the next normal and develop a blueprint to delight consumers and shoppers through this time of change.

Top 10 Female-Founded Challenger Brands

Top 10 Female-Founded Challenger Brands

In Celebration of International Women’s Day 2020


In 2011, Jessica Alba founded the Honest Company with the aim of disrupting categories where modern-minded women haven’t been able to find clean, safe and trusted solutions for their families. Alba created the brand with the following belief: “You shouldn’t have to choose between what works and what’s good for you,” which empowered women to expect better products for themselves, without compromise. Today, the Honest Company is on a path to becoming a Billion-dollar global brand. Alba is still Chairwoman of the Board and reflects what the brand stands for in her personal lifestyle and values.

At the Seurat Group, we admire the founder’s journey and strive to support female founders, like Alba, who are challenging conventional consumer categories and leading a business revolution. For this International Women’s Day 2020, we are celebrating 10 female-founded brands delighting consumers with not just their products, but with what these brands ultimately stand for: female empowerment. Alongside the Honest Company, we would like to highlight 9 other female-founded brands showcasing disruptive mentalities, and inspirational success!

Purely Elizabeth

Elizabeth Stein was a nutritionist who wanted to recommend anti-inflammatory, gluten-free diets to her clients, yet felt hampered because she couldn’t point to any products she could endorse. From there, Stein turned to her kitchen, and Purely Elizabeth was born. Business boomed dramatically; she hoped for merely 20 orders upon launching the company. She got 10,000 in the first 3 hours! Today, Purely Elizabeth remains a healthier alternative to traditional granolas and bars. But, Stein says, “I’ve always envisioned Purely Elizabeth as a bigger lifestyle brand.” She has released a cookbook, expanded into categories from oatmeal to body scrubs, and continues to be an innovator in the healthy products community.


When Gregg Renfrew launched Beautycounter in 2013, her single focus was to create transparency and safety in the personal care industry: “I wanted to create a safer and healthier place for my children, family, and ultimately everyone in the world.” The US remains dramatically behind the EU in banning harmful substances from the skincare industry (having only banned ~30 ingredients to date, compared to nearly 1,800 in the EU). Beautycounter has barred over 1,500 ingredients and educates consumers on the reasons for this standard. Beautycounter has also galvanized the safe product movement through community selling, uniquely connecting the brand story with Consultants selling on its behalf.

Talea Beer Co.

Talea Beer Company is named after its co-founders Tara Hankinson and LeAnn Darland, and their company’s target is someone who does not like beer. How do they do that? They don’t mimic the time-honored traditional brewers that dominate the mainstream landscape. Talea’s ‘flavored’ offers don’t feature a hint of (artificial) lime or berry; rather, they’ve reengineered the craft process to create delicious, boundary pushing offers with milk and fruit sugar. Their approach is grounded in meeting a need – over 70% of female craft-beer drinkers feel frustrated that brands view them as an afterthought, and Talea is reaching these women with their innovative approach.

Simple Mills

Kaitlin Smith of Simple Mills lives the tale of “you are what you eat.” Due to chronic joint pain, she turned to more natural foods and saw a gap in the market for natural and organic baked goods. The brand started from humble beginnings in 2013 when Smith was baking the product’s muffin mixes and taking samples to each Whole Foods store in Atlanta. Today, Simple Mills has an extensive product portfolio, and Smith has been named a Forbes 30 under 30. She attributes her success to disrupting a category in decline – the baking aisle. “If it’s easier and tastier, people will eat differently, and as a result will be able to do more with their lives.”


Laura Schubert and Lillian Tung are the co-founders of fur, the first for-women brand focused on body, hair and skin. Both have one goal in common: “We are on a mission to remaster how people feel about body hair and to remove the shame many people have around their bodies.” Their hero product “Fur Oil” is meant to clear pores and soften and reduce ingrown hair, resulting in healthier skin. Fur products have premium distribution in upscale boutiques like Free People and Kith, as well as spas and salons. The brand receives incredible love online due to celebrity endorsements from the likes of Emma Watson, as well as influencers and general beauty care users, who appreciate the overall feminist message and confident tone discussing a traditionally taboo topic.


Miyoko Schinner is the CEO and founder of Miyoko’s Kitchen. She is a chef, an author, and perhaps most importantly, a perspective changer – she is shifting how people think about vegan food and lifestyles. Miyoko has dedicated her life to convincing others there’s a different way to eat. Miyokos launched online in 2014 and has taken off, offering vegan dairy products (cheeses and butters), with the goal of “help(ing) people see the power of their plate in creating a more peaceful, compassionate planet.” Crafted in California wine country, the products aren’t just humane, they’re delicious. Award winning products are helping Miyoko take on the $120 B cheese industry one dairy product at a time.

Health-Ade Kombucha

Daina Trout and Vanessa Dew started selling Trout’s first batches of kombucha at Brentwood Farmers Market in 2012. The kombucha sold out. In 2013, when kombucha was still a nascent category, they got distribution in 8 Gelson’s stores as a trial. This unlocked partnerships with distributors like Nature’s Best, propelling Health-Ade to West Coast and eventual nationwide distribution. Health-Ade’s built its brand as the “champion of the happiest and healthiest you.” From humble beginnings at a farmer’s market, Health-Ade is now found in more than 26,000 stores around the nation.


Natasha Case and Freya Estrella started baking cookies, making ice cream, and combining them into ‘cool houses’ in Los Angeles in 2008. They shared their products with the people of Los Angeles by buying a postal van, and making the trek to debut these ice cream sandwiches at Coachella Music Festival. Coolhaus touts its certified women-owned status, citing that it’s “such an important cause and a challenge our World faces. To change you have to lead by example.” And lead they have. Coolhaus has achieved incredible success in over 7,500 grocery stores across the US, with over 30 offers. Yet, the brand has remained true to its roots: Coolhaus continues its founding tradition with 10 mobile ice cream trucks and carts in LA, NYC, and Dallas.

LOLI Beauty

Tina Hedges of LOLI Beauty is a veteran in building startups. She launched a celebrity haircare brand and a hangover prevention beverage before LOLI. In 2017, Hedges created the idea of “Living Organic Loving Ingredients,” the inspiration behind LOLI. LOLI Beauty is the world’s first zero-waste, organic, and customizable beauty brand. All products are waterless, food-grade, and made with up-cycled, sustainably grown, superfood ingredients. Designed with the sustainability-conscious consumer in mind, even the packaging is compostable. Recently, the Global Cosmetic Industry featured LOLI Beauty as one of the top 30 disruptive beauty brands to watch for in 2020.


We hope you enjoyed learning about these 10 female-founded brands. Please look forward to Part II of this series, where we will highlight the journey of being a female founder in CPG and lessons to be learned. As always, we want to hear from you! If you’d like more information on any of our challenger brand studies, or want to share a brand of your own, please reach out at Happy International Women’s Day!

Revenue Growth through Relevancy

Revenue Growth through Relevancy


With overabundant options and shifting consumer preferences, achieving revenue growth—especially profitably—is the core challenge that companies will face in the new year and decade. A brand’s ability to grow remains rooted in the indelible principles of winning consumer jobs, carving out distinctive spaces, and engaging with consumers in highly relevant, authentic ways.

We believe that building relevance is an under-leveraged pathway to accelerate growth. As Millennials and Gen Z account for the greatest transfer of wealth and consumer spending power on record, brands must use a forward-looking approach to identify what is most relevant for this next generation.

We’ve distilled a forward-looking view on what next generation relevance means into five pillars: relevance to my values, culture, lifestyle, budget, and places I purchase. This paper explores each relevance pillar and offers ideas for how to unlock revenue growth through each by highlighting brands that are doing it well.

5 Pillars of Relevance

Pillar #1: Relevance to my values

Next generation consumers want to spend their money on more than a product; they use their beliefs to direct purchasing. Winning brands position themselves as relevant to contemporary values and empower consumers to use their purchasing power to support a greater purpose.

Brands aligned to consumer values (e.g., ways of eating, environmental stewardship, donation of proceeds to various causes) also command a price premium as consumers are willing to pay more for the enhanced benefits delivered by a values-based brand. We see this justified premium as a growth unlock across categories.

Unlock: Use forward-looking insights to identify emerging values that drive purchase decisions

Prioritize leading-edge consumers (those creating change in the market) and identify what they value most when selecting products. These consumers portend where purchase decisions are trending, and brands that deeply understand these values-based decisions can better delight this group and remain ahead of broader market trends.

A few examples include:

Love the Wild, a frozen seafood entrées kit, with sustainable aquaculture benefits for consumers and the environment.


Credo Mobile, a virtual network operator, can charge similar rates to Verizon because it invites its members to designate a charity each month to receive a portion of Credo’s profits.

Pillar #2: Cultural relevance

Brands often struggle to appeal to next generation consumers in today’s ultra-competitive landscape. Successfully creating stickiness in consumers’ minds requires talking to consumers through mediums and situations that are relevant to their culture. Connecting to the next generation’s culture in an authentic way while remaining true to the brand’s heritage will allow the brand to build relevance with a spectrum of consumers.

Unlock: Link your brand to contemporary culture As consumers see advertising everywhere, from subway ads to Snapchat stories, it has become more difficult for brands to capture mindshare. One way to stand out authentically is to leverage borrowed interest from pop culture, making smart, relevant connections to your brand and what it stands for.

A few examples include:

Bud Light’s Game of Thrones campaign targeted Millennials with its creative focus on high-quality ingredients and fostered cultural appeal through its humor and homage to the widely popular show.


Sir Kensington’s co-branded food trucks borrowed badge value from beloved TV show Bob’s Burgers and appealed to foodie culture.

Pillar #3: Lifestyle relevance

As the next generation builds careers, families, and homes, they seek solutions that fit meals, snacks, and personal care and household occasions into busy schedules, spurring a resurgence across categories from home cleaning to frozen meals to dairy and pasta. Brands can win by updating old standbys for evolving needs as consumers seek better ‘job’ solutions.

Unlock: Connect with trending values as a ‘way in’ to today’s lifestyle

For the next generation, food values are about more than just nourishment; they are integrated into consumers’ sense of self and wellbeing. Brands whose products better fulfill evolving consumer ‘jobs’ associated with changing lifestyles will earn greater market share.

A few examples include:

Califia identified plant-based eating as an emerging food value and innovated within this platform to fulfill a myriad of consumer “jobs”, such as energy, digestive health, and satiety.


Banza’s chickpea pastas were inspired by the idea that consumers buying better-for-you products want the best of both worlds: delicious meals for the whole family to gather around, while overdelivering on nutrition density.

Pillar #4: Budget relevance

With college tuition increasing 500% since the 1980s and cost of living more than tripling, the next generation of consumers is accustomed to living on a budget. In the consumer goods space, they are seeking an even greater value equation. Low prices alone are not the answer. It is more important than ever to identify and deliver on the aspects of the value equation that matter most to them.

Unlock: Over-deliver on the value equation

Offering exceptional value through the right benefits at the right price requires a deep understanding of where value lies for your consumer. By offering exactly what consumers value most and not investing in what they don’t, brands can be highly relevant while saving on areas that expand profit margin.

A few examples include:

This is L became a high-growth feminine care brand through a highly relevant value equation for modern women, including organic ingredients, stand-out packaging and competitive pricing vs. conventional leaders.


One Bar focuses its packaging on communicating its nutritional point of difference—20g of protein, just 1g sugar—and delicious exploratory flavors.

Pillar #5: Relevant availability

Today’s consumers expect brands to be seamlessly available for purchase in their flow of life outside traditional retail channels, whether offline or online. However, brands must still stand out in the traditional brick and mortar retail environment while expanding omnichannel through availability online, in foodservice, and/or in unexpected UDS (up-and-down-the-street) channels such as apartment buildings, workplaces, and gyms.

Unlock: Develop breakthrough availability

As social networks expand in-app purchasing capabilities, brands can capitalize, reaching younger consumers where they already browse and removing the friction to purchase online. In real life, brands can break through by ensuring their in-store presence is unforgettable (or better yet, Instagrammable) and by increasing distribution in grab-and-go locations that accommodate the next generation’s on-the-go lifestyle expectations.

A few examples include:

Sumo Citrus’ seasonal in-store execution aligns with retailers’ desire – and emerging KPI – of creating Instagrammable displays. Shoppers associate these oranges with an eye-catching showstopper on the store perimeter, leading to higher likelihood to purchase.



Smalls cat food sidestepped category incumbents by expanding point of sale to Instagram, where browsers receive a discount to encourage trial and can shop directly from the link.



Q Mixers is sold at retail, but next-generation consumers might also spot their “Spectacular Serve” bottles when ordering drinks at leading restaurants and bars around the country.



To unlock growth this decade, commit to a forward-looking insight approach to build relevance with the next generation of consumers. Include the 5 Pillars of Relevance framework within your annual planning and ensure new growth ideas integrate into your marketing plans. We wish you success in the new year and hope these revenue growth ideas provide inspiration on new ways to engage consumers.

As always, we welcome your thoughts and feedback. Please reach out to

Challenger Brand Study 2019

Challenger Brand Study 2019


Our recent Challenger brand papers have highlighted the Challenger brand growth algorithm and the multiple ways these brands create a defendable moat early in their trajectory. This year, Seurat Group’s Challenger brand study examines the importance of delighting the modern consumer with consumer experience strategies that build engagement and enduring brand value.

Delighting the Modern Consumer

The next generation of consumers hold tremendous power in the consumer products industry. They represent the greatest amount of wealth transfer that has ever occurred. They yield the power to discover the brands and products most relevant for them in today’s increasingly digital landscape, the power to research a brand’s story and processes to every last detail, and the power to democratize and perpetuate their knowledge of brands via popular social media outlets, should they so choose. They also hold the power to influence other consumers in the marketplace, creating outsized impact for their preferred brands. Most importantly, these consumers have the power to engage solely with brands that truly delight them. The number of choices a consumer is faced with for any single purchase today is unprecedented. Brands must go above and beyond to differentiate themselves and engage relevantly with today’s empowered, shrewd consumer.

To do so, brands must truly delight the consumer at every stage of their consumer journey, engaging with them in unique, human and relevant ways to elevate the consumer experience. Delighting consumers can manifest in different ways for different brands. Some of the most valuable brands have prioritized the consumer experience for these reasons. Nike delights consumers by constantly evolving how consumers interact with its products. Knowing its shoppers engage digitally, Nike has trailblazed in digital innovation to elevate the shoe shopping experience. The Nike app doesn’t just allow consumers to research, learn about, and shop products; it provides customized content for overall fitness and wellbeing. Nike has a second app, SNKRS, to engage with today’s growing sneakerhead community with unique drops, giving these fans the ultimate sneakers experience. The brand also features flash sales and a “Customize” tab on their home page to engender exclusivity and personalization.

At Seurat, we believe a brand’s size does not correlate to its ability to delight its consumers. If Challenger brands can find their own authentic ways to delight, they can still outcompete category incumbents. For example, Equal Parts is a home cookware company that is equal parts products, and equal parts human interaction and education, lowering barriers to cooking at home, and thereby barriers to purchasing cookware. It does this by providing consumers on-demand guidance and inspiration via texts from an expert cooking coach, redefining DTC (direct to consumers) to DWC (direct with consumers). Through helping consumers build their intuition in the kitchen with personalized tips and techniques, Equal Parts is delighting consumers not only with products, but with the overall cooking experience.

This year, Seurat Group’s Challenger brand paper celebrates ten ways – and ten brands – that best exemplify how to delight the modern consumer.

Top 10 Challenger Brands 2019

Step 1: Start with the “Why?”

Clearly define the mission that the brand will live by.


Blueland is on a mission to clean up the planet starting with cleaning our homes. Traditional household cleaners are sold in disposable plastic bottles and contain mostly water. Blueland is turning that paradigm on its head by selling $2 dissolvable cleaning tablets that are meant to be used with their reusable “Forever” Bottles. By switching to cleaning tablets and reusable Blueland bottles, consumers are embarking on a collective mission to eliminate 100 billion single-use plastic bottles in the US alone. It’s delightfully easy to become an everyday superhero for the environment when all you have to do is add water and drop effervescent cleaning tablets into the beautiful and sleek “Forever” bottles.

Step 2: Carve out a unique positioning

What pain point does your brand uniquely address that others cannot? What’s your true competitive edge?

Lily’s Chocolate

Made with fair trade certified chocolate and sweetened with plant-based sugar substitutes, Lily’s provides shoppers an indulgent chocolate experience without nutritional sacrifice. Delighting consumers comes by way of achieving taste parity to traditional category options, while eliminating the guilt element of fulfilling cravings. Lily’s fulfills a unique positioning that no other better-for-you category player has been able to figure out – delivering on what consumers care about most in indulgence: taste.

Step 3: Amplify the “Why”

Develop a portfolio of mission-driven products with constant messaging.


Reusable sandwich bags may not sound like a big deal, until you think about how many plastic bags are thrown away and end up in the ocean. Stasher makes an ecosystem of food storage containers out of pure silicone that is better-for-you and the planet. Their products have a multitude of uses including oven, microwave, even sous vide cooking, and come in all shapes, forms, and colors. Stasher’s consistent messaging to consumers is to “keep it fresh, keep it together, while keeping it out of the ocean”. And consumers are delighted by this redefinition of the food storage experience, evident by +1000 reviews on Amazon and best-seller status for the reusable bags category.

Step 4: Be seamlessly omnichannel

Meet your consumer personas everywhere they are.


Started as a meal replacement for busy techies, Soylent has aggressively expanded its consumer targets, its product offering and its omnichannel footprint. Soylent targets multiple consumer personas from the college student to busy moms through seamless omnichannel engagement. In addition to a winning online presence on Amazon (#1 grocery product on Amazon in January 2017) and DTC, Soylent has been gradually expanding its brick and mortar presence across foodservice, retail, and convenience stores while also using influencer mediums such as campus ambassadors and sponsoring bicycle rides to class. This ability to meet consumers where they are allows Soylent to delight consumers by making it easy to buy.

Step 5: Become friends with your target consumer

Friends listen and engage, your brand should too.


Like a good friend, the reinvented women’s multivitamins company Ritual, is committed to helping their consumers develop good habits and self-care. To showcase their commitment to the modern woman and her needs, Ritual has curated a best-in-class learning center called “Our Journal.” The articles in “Our Journal” are split into four categories that curate the most candid and educational information. In addition to this informative blog, Ritual’s social engagement with their consumer base is female-to-female, friend-to-friend. On their active Instagram, frequently featured are everyday women’s success stories or iMessages with motivational reminders, much like the kind of support you’d be delighted to see from a friend.

Step 6: Pull consumers in through the right value equation

Education on brand’s value will pull consumers in. “Attainable premium” will convert them.


Made with 100% Certified Organic Cotton, Cora provides the discerning woman a natural and organic feminine care option that resonates with both personal values and desire for quality. The feminine care landscape is rapidly changing as women are taking a more hands on approach to their personal care regimens, period care included. Cora provides consumers an organic cotton option that is free of pesticides, dioxins, polyester, and fragrances. The brand’s value extends beyond the product itself; for every purchase, the company gives health education and a month’s supply of pads to a girl in need in a developing country. Cora’s efficacious, modern product provides shoppers an attainable premium trade-up option in the category.

Step 7: Drive trial through your aesthetic

Let the brand speak for itself at shelf via standout brand aesthetic to drive trial.


The founders at Recess, a sparkling CBD beverage, have “canned a feeling” of “calm, cool, and collected.” And they have the relaxing brand aesthetic reminiscent of rainbows and clouds to prove it. Each can of Recess is supposed to represent a moment to reset and rebalance. A typical consumer might not know what “hemp extract” or “adaptogen” means, but Recess can still attract and delight them via the eye-catching aesthetic. The necessary first step of a delightful consumer journey is to capture consumers’ attention for your brand. Then, you can educate them at the point of purchase or digitally.

Step 8: Inspire more usage

Cultivate more usage occasions of current offerings. Fuel exploration of broader portfolio with thoughtful expansion.

Ancient Nutrition

Ancient Nutrition is a vitamins and supplements category disruptor, restoring health, strength and vitality by providing the healthiest whole food nutrients to today’s modern landscape. This means adaptability, convenience, and personalization. Their protein products are formulated to be soluble in water, almond milk, coffee, or tea, to be enjoyed both hot and cold, and to be used one or more times a day, for different occasions. In doing so, Ancient Nutrition allows you to seamlessly incorporate their products into your routine, no matter how specific or hectic.

Step 9: Build loyalty by making your brand irreplaceable

Consumers can’t think of alternatives to your brand as it has become a part of their lifestyle.


Ellenos consumers aren’t going to the store to buy Greek yogurt. They’re going to the store to buy Ellenos. This Pacific Northwest family success story, incepted out of Pike Place Market, has made quite a name for itself this past year. With big distribution gains all down the West Coast, including Whole Foods, Gelson’s, and Bristol Farms, Ellenos is reconfiguring how shoppers look at the Greek Yogurt category by infusing the local, fresh, family-owned values into today’s more stagnant category environment. Their competitive edge ultimately remains rooted in taste and experience – with their loyal fans saying that their products can’t be beat.

Step 10: Continually iterate, adapt, and innovate

Make sure your brand is adapting to consumers’ everchanging needs and desires

Siete Family Foods

Siete Family Foods delights consumers wanting authentic Mexican food offerings that are clean, healthy, and delicious. What started as a grain free tortilla company has turned into a tortilla, chips, hot sauce, taco shell, and queso powerhouse of healthy Mexican food that extends far beyond the tortilla space. The team has thoughtfully expanded as consumers have proven different dietary preferences: tortillas come in different flour types (chickpea, almond, coconut, to name a few), chips come in both different flavors (sal y limon, nacho, sea salt, etc.) and pack sizes (new 6 ct now featured for on-the-go consumption). Their queso is vegan. Their bean dip is sprouted. Their chips are made with 100% avocado oil. Siete continues to adapt and keep their finger on the pulse of the health movement and consumers’ food preferences.

At the heart of delighting consumers is focusing on the consumer experience and mapping your consumers’ journey

Delighting the modern consumer is not about just optimizing the product itself, it’s about curating optimized touchpoints with the consumer at every step of their journey. How can a brand delight consumers at the point of sale through product marketing, messaging, or aesthetics? How can a brand delight consumers post purchase, ensuring continued loyalty? Successful Challenger brands put their consumers first at every step, bringing their consumers a delightful consumer experience from start to finish.

As always, we want to hear from you! If you’d like more information on any of our challenger brand studies, or want to share a brand of your own, please reach out at



Great Wealth Transfer:


Equal Parts:


Lily’s: p_89%3ALily%27s&rnid=2528832011&s=grocery&sr=1-1#customerReviewsref=sr_1_1?fst=as%3Aoffkeywords=Lily%27s+chocolate+bars&linkCode=sl2linkId=982c7a3d93b68d848ef1665fac6bab2f&qid=1570402582&refinements=p_89%3ALily%27s&rnid=2528832011&s=grocery&sr=1-1#customerReviews

Seurat Group Benchmarking

From Online to Omnichannel: Soylent in the Real World.




Ancient Nutrition:



Unlocking Growth Through Health and Wellness

Unlocking Growth Through Health and Wellness


Food & Beverage are the primary tools for the majority of Americans to manage their overall Health and Wellness (‘H&W’). 1 in 4 Americans report using exercise to primarily manage their health and wellness, while 3 in 4 Americans do so through food.1

Unfortunately, US consumers are becoming less healthy overall. For example, 9.4% of the US population is diabetic, and another 25% is prediabetic; obesity levels continue to rise.2 Healthier eating and nutrition are widely discussed in culture, yet 2 in 3 consumers are confused about which products to choose as healthy.1

Helping consumers make better nutrition choices is clearly better for public health. It is also a critical growth strategy for brands and retailers as 2 in 3 shoppers are willing to pay a premium for healthier products.3

State of Health & Wellness1

Harnessing Health & Wellness

We believe every manufacturer can unlock growth through H&W, but it requires greater focus on truly understanding consumer H&W triggers, identifying the consumer role of H&W at retail, and engaging consumers along the purchase journey.

In this growth paper, we highlight how manufacturers can simplify H&W choices, engage shoppers along the purchase journey, and partner with retailers to grow category and brand sales.

H&W Playbook

Identify Consumer H&W Triggers

A one-size-fits-all approach won’t work as consumers have unique needs when it comes to H&W. Two segments of H&W consumers, Limiters and Seekers, are examples of how this is uniquely brought to life:

1) Limiters restrict how much unhealthy food they eat and seek physical benefits from their diet. They look for specific macronutrients and take a measured approach to support managing their body.

2) Seekers are eating natural and unprocessed foods regularly and are searching for help with holistic health and functional performance. They actively use food and beverages to enhance their physical and mental wellbeing.

Manufacturers and retailers need to understand consumer H&W motivations by segmenting and targeting consumers based on attributes and benefits they prioritize, as well as motivations and triggers that drive changes in behavior. Providing products and communication that resonates with the unique priorities of each specific segment is the foundation for growth.

Consumer Triggers

Segment H&W Customers

Manufacturers must understand the H&W development of their customer set to inform how they engage with retailers. Many retailers are looking to connect to growing H&W trends, but need help to do so in a way that is right for their shoppers.

Manufacturers should build a H&W retailer segmentation to inform how to position their portfolios and advise retail partners on how to grow through H&W. This starts with both

1) Identifying how important each H&W offer is for a retailer’s shoppers

2) Identifying how shoppers rate retailer performance on this offer

Understanding the intersection of importance vs. performance helps manufacturers prioritize investment and customize recommendations for retailers based on a shopper-first perspective.

We need MFGs to tell us what is right way for me to be a H&W leader for our shoppers.”–Leading US Retailer

Inform and Inspire H&W Shoppers

To truly unlock growth, manufacturers need a deep understanding of the role H&W plays in driving behavior along the shopper journey. Given the high degree of confusion among shoppers around which H&W products are best, brands have the opportunity to educate consumers and influence their choices.

Manufacturers also need to work with retailers to support shopper activations and evolve in-store conditions in a way that provides much needed H&W information for shoppers and drives category growth.

Through this process, manufacturers can better leverage H&W insights to inform the right distribution of items, optimize the shelf set, determine which benefits & attributes to communicate through merchandising and optimize pricing opportunities.

Shoppers are overwhelmed by the choices in the grocery store and the lack of transparency on what is actually healthy. It’s hard to know what’s good for you these days as diet trends keep changing and the ‘healthy’ options in the stores keep expanding.”4

It’s just product overload. There are tons of stuff in every single category. Everything is organic or inorganic or said to be ‘healthy.’ It’s hard to weed out what you should and shouldn’t buy.”4


To drive growth through health and wellness, manufacturers and retailers need to start with the consumer, identify their H&W needs, understand what they aren’t getting today, and let this drive decisions along the shopper journey. Those with deep H&W insight will better delight consumers, shoppers and retailers, and unlock a significant new source of growth.

The Seurat Group is an insights-driven consumer packaged goods consulting and private equity firm whose mission is to delight consumers. We help our clients and portfolio companies by artfully integrating multiple lenses of insight to unlock new perspectives & uncover new growth opportunities.

We’d love to hear from you! To discuss any of these ideas further, please contact us at or visit us at



3 Seurat Benchmarking 2018
4 Food Navigator and Bernstein