News & Analysis on the Bakery and Snacks Industries
The textbook flop: “What were they thinking?!”
By Niamh Michail
- Last updated on
The star attraction from the food industry is perhaps one of the most bizarre examples of brand extension in history – when toothpaste manufacturer Colgate decided to venture into frozen ready meals.
“It’s truly bizarre and, to be honest, the hardest one to understand," says global food and drink analyst at market research company Mintel, David Jago. "What on earth were they thinking? It just didn’t make any sense. Yes, the Colgate brand is terrifically strong but to think you could leverage that brand, which is really only known for toothpaste, into the food market is just crazy.”
According to Jago, this error could have been avoided by applying some common sense - “Colgate belongs in the bathroom, not in the kitchen” – but also by taking the ‘brand ego’ down a peg or two.
“It’s a case of companies thinking the brand name is all-powerful and they can leverage it anywhere they want to.”
For almost three decades, Colgate held the number one spot in Europe for 'least appetising lasagne ever' before being knocked off by a horse meat trader.