Will jam be disrupted?

The competition starts every morning. Different kinds of products such as butter, margarine, dairy spread, meat spread or yeast spread to mention some, compete against each other, which is the best to fill every square cm on your slice of bread. One of the most beloved morning starters is jam, I want therefore to scrutinize it.

As the users’ are more and more shifting toward healthier food choices, sugar intake is especially becoming a point of concern. With more than 50% sugar content, jam is a source for it. So a portion of 25g jam contains approx. 12,5g sugar equal to three to four sugar cubes. The reason for this high sugar content lies in the historical method of preserving fruits with sugar after harvesting them. So it is not astonishing that some packaging designs are even referring to its plaid pattern to the old times reflecting on the traditional craftsmanship. Another issue is the jar itself. It is not really consumer friendly regarding weight, recycling, and the inefficient daily knife- jar interaction. Glass is expensive and needs special care compared to plastic packaging or eco-friendly carton that can be sold with a resealable lid.

If you go to the two biggest supermarkets in Switzerland, Migros or Coop, you can see on the shelf that jam brands are positioned whether as traditional craftsmanship, rich in fruitiness or new in flavors. In an overall outlook, there is no real differentiation.

So how can a jam manufacturer disrupt this red ocean?

To differentiate, one option can be a line extension of a new fruit composition. Obviously, this seems to be often the preferred choice because it is the easiest way. However, this option still does not solve the problem consumers face. So let’s first think what job has actually jam to do? It is a part of a breakfast that provides you with energy until noon.

A possible solution lies in the total break out of the “jam paradigm” by moving to a solution that fits the Zeitgeist: Less sugar, more fruits and something that keeps you saturated till the noon. I think, more fruits and less sugar are easy to adjust. It can be considered to use additionally different sugars such as honey or sugar alcohols. Besides that, fibers or vegetable proteins could increase saturation.

Regarding the packaging, I suggest modifying the packaging into a form that is more user-friendly. For instance, the heavy vertical hard to reach bottom jam bottle can be replaced by a flat short easy to recycle carton box with approx. dimensions of 5cm depth x 12cm length. You should keep in mind that you do not only compete against the jam category, you also compete against other products lines that considered as morning starters.

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