While exhibiting at a Fancy Food Show, we received a phone call from a woman in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. She had developed a squeezable sauerkraut product that she’d been selling within a 100-mile radius and was interested in working with us to help her grow the reach of the brand.
Her journey to develop this product was inspired, like many great ideas, by recognizing a problem that begged for a solution. She was at her husband’s softball game with their daughter. Upon visiting the concession stand to grab a brat, she noticed the typical metal pan filled with sauerkraut, buzzing with flies, and served with metal tongs. It struck her just how unsanitary and unappealing this was and thought there had to be a better way.
She worked with a food processor for three months to figure out how to get sauerkraut into (and out of) a squeeze bottle. After much trial and error, the world’s first squeezable sauerkraut was born, and the brand was launched.
But commercializing a food product can be a huge undertaking. Going from great idea to a marketable, profitable brand requires three crucial things: time, connections, and money. Without each of these in sufficient measure, even the best ideas can fail to find their market.
While the product was very good, the required time commitment ultimately did not fit her lifestyle well. With limited time and money to invest, she was willing to discuss creative solutions to ensure that the brand could continue. At PCS, we’re always enthusiastic about the prospects of such innovative products. We felt that we could breathe new life into the brand and leverage our connections to scale in a meaningful way. We made an offer to take over the business, while keeping her on as a partner – it was a win-win for everyone; she could stay involved without carrying the burden of the time and financial commitments that had proven so challenging to endure.
Optimizing the opportunity for such a novel product would be no small task. We first tackled key foundational pieces of the puzzle like sourcing the right ingredients, understanding our costs, determining the right packaging, filing patents to protect our ideas, and establishing competitive retail prices and margins. We then renamed the brand, developed an engaging story, created a new brand position and identity, designed a dynamic packaging design that would stand out on the shelf, and developed selling tools to support the sales plan.
It took about 5 months to get everything primed for launch, but with some help, and a LOT of hard work, we successfully introduced Sauer Frau and disrupted a very traditional and quite stagnant sauerkraut market. Today, the brand is growing at a great pace. We’re expanding the concept to other product lines, markets, and channels to gain market share and awareness. From humble Wisconsin beginnings to a robust national brand, we’re proud that we could help bring this tremendous product to light and are excited about the future prospects of the brand!
Do you have a fresh or novel idea? Do you need help getting it to market? Let us help. Contact PCS today!