Fentimans: Unlocking The Food Pharmacy’s Potential

Fentimans already have a strong portfolio of botanically brewed, indulgent, fizzy, adult soft drinks – but were struggling to identify growth opportunties that didn’t cannibalise current winners.

Like most innovators, they’d spotted that a significant segment of consumers are no longer willing to consume foods & drinks that are ‘bad for them’ – instead, they’re seeking solutions that proactively do their bodies good!

We were seriously excited when Fentimans asked us to help them explore how the Food Pharmacy Mega-Trend might be harnessed to create a range of ‘better for you’ drinks – capable of delivering non-duplicative growth

Disruptive Innovation Isn’t Easy!

90% of new products fail soon after they enter the market.

The percentage of ideas that die before they ever get to market is even bigger.

Disruptive, functional innovations have the highest failure rate of all …

We knew we needed to deliver a rigorous process that:

  • Identified a relevant & genuine unmet consumer need
  • Offered a compelling & differentiated benefit
  • Leveraged approved & credible science to deliver the desired benefit
  • Fully engaged the Fentimans team – and gained the commitment of their leadership
  • Brought the story vividly to life …

Starting With The Enabling Science

Functional performance claims based on food ingredients are, quite rightly, tightly regulated – and can only be made if they have been approved by the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA).


Consequently, our process started with the science …

Approved Claim?

We started by interrogating EFSA’s database to identify which claims had been approved – and which we can use.

We identified over 100 potentially relevant actives and claims.

Technically Feasible?

We worked closely with the R&D team – to explore how those actives can be incorporated into great-tasting drinks

A shortlist of compatible and palatable options was quickly identified.

Benefit Platform?

Finally, we identified a bank of compelling, functional-wellness Benefit Springboards.

Fentimans’ leadership team quickly prioritised the four which best fit their strategic ambitions.

Spotting Underlying Consumer Tensions & Unsatisfied Needs

Once we’d prioritised our shortlist of potential claims and benefit springboards, we were in a position to explore which unmet needs consumers would most like us to address.


Consumers can seldom articulate their unmet needs, so we we created an insight-gathering process that would give us a chance to ‘get inside their heads’ … and spot their underlying needs.

In-Home Safaris

In-Home Safaris catch potential consumers at their most natural, relaxed and ‘un-guarded’

By ‘chatting’ informally, peering into cupboards and following-up on what we saw & heard – we uncovered lots of actionable clues about our consumers’ life-challenges & unmet needs.

In-Store Excursions

In-Store Excursions allow us to observe consumers’ regular shopping behaviours – but also see how they react in less-familiar situations.

We quickly identified a bank of ‘best-in-class’ current solutions as benchmarks – and potential, ‘standard-of-excellence’ solutions as inspiration.

Online Ethnography

On-Line Ethnography allows us to observe consumers’ challenges, behaviours and solution usages across several consecutive days

Based on observing how they were addressing their underlying tensions & challenges – we created six vivid Needs-Portraits to inspire the team’s creativity.

Generating Relevant & Differentiated Solutions

Multi-disciplinary workshops allow us to bring together the combined knowledge, creativity and wisdom of the Fentimans R&D, Marketing and Sales teams – with external marketing, creative and nutritional consultants – in a safe, inspiring and stretching environment

During the interactive sessions the team creatively explored:

  • How we might help consumers resolve their underlying tensions & unsatisfied needs
  • How we might leverage the EFSA approved ingredients & claims to unlock relevant & differentiated benefits
  • How we might learn from the consumer-defined standard-of-excellence solutions – and exceed the performance of the current best-in-class

Throughout the course of the workshop, the team generated and captured well over 100 mini-concepts.

Concept Crafting & Opportunity Validation

Even the most inspired idea will fail if the insight doesn’t resonate, the benefit doesn’t compel or the reason-to-believe doesn’t ring true.


This is especially true of disruptive, functional solutions – where even a single, poorly crafted phrase can kill appeal.


The process we created for Fentimans integrated opportunties for both qual refinement and quant assessment & fine tuning …

Super-Consumer Co-Creation

Super-consumer co-creation allow us to both prioritise the most promising ideas and refine them until they are as strong as possible.

Consumers helped us identify four leading concepts – and craft them in real-time to optimise cut-through & communication.

Quant Concept Validation

An online quant model with category benchmarks was used to both validate the concepts and gather data on what factors were driving and inhibiting success.

All four concepts performed well, but Delicately Digestive was the strongest performer overall – with a PI as good as Fentimans’ iconic Rose Lemonade

Proposition Activation & In-Market Launch

Both co-creation and quant validation had amply demonstrated the relevance and resonance of the Delicately Digestive concept.

  • The insight powerfully connected to consumers’ underlying need for energy – and the truth that ‘after eating, you often feel sleepy’
  • The ‘eat AND feel energised’ benefit brought the proposition to life in a highly motivating way
  • Fruit juice, spring water, B-vitamins and no-added-sugar were all compelling RTBs

The framework for a winning concept was clearly defined – the challenge was now over to R&D to deliver a brilliant product.

The Products

The R&D team at Fentimans have created three deliciously, healthy, still drinks that go brilliantly with food

All three are high-juice recipes – made with spring water and no added sugar

They all contain:

  • Calcium to support digestive enzymes
  • Vitamin B6 to reduce tiredness & fatigue
  • Zinc to boost metabolism.

So they can all claim to support digestion, release energy & boost the metabolism

The Proposition

Their marketing team’s Good & Fruity branding neatly brings the better-for-you proposition to life – and tells the ‘eat good, feel good story’ in a compelling way.

The Outcome

Best of all, Good & Fruity’s Food Pharmacy proposition has engaged the buyers at Tesco & Sainsbury – so it’s delivering the non-cannibalising growth Fentimans were seeking!

What’s Your Challenge?

What is the challenge that’s holding back your business growth?

  • Disruptive Strategy: Need to refocus your ways-of-winning?
  • New Product Ideas:  Need to build a pipeline of breakthrough NPD?
  • Brand Renovation: Need to revitalise an existing brand?
  • Brand Stretch: Need to build new value streams from your core brand equity?

Whatever your challenge – we can help!

Unlocking Growth!

We can help you create online and face-to-face solutions that work – whatever your budget and timeframe

If you’d like to explore how we could help you make it happen – give us a call on +44 1491 411272, or connect with David or Joanna via LinkedIn.