Athenos Hummus: Party
In July 2010, Kraft's Athenos brand was in a difficult position. Its hummus business was in steady decline, having lost national sales volume in 2007, 2008 and 2009. The brand was at risk of being delisted from retailer shelves if they couldn't change that trajectory and generate some energy within 12 months. Delisting would have been a disaster. Not only would it have meant missing out on major growth expected in hummus, but it could also hurt the Athenos brand in two other categories: the large and lucrative feta cheese business and Greek yogurt, a white-hot category with more growth potential. The brand was at a crossroads. A strong push in hummus could carry it towards a prosperous future; while something less could actually be an existential threat.
The hummus category was young but taking off as consumers sought healthier, less processed snacking alternatives to dips. It hadn't seen much advertising, so consumers were choosing their brand at the shelf.