Maple Leaf Foods: Larsen Classic Taste Returns


Section I — Basic information

Business Results Period (Consecutive Months): February 2012 – July 2012

Start of Advertising/Communication Effort: 30 January 2012

Base Period as a Benchmark: February 2011 – July 2011

Section II — Situation analysis

a) Overall Assessment

The traditional wiener category is alive and well in Atlantic Canada. One brand in particular – "the Larsen wiener" – is considered a grocery staple. Although owned by Maple Leaf Foods (MLF) for the past 30 years, the Larsen brand was originated by an immigrant who landed by ship in Halifax in the 1920s. These deep roots in Atlantic Canadian heritage, coupled with the brand's exclusivity to the region, have created an almost evangelistic following.

Despite this fervent consumer loyalty, MLF couldn't have imagined the impending fallout that would occur when, in August 2010, it decided to change the recipe for Larsen wieners. To consolidate wiener production across MLF's widespread operations, the Nova Scotia plant was closed, and production of Larsen wieners was moved to Ontario. Although the Larsen recipe was altered in the process, consumer taste tests indicated that the new formulation was acceptable.