Sunchips: Becoming a Pre-eminent Green Brand

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Business Results Period (Consecutive Months): April 2008 – June 2009.
Start of Advertising/Communication Effort: April 1,2008.
Base Period for Comparison: April 2007 – March 2008.

a) Synopsis of the Case

This is the story of the transformation of SunChips from a healthy snack into a leading green brand. It is about a brand facing competitive threats and changing social attitudes, and responding in a way that carves out a whole new leadership position. It is also the story of a small Canadian agency leading a major initiative for a large US client.

In 2008, SunChips embarked on an ambitious plan to reposition itself as “the pre-eminent green snack.”. To do so, they had committed to major capital investments to make their product in a much more environmentally friendly way. In spring 2008, they added a solar field to a plant in California to begin making SunChips with solar energy. In spring 2009, they announced the packaged food industry's first fully compostable packaging. The marketing challenge was to help SunChips communicate what could be technical news about manufacturing innovations in a way that was accessible, fun, and true to the brand's voice.

b) Summary of Business Results