Seizing Opportunities Inside the Crisis: Increasing the Value of a Pasta Brand, Case Study

Mònica Kleiman
GfK, Argentina

Cecilia Iglesias
Molinos, Argentina

THE PASTA MARKET IN ARGENTINA BEFORE THE CRISIS

Towards the end of the 1990s the dry pasta market in Argentina, a category with approximately 95% penetration in homes, was highly atomized with more than 200 brands present. At the time category leader Matarazzo held an 11% share and was the main brand of Molinos, who also participated in this market with other minor brands. Dry pasta was a market where investment in advertising was low and in which Molinos concentrated more than half.

In 1997 Lucchetti, a Chilean-owned company, established its own production plant in Argentina and in a short time gained an 8% share with its brand Lucchetti, placing itself among the main brands in the market (see Figure 1).

Since its launch in the local market its strategy has been to position itself as a “convenience” brand, aggressively priced (approximately 20% less than the leading brand) and seen as excellent value for money by its consumers. Although it did not rely on strong advertising campaigns, it had a visible and constant presence via promotions at point of sale as well as on TV programs with high audience ratings.