Happy Chinese New Year from Nestle !

新年快樂!

My aunt told me a few days ago that she felt a line needed to be drawn at my proposal to make guacamole for Sunday’s Chinese New Year dinner. Orange-flavoured KitKats however, will be on the dessert menu, thanks to the festive Chinese New Year packaging Nestle has come up with.

With a matte gold sheep (Year of the Goat/Sheep) embossing a red background and well wishes printed in white, I think this marketing campaign is extremely nifty. For starters, the orange-flavoured (or milk-flavoured) KitKats  were not developed for the Lunar New Year. But Nestle is positioning these products, that are already within their portfolio, as a Lunar New Year treat. And this simple change in packaging has captured the hearts and the wallets of consumers, my mother revealed she only purchased the chocolate for me because the packaging would let me celebrate Chinese New Year and share my culture with my friends and roommates.

I am also extremely impressed with the execution of these KitKats as Chinese New Year treats; it is exceedingly smart. A printed paper sleeve was used instead of printing the festive graphics directly on foil, allowing for product continuity post-Lunar New Year. These sleeves can simply be removed for products to stay on store shelves, eliminating the practice of the post-holiday margin lowering markdowns. (As much as I love the markdowns of February 15th, Valentine’s Day manufacturers could learn a thing or two from the Lunar New Year KitKats.)

More and more companies in Canada are actively targeting the ethnic market but many are still reluctant to do so due to the risks and costs associated with segment marketing. I think these Lunar New Year KitKats are an excellent example of how companies are becoming more and more creative at lowering the barriers to ethnic marketing.  I am excited to see (and maybe be part of a team!) what is next in store for ethnic marketing, as Andrew Pelletier of Walmart Canada once revealed, “This is truly the future of retail [marketing] in Canada.”.

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