Transcending core categories

by Dan Malovany
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Last week, King's Hawaiian jumped beyond the bread aisle with its new line of four Hawaiian-inspired BBQ sauces.

Many brands such as Oreo have done a great job transcending their core category and the cookie aisle. In fact today, you can find Oreo in everything from frozen desserts in the retail freezer case to even churros — in a recent partnership with J&J Snack Foods — in the food service channel.

Last week, King's Hawaiian took its first step to jump beyond the bread and roll category by announcing its roll-out of a line of four Hawaiian-inspired BBQ sauces — including such flavors as Original Sweet Pineapple, a spicy Big Island Lava, Kona Coffee and the universally popular Smoked Bacon — just in time for summer. The initiative goes way back. In 2006, the company wrote its mission statement as to “deliver irresistible Hawaiian foods with aloha spirit that families love everywhere, every day.”

Please note that nowhere in the statement does it mention bread, rolls or other baked goods. Rather, King’s Hawaiian wants to distance its premium products as far as possible from the highly competitive bread aisle. That’s why you find its bread and rolls in or near the in-store bakery/deli in supermarkets.

“We don’t think of it as bread, we don’t price it as bread, and we don’t market it as bread,” John Linehan, executive vice-president, told Baking & Snack magazine. “It’s Hawaiian food.”

In the coming years, look for King’s Hawaiian to spread its brand and aloha spirit into other food categories that complement its signature bread and rolls in multiple meal occasions.
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