Adding premium positioning to products such as packaged bread may appeal to today’s consumer, Ms. Dornblaser said. From Bimbo Bakeries, Sara Lee Artesano bread has delivered $74 million in sales since August 2015. The product is marketed as an artisan-style alternative to traditional sliced bread.
“Consumers get that this is an artisan-style bread in a mainstream format — sliced loaf format, easy to purchase, very familiar, similar to things that they may already be buying but in a more artisanal type of formulation,” she said.
Similarly, brands may “age up” a familiar concept, such as a product traditionally marketed to children, by adding sophisticated flavor profiles and better-for-you ingredients.“The big players need to focus on reassurance, to reassure the consumer in the mainstream that their products are still really high quality, that they know what they’re doing because they’ve done it a long time, and they are the leading player in the category,” Mr. Jago said. “That’s a big challenge sometimes for big companies that can’t move as fast as some of those agile little guys.”