When I was a student (1988-91) McVitie’s Chocolate Hob Nobs, launched in 1987 as just another chocolate biscuit, had a bit of cult following as the luxury food item. I believe they’ve since been replaced with Pot Noodle (which was around, but still looked down upon). And I was a little dismayed when, in 2000, McVitie’s seemed to realise the luxury potential and repackaged them in ‘innovative tubes packaging’; an expensive, but sturdy, cardboard tube holding half as many biscuits. But now, four years later, I sense confusion at the role of the Chocolate Hob Nob. They’ve brought traditional (if cheaper and flimsier) wrapping back and offer it alongside ‘innovative tubes packaging’. Mid-to-upmarket Sainsbury’s, is offering two 500g packs in downmarket packaging for the price of one: £1.48. Meanwhile mid-to-downmarket Tesco, is offering one 250g pack in luxury packaging for 99p. It’s not going to work. Hob Nobs need to focus; lets jettison the ‘innovative tubes packaging’ and hit Pot Noodle where it hurts.
BTW: I’m classifying this as Naïve Marketing Strategy#7 as I haven’t written one of those for a while.