Copy my product, but bow before my brand…

As I wandered around my local Co-op food store the other morning, picking up a few bits and bobs for breakfast, I found that Tropicana seem to have finally got round to launch a smoothie product… it’s right beside the innocent smoothies, in a similar shaped carton, and is even in the same flavour…

…so, being an innocent loyalist (and weirdo), I thought I’d buy a carton of both, and take them home for a taste test.


Now, the tropicana smoothie seems to be a bit more ‘raw’ (there are ‘bits’ of seeds, roughage etc, like they haven’t whizzed it round for quite as long), but by and large the smoothies taste pretty similar to be honest.  If I had a blindfold on, I doubt i could tell the two apart without extensive tastebud training…

…but then you’d expect that really; there’s only so many ways you can blend together strawberries, bananas and the other fruits that go in to it.

And the price difference isn’t that huge either… they both come in around the £3 mark, with innocent a little more expensive.  Neither use concentrates, so it’s a pricey old game I guess.

So what’s the differentiating factor going to be?  Brand.  It’s true that marketing folk go on about the innocent brand ALL THE TIME, but for good reason; it’s an honest, new, fresh, friendly company (and therefore ‘brand’) in a world where there’s not that many (despite all the innocent-like companies which have emerged in their wake in different sectors).

It’s unlikely that the innocent brand loyalists will switch to Tropicana to save 20p on a £3 product.  What’s perhaps more likely is that Tropicana brings more of it’s OJ audience into the smoothie market… they will grow the sector.  The opportunity for innocent then is to maintain their market share of a larger sector… just as well they’ve got a great brand to help them do just that.