Not that long ago supermarket shelves offered sugar and, at best, two kinds of non-sugar sweetener. But now, consumers looking to avoid sugar have a wide selection of sugar alternatives. So wide in fact that it’s easy to become confused. Pyure Brands, one of the largest suppliers of stevia in the country, is rising to that education challenge. With its recent launch of single-serving packets, the brand partnered with agency Our Man In Havana to launch a campaign messaging to modern women about Pyure.
brandchannel spoke with Mark Eisenacher, Pyure Vice President of Marketing and Sales, about the campaign, “switching costs,” education, and the sweet and sour of standing out in the modern sugar-substitute marketplace.
What inspired Pyure to launch its message about specifically aimed at women?
Strategizing our first Pyure advertising campaign, we really wanted to take the position as more than just a sugar-free, natural sweetener. Woman drive 70-80% of all retail purchases, so it’s a no-brainer to target woman. More than that, we wanted to create an empathetic message. It’s hard to bypass sugar in your diet. Let’s be honest, it’s in everything. That being said, there are easy ways to substitute, like coffee and tea, and avoid unnecessary calories without compromising taste. We want Pyure Organic Stevia to be a positive choice instead of something you switch to because you give up something else. And of course, we needed a cat to do that.
On Pyure’s website, first thing, visitors are greeted with a message defining Pyure as “an organic, plant-based, zero-calorie sugar substitute made using organic stevia.” Then there is a button titled “Wait, what is stevia?” How much of Pyure’s messaging is education and teaching consumers about differences in the range of non-sugar substitutes?
Education is extremely important in our product category. Stevia is just a nine-year old category and there is still plenty of confusion about stevia sources, bulking agents, taste and usage. Efficiently and effectively educating interested consumers about product differences is very beneficial to us because we believe we have meaningful advantages to our competitors. We prefer not to lead with educational messaging because it can be complicated. Instead we try to provide that information in a more ownable environment, like on our website or Facebook page. In those places, we focus on product information, recipes, and other helpful pieces of stevia information that aim to simplify the product. Generally, sugar substitutes is a category with significant complexity. We want to win at educating consumers about our products and our company – we don’t sell sugar or artificial sweeteners, we are focused on being the best organic stevia company in the market.
The brand seems to have a two-front branding challenge. There is the messaging against sugar. But also how does Pyure differentiate itself within the stevia category?
Not only is it a multi-front challenge, but we also recognize that consumers have different reasons why they want to substitute sugar. Generally, we are trying to convert sugar, artificial sweetener and other stevia users to Pyure. The “Zero Calories, Try Pyure” campaign doesn’t work for everyone, so we have to get creative. By developing empathetic messaging that focuses on the ease and convenience of trying an alternative, we avoid mixed messaging and appeal to a broader audience.
Ultimately, the goal is to get someone to try Pyure or at minimum click through and understand why they should try Pyure. Switching cost is low—we’re not asking you to trade your BMW for an Audi. For just a mere $5 on your next trip to Walmart or on your next purchase from Amazon, consumers can experience Pyure and make a huge impact on their health and lifestyle. If we can get you to try it, we think we have a huge advantage when it comes to flavor. On top of that, we’re completely organic, non-GMO, zero-sugar, zero-calorie, and zero-glycemic. We believe we have the best stevia product on the market at the best value.
And yes, we’re working on a cost-effective sampling program that would eliminate the initial switching cost altogether.
How does Pyure leverage its partnership with AllRecipes.com? And what’s your favorite recipe?
As a part of the current advertising campaign, AllRecipes.com is a new platform for Pyure. It is the largest recipe site on the internet and a place where some of our competitors have been participating for some time. AllRecipes.com serves as a platform to disseminate information about our brand and product, as well as advertised through some of their differentiated offerings. We look at the partnership as an alternative medium that we can use to share great information about Pyure Brands to a large audience of interested foodies. We are just beginning, but we think we can really grow and take ownership of our category.
My favorite recipe is the Stuffed Pumpkin Spice French Toast–it pairs really well with our Organic/Sugar-Free Maple Syrup Alternative that we are about to launch.
The brand just launched individual packets servings. What’s next for Pyure?
We’ve had packets and other sweetener blends from the beginning, 2010 or so. Next for Pyure, we’re going to approach some value added categories where we believe there is the need for an organic/sugar-free option. Our first products of this kind are the organic/sugar-free honey and maple syrup alternatives. They’ll be available to ship in late-August. After that, the opportunities are endless. Pyure will make you forget sugar was even an option.
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