As more and more natural/healthy food startups enter the snack space, I thought it'd be interested to look at how some of the top players on local grocery shelves are presenting their products online.
To start, I looked at the classic Oreo cookies and compared their marketing on Amazon, and their own site, to the up-and-coming alternative brands.
I'll lead with the conclusion here: four out of the five brands I looked at are not using copy as well as they could - both on their own sites, and on Amazon.
Now one of those, Oreo, doesn't really *need* extra copy - they're the best-selling cookies in the world with over 40 billion produced every year, resulting in over $billion in annual revenue.
Let's look at the copy:
THE INCUMBENT: OREOS
This package contains 1 resealable 14.3 oz pack of OREO Original Flavor Chocolate Sandwich Cookies.
Packable, snackable, and forever dunkable, the original OREO makes for the perfect afternoon pick-me-up, shareable snack, or sweet treat.
Each serving of cookies is only 160 calories and Kosher, made with real cocoa, and has zero trans fats.
Great for gatherings, lunchboxes, road trips, and more. Everyone’s favorite cookie will sweeten the day for family, friends and colleagues, or just for yourself!
Nothing compares to the iconic OREO. The classic combo of cream sandwiched between two chocolate cookies has been winning hearts (and stomachs) for over 100 years.
Oreo.com doesn't seem to sell just plain old original Oreos...instead they sell a selection of branded merch and a couple special versions:
What Oreo gets right:
They harness their position as the number one brand and play off of their ubiquitous popularity with nostalgia. They do this in their packaging, bullets, and even secondary images.
Where Oreo could improve:
While Oreo may not need to grow their brand recognition, I think any brand aspiring to gain a similar foothold, or maintain market share, should take advantage of their own website to sell their most popular products.
And whenever you can hype your product (not just the brand), you should do so.
Challenger 1: Newman-O's
A delicious alternative to conventional sandwich crèmes
A perfect snack for kids and adults!
Made with organic flour
Certified organic by Oregon Tilth
100% profits to charity
Newman’s Os Website Description
What Newman-O’s Gets Right:
Newman-O’s packaging provides information on the company’s charitable ventures, and a funny little “Ode” to the cookie. It’s great for in-store sales where prospective first-time buyers are likely to flip the package over and scan it before placing in their basket.
Where Newman-O’s Could Improve:
Newman-O’s are missing a few obvious opportunities:
Getting specific with the benefits of the product in the bullets (how does the taste compare to Oreos? What’s the texture like?
Using Amazon images to share legible product/brand copy
Building out a rich product description
Challenger 2: KiniTOOs
Kinni-TOO Website Description
What KinniTOOS Gets Right:
KiniTOOS makes smart use of icons on their product page. The list layout and ingredient icons makes it easy for allergen-sensitive consumers to see whether this product meets their criteria at a glance.
Where KinniTOOS Could Improve
KinniTOO is currently focusing on whats not in their cookies, which may be sufficient in today’s market where there are big gaps in allergy-friendly snacks.
However as more companies join the space, KinniTOO would be wise to create more positive brand copy based on what what is in their cookies, and what makes them taste good - even for consumers who aren’t trying to eliminate so many allergens.
CHALLENGER 3: GoodieGirl
CHOCOLATE CREME - Natural, chocolatey with soft white creme filling that you will never believe are gluten free. Our sandwich creme cookies will stand up to the best! Take the Goodie Girl challenge against the leading brand.
COOL SNACK FACT- A gluten free twist on the classic sandwich cookie! Delicious chocolate wafer sandwich cookie with a soft vanilla crème filling. You will never believe they are gluten free!
WHAT’S INCLUDED - Contains 3 boxes (10 oz./each box) of Chocolate Creme Cookies – Each box of cookies has approximately 24 cookies per box
NO ARTIFICIAL ANYTHING - Goodie Girl Cookies’ products do not contain any artificial flavors or ingredients and make for a perfect gluten free snack
ALLERGY INFORMATION - Our delicious cookies are, Gluten Free, Peanut Free and Kosher Certified. Produced in a facility that uses tree nuts
Goodie Girl Website Description:
What Goodie Girl Gets Right:
Of all the brands surveyed, Goodie Girl shows the most advanced copy strategy. If you’re looking for an example to follow, look to Goodie Girl (but don’t just copy their strategy - learn from it and apply lessons to your own UVP and market needs).
First, Goodie Girl makes fantastic use of Amazon’s bullet space. Creative capitalization makes them easier to scan, the way section headings do on a website.
Second, they make use of their Amazon photos to not just show the product, but build the brand. The secondary photo featured here includes a customer testimonial - a fantastic way to incorporate social proof - especially for a brand that’s still new to most consumers.
Third, they’ve built out their product page including not just the nutrition and ingredient information, but also a message from the company founder, and even a recipe that uses the cookies.
Where Goodie Girl Could Improve:
I think there’s still space to improve their product page and create a more engaging customer experience rather than using the same bullets that are on Amazon. Amazon selling is a whole other animal. Your own site is where you can really let your product shine. Get creative and use an engaging opening sentence before getting into the details like “What’s Included”
CHALLENGER 4: Glutino
Glutino Website Descrtiption
What Glutino Gets Right:
While short, their glutino.com product description is engaging and transporting. It capitalizes on that Oreo nostalgia and focuses on taste and experience. It’s a winning foundation to build on.
Where Glutino Could Improve:
Glutino is an industry leader in bringing gluten-free products to market, but they’re missing so many opportunities with ecommerce copy:
Using Amazon bullet points
Using secondary Amazon images
Build out their own ecommerce website with engaging copy and product information that would actually compel new customers to make that first online purchase
The Main Takeaway - Every Copy Block Matters
CPG startups have an uphill battle, whether they’re targeting traditional grocery channels, or ecommerce. These days, either path requires building brand awareness and giving consumers enough reasons to choose your product over the competitors.
Up until now, healthy snack brands have often marketed themselves based on ingredients (or lack thereof) alone.
But now that there are so many more natural, organic, and allergen free options, health-conscious consumers want taste too.
And that means brands can’t rest on the laurels of their ingredient list.
They need to convince skeptical consumers that their product will actually taste good.
Your own website is the perfect place to do that marketing - for free! And of course if you’re marketing on Amazon, those five bullet points are prime territory for getting your message out there.
Want to talk about getting copy for your product descriptions? Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org