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Case studies

Matcha_case_study

Brewing up a first mover advantage for Lipton with Matcha

“Black Swan identified motivations and behaviours that consumers follow and look towards. In particular this helped us to prioritise, refine and find outstanding proposition options in the all-important health and wellness space.”
Clare Hemphill Global Insights Director, Unilever

Their Challenge

  • Like the craft beer and baking categories, tea is having a revolution with customers tapping into different benefits, flavours and varieties fuelled by social media. But the category is changing faster than brands can keep up with.
  • With traditional variants slowing, Unilever’s Lipton brand wanted to inform new product innovations and stimulate growth within the Ice Tea category. They turned to Black Swan and Social data to achieve this.

Our Approach

  • We ingested 36m high-quality tea conversations from social media and using NLP and AI we analysed every trend being talked about, to identify what’s a short-term fad and sustainable trend.
  • The most interesting emerging trends for Innovation were
    prioritised and ranked with a Trend Prediction Value (TPV) by
    their predicted growth potential (not just size or growth).
  • With traditional variants slowing, Unilever’s Lipton brand wanted to inform new product innovations and stimulate growth within the Ice Tea category. They turned to Black Swan and Social data to achieve this.

The Results

  • We identified that the Matcha conversation was evolving from an exotic oriental ingredient to one with perceived mainstream health and wellness benefits.
  • Matcha ranked No 3 in our TPV in Q2 2016, meaning it was an
    ingredient forecast to grow rapidly in social conversation.
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The Impact

Lipton used our insight to fast-track the launch of a ready-to-drink Matcha Green Tea variant which became the leading Iced Tea variant on the market within just five months.

A year after our recommendations our prediction accuracy was proven:

  • Matcha products had added £11m in incremental
    category value
  • Social conversations about Matcha had increased
    by 118%
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