Philadelphia storms the Nutella monopoly

Philadelphia with Milka will be marketed in France from March 15, 2012. – Kraft Foods

“What, salty chocolate cheese ?!” At the announcement of this innovative concept, reactions are sometimes perplexed. The taste will perhaps convince them more. In any case, this is the bet of Kraft Foods, which claims to have already had great success in Germany and Italy with this spread of a new kind.

Between St Môret and the Laughing Cow

To find out, we will have to wait until March 15: it is on this date that the “Philadelphia au Milka” will begin to be marketed in the fresh shelves of our supermarkets alongside other spreadable cheeses, such as La Vache qui rit or the St Môret. A location “shifted” to counter the heavyweight of the sector available, him, in the department “jam”: Nutella from Ferrero.

To achieve this, Kraft relies in particular on a healthier nutritional profile, with 13.5% fat and 90 calories per 30 g, against 158 ​​for Nutella. But the group relies above all on “the beautiful guarantee” of a world-famous family brand: Milka chocolate.

To grab some of Nutella’s 84% ​​market share

Building on its previous European successes, Kraft is already showing its ambitions: to seduce 3 million French households within two years. A drop of water, compared to the 105 million jars of Nutella sold each year in France, but which would represent the first real foray into the monopoly of the Italian giant.

Experts are skeptical, however. “I understand that a multinational like Kraft aims to globalize its offer, but in the food industry, globalization does not work”, notes Xavier. Terlet, president of the cabinet Ecstasy, specialist in food innovation. “For me, this product has no chance because we are in the process of creating a new hybrid segment, flavored cheese, which can work well in Eastern and Northern Europe but not in France, the country of cheese. , because the French consumer will not understand it: either it’s cheese or it’s Nutella! “

Muriel Guenin, director-founder of the food marketing strategy consulting firm Foodaly, is more nuanced: “I find it very surprising to attack an institution like Nutella, bought by 3 French families out of 4. Private labels, private labels , have never dared to make breakthrough offers: they have always been content to make “Me too”, that is to say to copy Nutella, but they have never been imposed. Nutella still represents 84% ​​of the market, which is huge, ”she says.

Nutella Advantage

For this specialist, “Philadelphia au Milka” has two cards to play on the weak points of Ferrero’s best seller: “Palm oil harms the image of Nutella among mothers where the Philapdephia recipe appears. a priori healthier and the presence in the department has a positive image. In addition, its packaging is more practical than the Nutella jar, ”she explains.

Nevertheless, according to her, the product leaves with significant handicaps: a Philadelphia brand, launched a year ago in France and still little known to consumers, marketing in the fresh section which exposes it to a very high turnover in supermarkets and a recommended retail price of 2.09 euros for 150 grams against 1.72 euros for 220g of Nutella.

“Greedy and compulsive”, keys to success in France

But above all that, the main challenge of “Philadelphia au Mika” will be to break away from the “salty” image of cheese spread: “Taste is the real key to entering the French market. This type of product must be greedy and compulsive to be successful in France, ”notes Muriel Guenin. “If the taste is there and it appeals to children, it can create a new market segment that will appeal to moms without replacing Nutella … and in the process making a good advertisement for the Philadelphia brand!”

Contacted by, Ferrero did not wish to react to the launch of this new product.