Risella became Finland’s most popular rice brand: Brand renewal gave wings to sales growth

The rice brand Risella’s sales grew 15 percent within the last two years as a result of a successful brand renewal and sales strategy. Given wings by the growth in sales, Risella was also the leading brand in two consumer studies. Risella is owned by the Spanish Ebro Puleva Group, and Conaxess Trade Finland, which was also responsible for the brand renewal, is responsible for its sales and marketing in Finland.

When Risella began to be distributed by the marketing and sales organisation Conaxess Trade Finland at the beginning of 2015, Risella’s sales development was flat. The task of Conaxess Trade was to increase sales and refresh the brand image. A new growth story was sought by a complete brand renewal and developing Risella’s product range according to existing consumer trends.

”The Risella brand that Finns had been familiar with for years had to be modernised. In addition to communication and packaging renewals, completely new, trendy rice mixes, such as the rice-quinoa-multigrain mix, were brought into the product family. Carefully selected new products answered consumer demand, and with them we also reached new target groups for Risella. We wanted to save and revive the ”Finland’s most popular rice is Risella” jingle,” says Conaxess Trade Finland’s Senior Brand Manager Riikka Jukarainen.

Two years of active brand renewal and product group management bore fruit. Risella’s sales grew 9 per cent in 2016, and the success has also been shown in consumer studies. In a report by the marketing company Nielsen, Risella was the most popular brand in the rice market*. In the Brand Valuation 2016 study, Risella was the most valued brand in the rice and pasta category**.

Risella launches new product groups by listening to customers’ wishes

The Spanish Ebro Foods acquired Risella from Raisio in 2004. Ebro is the world’s leading rice producer.
”In only two years, Risella was changed from a dated rice brand to a completely new and modern player that sells innovative and healthy products. We are very satisfied with the skills and enthusiasm of our local distribution partner Conaxess Trade Finland with regard to renewing the Risella brand and product portfolio. By listening to the wishes of Finnish consumers, we have developed Risella’s product range to correspond to current wishes for easy and healthy foods. We are constantly developing new products, with which we want to inspire people to enjoy balanced meals,” says Julio Campos, Ebro Foods Regional Sales Manager for Northern Europe.

At the end of 2016, Risella brought quinoa and couscous products to the market, thereby appearing also outside the rice shelf in stores for the first time. During spring 2017, Risella will launch the ”ready right away” product family, which consists of pre-cooked rice, quinoa and multigrain mixes. The new products answer the growing demand for easy, quick and healthy everyday foods.
According to Jukarainen, Risella’s biggest sales peak remains the Christmas and rice porridge season. ”During last year’s Christmas season, the huge amount of 1.12 million kilos of Risella porridge rice was sold in Finland”.

More information
Riikka Jukarainen, Senior Brand Manager, Conaxess Trade Finland
tel. +358 50 5755 361, Riikka.Jukarainen(at)conaxesstrade.com

*) Source: Nielsen Homescan PT-OSTOT 2016, MAT ending on 2 October 2016, total Finland, purchases in value, category total rice
**) The Brand Valuation 2106 study by the Markkinointi&Mainonta –magazine and Taloustutkimus Oy examined the valuation of 1,005 brands in total among Finns. More information: http://www.taloustutkimus.fi/tuotteet_ja_palvelut/tuotekuva_brandi/valmiita_tuotekuvatutkimuksia/brandien-arvostus-2016/

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