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Solero Sustainability – Win, Lose, Or Draw?

Solero Innovation Supporting Sustainability Strategy

The Grocer announced today that Solero is removing its plastic wrappers, to help reduce plastic packaging.

The obvious benefit is to help Solero’s parent company, Unilever, achieve its CSR goals around sustainability, particularly its goal of transforming its plastic use by 2025.

Do Noble Sustainability Goals Help Or Hinder Sales?

When speaking with consumers about sustainability, plastic and Blue Planet come up regularly. For several reasons, this makes sense. Firstly, being more sustainable is what people want. They want to use less plastic and live in a more sustainable lifestyle. But secondly, it might be more virtuous an aspiration than an actual lifestyle change. In the same way that people want to be healthy, but continue eating a sharing pack of chocolate on their own. Thirdly, it may be that people feel that they have to say their considering sustainability and plastic so that they can feel they fit into the current mood of their social circle.

But have we seen a change in consumers’ behaviour in favouring brands that advocate more sustainability? There’s limited evidence on this entire topic, so we thought we’d run a quick study to showcase a couple of things.

Firstly, we want to show the pace we can operate at with our Agile Insight tools.

Secondly, we want to show how our trackers work, being able to track incoming product launches so that our clients know, if and how to react.

Thirdly, we want to see if there is any link to behaviour and attitudes.

Solero Split A/B Methodology

We ran two tests. The first was a Split A/B test with over 500 consumers in the UK at 10:30 am on Friday 14th June 2019. The Split A/B test shows approximately 50% of the chosen panel one image, and the other 50% a different image. The product description remains the same for both groups.

The first group, the control, is shown the existing Solero multipack, currently available in Waitrose.

The second group, the test, is shown the new Solero multipack without the plastic wrappers, as seen in The Grocer’s tweet.

The second test was run at the same time, to a different group of 500 consumers, and was a series of preference tests, asking consumers to choose amongst four brands: Rowntree’s Fruit Pastilles Ice Lollies, Waitrose Orange Ice Lollies, Del Monte Orange Ice Lollies, and Solero Ice lollies, with each having the current price in Waitrose. We ran the test twice, one with the current pack Solero design, and the second showing the new Solero design. All the other brands stayed the same, as did the descriptions and pricing for all four brands.

Solero Quant Purchase Intent Results

As can be seen in the images, when compared together, there is no statistically significant difference between the two pack visuals. Based on the pack visuals, there is a slightly higher consumer motivation for the existing, control, pack, but it is directional only.

The second set of tests, the preference tests shows a different story. The new pack encourages switching from Nestle’s Fruit Pastille’s, with a statistically significant move of 4%.

So it seems that although it won’t increase the overall motivation to buy the brand, it will increase relative motivation against other brands.

All, in all, this is a big win for Solero and Unilever.

Solero – Implications

We have seen with some of our client brands’, that sustainable packaging solutions do not add significant consumer value.

But for Unilever, undoubtedly this is a good thing for Solero to do. It shows the willingness of the brand and the parent company to put its energies and resources behind its pledges. It makes the world a better place.

It will also allow Solero to potentially gain share from others if their launch activation is strong.

For their competitors, this data would indicate that they need to react otherwise they may lose share.


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