npd kitchen chefs

Curse of the zombie asset

Sir, Numerous column inches have been devoted to the mounting pressures facing casual dining and I am amazed that not one has addressed why these companies don’t appear to have asset management strategies in place. Businesses could be sitting on hundreds of thousands - or even millions - of pounds of old equipment and machinery just waiting for a second home. In these economic conditions, can companies really afford not to put a strategy in place to avoid the curse of the zombie asset?

Alan Bell, UK MD, Troostwijk Asset Management

Battle to stay relevant

Sir, I was very interested to read in The Grocer about Diet Coke’s new flavours launching into the UK. Coke is an iconic brand that runs the risk of becoming an endangered species. So it’s great to see it engaging in NPD and packaging redesign to communicate lower sugar credentials. Many global brands struggle to rebrand themselves before they are in dire straits. To be relevant brands must understand what they need to do to stay relevant in the future.

Richard Taylor, managing partner, Brandon

New thinking on plastic

Sir, In the light of ‘New poll reveals extreme shopper concern over plastic’ (17 February p4), it will take a community including consumers, manufacturers, waste management companies, local authorities and the government to find innovative and effective solutions. Businesses must try to look outside the box, whether that’s reusable plastic containers or allowing consumers to return plastics in exchange for loyalty points or money.

Stephen Cameron, business development director, SWRnewstar

Reach out to women

Sir, Some 91% of female consumers say brands don’t understand them while 85% of consumer purchases are made, driven and influenced by women. It will be brands that truly understand women on an emotional level, and transform their communications to deeply resonate, that will secure a place in their heart. Companies that embrace a new wave of marketing built on an entirely new model, including more human and emotional aspects such as empathy and purpose, will thrive.

Sophie Thomas, female consumer expert, BornGloryUs