Bringing the SPC brand back from the brink

Under new ownership and with a firm growth strategy in focus, here's how SPC is hoping to rejuvenate its brand

With a history that stretches back over 100 years, SPC has been a familiar brand in Australian pantries and on supermarket shelves.

But the company had languished in recent years following its acquisition by Coca Cola Amatil in 2005, recording falling sales and significant losses.

In 2019, SPC was sold to Shepparton Partners Collective, which is backed by Sydney-based investment firms, Perma Funds Management and The Eights. Since then, the new owners have set about revitalising the SPC brand, relaunching with a new logo and a new brand message of It’s time for better.

One of the new hires made since the acquisition is former Ferrero executive, Bree Vidovich, who has joined SPC as chief commercial officer.

“I landed at a time when SPC was completely hidden,” Vidovich tells CMO. “And it was now back owned by Australians, so it was time to signal things were different. We needed to be visible, and we needed to let not only our consumers know, but also the industry, that the iconic SPC that they knew and grew up with is different to the SPC of today.”

The key idea behind the rebrand is to position SPC as a leader in agricultural production and food manufacturing.

“We have devised a new purpose of creating better food for the future, which means we can really go forward,” Vidovich says. “It is so much more than baked beans and spaghetti.”

Part of her task is to bring prominence to the sub-brands SPC owns, including the historic Goulburn Valley and Ardmona brands. This brand family now also includes the SPC ProVital range, which is targeted at consumers with fine motor skill difficulties, and SPC’s 2020 acquisitions of pomegranate brand PomLife, and its majority stake in local frozen meals company Kuisine Co, whose own sub-brands include The Good Meal Co, The Gluten Free Meal Co and Simply Special.

“The brands we have are loved and there is equity in them, and we just need to make them relevant again,” Vidovich says. “And what I have been brought on to do is connect this vision that the leadership has, and recreating this corporate identity talks to what our ambition is.”

The revitalised company has ambitions that go beyond just re-establishing its place in the hearts and minds of Australians, however.

“It is about building an inclusive food movement that isn’t only about our company, but something that the food industry in Australia can get behind,” Vidovich says. “We must be able to provide better consumer offers and better choices and engage growers and industry partners to create these better choices in an accessible and affordable way.

“We’d like to consider that as a rallying point for other Australian manufacturers and suppliers.”

Hence an important part of Vidovich’s role is to bring innovative and creative thinking into the business to show that it can meet the diverse needs of Australian consumers.

“We know consumers expect more, and they certainly make their choice at the shelf,” she continues. “They want food that is better for them and that provides them with more nutrition. They want it to be convenient but affordable, and they want it to be sustainable.”

Besides the new logo and brand message, Vidovich is now rolling out a set of brand principles which will help demonstrate the creativity and innovation within the company.

“The logo is a way to symbolise that we are different,” she says. “This is a new SPC and we want to make it as recognisable and relevant as the multinational companies that we are competing with.

“The ambition is to take this great Australian iconic company with its fantastic brands that have so much value, bring it back from the brink and forge forward. We not only want to take it back to being great in Australia, but also to take food that is really viable as a proposition overseas.”

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, follow our regular updates via CMO Australia's Linkedin company page, or join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia.

 

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