In the 1990s we weren’t making any money on Stabbur-Makrell despite the fact that we were selling more and more tins of mackerel.
The situation eventually became so serious that we considered discontinuing the brand. Fortunately, that didn’t happen, and today Stabbur-Makrell is one of Orkla’s most important brands.
Stabbur-Makrell was launched in 1958 and is one of our longest-established brands. In the mid-1990s, volume did indeed grow and consumer demand was high, but there was little profitability.
One of the persons who at the time helped to bring about the fantastic growth that Stabbur-Makrell subsequently experienced was Guri Berge, now Marketing Director at Orkla Foods Norge.
“We argued that Stabbur-Makrell was capable of achieving substantial growth in the future. There were several groups in Stabburet at the time who didn’t quite believe that would happen,” says Guri. “In retrospect, we often see that there is a lot more power in ‘old’ traditional brands than you think. This is particularly true in the bread toppings category, where consumers are more averse to change than where dinners are concerned, for instance. You don’t mess around with Norwegians’ sandwiches.”, says Guri.
Guri adds that Stabbur-Makrell once again served to confirm that competition is a good thing, because it can lead to new focus on “dormant categories”.
“I don’t think we would have achieved growth for Stabbur-Makrell if our competitors, led by King Oscar, hadn’t given us a wake-up call. The competition brought us up to speed in communication, innovation and in-store activities. As a result, and propelled by and catering to the strong health trend then emerging, we accelerated our growth rate.
Before it began to grow, Stabbur-Makrell consisted of a single product. Today, the product range comprises a total of 12 different product lines and is reasonably profitable, and total store sales are as high as NOK 540 million in 2016 according to The Nielsen Company.