In a market of ready meals where FruFru is a healthy alternative and challenger for ready meal products, the brand is struggling to increase the consumers pool by enlarging its distribution chains and opening dedicated shops in the big cities. When Romanian government decides lockdown due to COVID pandemic, in March 2020, the Romanian brand needs to find a way to reinvent its strategy overnight. There is only one option – opening an online store and converting fast from awareness to purchase, or in simple words – launching frufru.ro and pushing hard to make it visible and deliver.
Ready meals is a strong category in Romania, on a growing trend as the country’s economic growth resulted in longer working hours and busier lifestyles, which left many consumers with less time for cooking (source: Euromonitor, November 2019, Ready Meals Romania category report). However, the premium-ness that FruFru offers and the healthy alternative that excludes unnecessary ingredients, it is still niche on the market. The brand was steadily making its way to the customers through the distribution in brick and mortar retailers (Mega Image, part of Delhaize Group) coupled with own stores. The COVID lockdown meant the product needed to quickly find alternative ways for selling, so the launch of the online store was necessary to continue to meet customer’s needs and bring the healthy products with no extra ad-ons close to the consumers. The challenge was making sure that the investment in the online platform would be profitable, in a country where buying goods online is still lagging behind, with just 25% of online population having bought goods/services online by October 2019 compared to 83% in Netherlands (source: EMarketer, select digital activities conducted by users in Europe, by country, Oct 2019). The calculated objective was therefore a Return on Advertising Spent of 2, ensuring that each EURO invested generates 2 EUROS in sales, thus making the investment profitable.