Frigo – Cornetto Soft

A new experience in ice cream consumption

In my opinion, innovating in the mass consumption sector is one of the most complex challenges of this profession; there are many exogenous factors to the concept itself that may elevate or bury it. The strategy for the sector leader is not the same as the strategy for a follower or for the wholesaler brand; and neither is it when we innovate in order to gain a market share, to defend the one they have against followers, to get new turnovers or to increase the current one.
Cornetto Soft (Frigo – Unilever) is a project developed for the sector leader and it aims at introducing a new category for the industrial ice cream branch, with the purpose of preventing the entry of creamy ice creams introduced by fast food chains. This constitutes one of Loop’s classical projects, with far-reaching media and market repercussion. It was also the first one developed for the mass consumption sector.
In a leadership position, having good products within very consolidated sectors, it is hardly to gain a market share; as the latter is already very mature and most actions are defensive in order to extend products’ life and defend the margin of a slow fall. This is the trivialization road.

When we start a project with these characteristics in Loop we draw a graph called ‘contractured spiral’, in which we try to observe the trivialization process of a product/service and the current situation toward the trivialization highest point. In the illustrated graph, we can see –although not thoroughly- the process of our client’s industrial ice cream line toward this point; this is the classical situation of a market leader, where the tendency leads us to increase commercial and technological diversity in order to produce the same number of ice cream litres; all these actions contribute to hold the leadership position but growth is hardly possible.
We can see in the spiral graph how the industrial ice cream line increases its technological diversity (new textures, flavours, combinations of cooling systems, etc.) and its commercial diversity (products for different targets, brand use, branding and packaging diversity, etc.); all this aiming at holding the position. We could say that products cannibalize one another; we increase consumption possibilities but we do not create new ways of consumption. We can spot this fact in various sectors and products: bottled water, dairy products, soup, etc.

Cornetto Soft is the result of an innovation process in which we interact with the client’s different teams, it is focused on analyzing the existing knowledge (technological, commercial, marketing, distribution, etc.) within the ‘value contractured spiral’ and starting a new product loop using this knowledge and creating a new mode of consumption, thus avoiding cannibalizing the previous ones.

Evidently, Cornetto Soft does not ‘invent’ the cone ice cream or the creamy ice cream but it manages to give the industrial ice cream branch a reference of a creamy ice cream with wide ‘freshly-made’ consumption experience, without the technological or staff dependence this type of ice cream usually has (expensive machines, perishable products, qualified staff, maintenance, etc.).
Cornetto Soft managed to introduce a new ice cream consumption category in the market, based on industrial ice creams’ competitive edge which makes a broad capillary network of distribution possible by exploiting the ‘freshly made’ quality for the client and settling in as one of the client’s widely renowned brands (Cornetto). This combination allowed the end client’s perceived value to be increased and consequently, the product margin to be increased too.


Mª Luisa Vives – Jaime Gross

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