Using purpose to revitalize an iconic brand
November 2019

It's not every day that you're asked to adapt a legendary historic brand to the needs of the modern consumer. We immediately knew that we needed to create a new positioning defined by innovation and relevance to the end user.

It wasn't an easy challenge. Fortunately, Rianxeira is part of Jealsa, Spain's leading cannery with an international presence. However, the canned fish category is dominated by private label (+70% share) and the leading manufacturer's brand has a relatively small market share. Innovation is scarce in this category, which is largely static and mainly driven by promotion. Differentiation would be the key to success.

Our work began with intensive research into the attitude of Spaniards towards fish consumption in order to understand the role it plays in their diet. We started by studying the market from an in-depth analysis of sales and consumption data in order to be able to effectively focus our subsequent research. Through ethnographic study, we mapped the uses and attitudes of fish consumers, which allowed us to identify existing tensions and opportunities for the brand.

This information was key to building Rianxeira's new consumer-relevant strategy and the development of new, innovative products for the category, one that until now has been fairly static and uncreative.

One of our main learnings was that consumers are hungry for new solutions that make their lives easier. The canned category is already present in the satisfaction of that need, but there is potential to further expand with new products that allow them to include more fish in their diet, something that is not always easy nor convenient.

Additionally, today's consumers expect more action from brands regarding the environment and social issues. This was the other pillar of the brand strategy we developed, which has important implications at the product level.

It was key for the company to internalize the impact of a higher purpose as a guiding thread that gives meaning to the company's strategy in the face of today's challenges.

Jealsa, the company behind Rianxeira, has always shown a strong commitment to organizations that promote sustainable fishing, and its internal quality and safety policies have always prioritized sustainability in the purchase of raw materials. Jealsa was also one of the first companies to collaborate with the ISSF (International Seafood Sustainability Foundation). The purpose was always there, we just needed to shape it and make it part of the brand's ethos.

Rianxeira's new positioning was then developed off of this basis, with sustainability, health and transparency as core values. Just as important as the values is its purpose–to improve the future of the sea and those who live off of it, and to help people to enjoy more and better seafood. Naturally, this positioning, which aims to place the brand in a segment where quality and added value are of prime importance, was coupled with a new brand image and packaging that reinforces its modern and contemporary vision. The design, thanks to the agency Delamata, received Pentawards' Silver award for 2019.

However, a brand's positioning is incomplete if it is not backed by a value proposition and corresponding product. This is why Rianxeira bet on success and launched a first range of core products brand new to the category. For the second generation of products, new proposals for novel offerings in the canned fish line are being finalized. Lantern also participated in the development of these concepts.

The entire range of tuna and bonito is either line-caught or MSC (sustainable fishing seal) certified.  Each product contains just the right amount of oil or mineral water, fleur de sel and organic ingredients (sunflower oil and extra virgin olive oil). Clean labels and sustainable raw materials are the base of this product line.

The brand is in the midst of its product launch process, but we can confidently say that the new Rianxeira is being received very positively by retailers, who recognize it as a relevant new proposal for the category.

This comes as no surprise to us. The launch of Rianxeira is a clear example of how organizations can strengthen their futures through a firm commitment to building forward-looking brands and innovation rooted in real consumer needs