Branding and launching a new line of CPG sauces

Positive Impact Statement

Barilla Inc. is the largest pasta and sauce company in the world. Running large operations in over fifty countries is very demanding and requires the efforts of thousands of employees. Barilla Inc. develops new products frequently.

Barilla North America aimed to launch a brand new line of sauces in the United States near the end of 2019. Barilla sees it as important that their employees have a strong understanding of them including their origin, their story, and what sets them apart in the marketplace. Furthermore, Barilla wanted to build a very impactful launch event for influencers and media in the heart of Manhattan.

Barilla Inc. reached out to Senspoint to design and execute a series of tasting experiences that would assist the Barilla employees in the United States in better understanding the new line of sauces including the story behind them, the ideas which generated them, and Barilla’s super-premium niche in the ever-growing and ever-changing sauce market. Each sauce has a “hero ingredient”; one ingredient featured “front and center” in the sauce and on the package. All hero ingredients are sourced from specific regions of Italy and the new sauce is made in a traditional Italian method in Parma, Italy. This relationship led to Barilla working with Senspoint to build the mood book for the sauce line and to build and execute a launch event featuring the sauce for key influencers and media.

Two rows of people sitting at adjacent long tables and blindfolded they have a decorated tasting plate in front of them

Our Role in the Project

Senspoint curated, prepared, and executed two experiences, each with approximately 60 Barilla employees, to help familiarize participants with the brand new line of sauces. We used a proprietary tasting technique developed by Dr. Hoby Wedler which includes temporarily removing the eyesight of all participants using a blindfold.

One benefit of this technique is that participants are not distracted by their mobile devices, computers, etc. and are more equipped to focus on what they hear, feel, taste, and smell. Participants said they felt a new level of ownership and passion for Barilla products. They also expressed a newfound ability to describe Barilla products and, ultimately, represent the brand in a more authentic, genuine way. Senspoint also designed, created, and delivered a mood book document for these sauces. This mood book spelled out all visual parameters for representing any and all sauces as they would appear in all visual media including advertisements, marketing campaigns, etc.

Finally, in collaboration with Edelman, we designed and executed an exclusive brand activation for media and influencers from around New York City and the tri-state area. Barilla requested an experience revolving around all five senses. To build the most impactful experience possible, members of the Senspoint team, including Dr. Wedler, traveled throughout Italy to gather hero ingredients and learn about each hero ingredient’s region and how it is produced.

Senspoint designed an evening beginning with guests tasting Italian Prosecco in a stark white “waiting lounge” to deprive their senses. Guests were then blindfolded and led completely in the dark into the event space where they were seated at long tables. Dr. Wedler then led the guests through a journey of the sauces using all non-visual senses including sound, taste, smell, and touch. Guests embarked on a tasting tour through Italy where they examined each hero ingredient along with its corresponding sauce. Hero ingredients were sourced by the Senspoint team from Italy. While in Italy, Dr. Wedler interviewed many stakeholders about the hero ingredients and played sound bites of those interviews as well as general sounds of Italy during the experience.

Once the tasting portion of the evening concluded, before removing their blindfolds, guests were invited to describe their impression of the room. They eagerly described it as being empty, having high ceilings and hard surfaces, and being cavernous. They removed their blindfolds to find they sat in a space ornately decorated with art installations perfectly highlighting the Vero Gusto line. 46 guests were invited to taste passed bites containing the “hero ingredients”, enjoy cocktails crafted and inspired with each ingredient in mind, to sit in a chair made of fresh herbs to represent the Mediterranean, and so much more. This experience utilized each of our five senses to tell an inspiring, eye-opening, and unique story of exciting new products in the marketplace.