Breathing New Life into M&M Food Market

An insights-led journey to revitalizing the M&M Food Market brand



Situation: In 2014, M&M Meat Shops started a journey to take a tired brand with a declining consumer base to a modern brand built for growth. With a willingness to take the time to do it right and build a future grounded in consumer insight, the new management team partnered SW&A to develop an in-depth qualitative and quantitative research plan to identify who to win with and how to win.


Insight: Through a research journey incorporating consumer shop-alongs, collaborative online one-on-one interviews, and an in-depth segmentation study, the team discovered that Canadians were looking for help in serving real food that fit with the reality of their lives.

The Retail Environment: Starting with consumer shop-alongs, the team discovered that the M&M Meat Shop white packaging made decision making harder. Research showed that packaging was critical in romancing the food through imagery and words. As such, the team developed new packaging designs and used research to identify the one that best communicated taste, appeal, and clarity.  Further, the in-store counter was polarizing. Consequently, the team engaged a retail design partner to develop a new store design that was more open and allowed for both expert help and self-discovery.

The Products: The segmentation study revealed that the frozen food category remained very relevant to consumers’ needs. However, the products needed to be recognizable, made with simple ingredients, and fit the lives of busy consumers. And, the product portfolio needed to be contemporized. M&M made a commitment to remove artificial flavours, colours, and sweeteners from all products and began a sodium-reduction initiative.

The Brand: As validated through quantitative research, the M&M Meat Shops name did not represent the breadth of the product offering. This led to the re-naming of the brand to M&M Food Market to better communicate the wide range of products and the appeal of a market experience.


Impact: A new food portfolio was created with 400+ packages redesigned, 200+ new products launched, and over half of the portfolio being new or reformulated. The retail network was also revitalized with rebranding and the new design. M&M Food Market has since seen an 8% increase in new and reactivated customers and a 4% increase in same store sales growth vs. the pre-campaign trend.