Yet when then-Products Manager Peggy Mann Berenblum, at the Mott's subsidiary of Cadbury Schweppes, looked into the cupboard, she saw its category-leading apple sauce as ripe for a fresh approach.
"We saw an opportunity to reinvent the apple-sauce category," says Ms. Berenblum, 32, now a senior product manager-new product development. "From there, we came up with Fruitsations," fruit-blended apple sauces.
Ms. Berenblum directed the development of the repositioning and relaunching strategy and marketing plan of the new fruit blends. The Mott's traditional apple-sauce flavors of original, natural and cinnamon continue to be part of the product lineup.
Finding the right balance of fruit was a challenge, as was determining the right texture.
"One thing our focus groups told us is that kids especially don't want chunks of fruit in their apple sauce," says Ms. Berenblum.
Also a new "cup-through sleeve" package makes the product look more like gelatins and pudding snacks.
In the $112 million single-serve apple-sauce segment, Mott's has moved its share of segment sales to 54.6%, from the 47.8% it controlled before the introduction of Fruitsations in February.
For 1998, Mott's is spending $10 million on Fruitsations, including a new TV spot featuring animated fruit characters created by J. Walter Thompson USA, New York.
Ms. Berenblum says during her tenure as a manager of the apple-sauce business, "It occured to me that while the brand was growing and is the dominant player in the segment, it had the potential to become a significant player in the healthy snacking arena by becoming more relevant to consumers."