One of the first questions: whether to extend the company's Morningstar Farms Scramblers, a frozen egg substitute, into the new arena. The decision, based upon the product's uses and positioning: A new brand, Better'n Eggs.
Success for the brand-"The good tasting, healthy alternative to whole eggs"-can be attributed in part to bold packaging, by LPK Design, and its supermarket location with "whole-shell" eggs in the refrigerated section.
"The package played a great role," Mr. Clark says. "If you were a fresh whole-egg shopper and you saw this colorful inviting package, it forces you to look at it."
The introduction was slow and deliberate, due to the distribution changes. Backed initially by print ads, a TV spot from BSB/Leff & Squicciarini, Dublin, Ohio, was run in Atlanta, Memphis, Tenn., and San Antonio, Texas. The commercial emphasized that Better'n Eggs, which contain 98% egg whites, are equal to eggs in every respect but exceed them in nutritional content.
Things started to hatch.
"When we introduced the TV spot, sales more than doubled. .*.*. And then we expanded to a number of other markets," says Mr. Clark, 48. National rollout came in the second half of 1993.
Sales of Better'n Eggs increased 59% to $10.3 million for the 52 weeks ended March 27, 1994, compared with the same period the year before, according to Information Resources Inc.
"I think part of it is luck-we hit it at a good time," says the executive, who has since left the company.
A frozen egg substitute has been added to the brand. And, not one to get caught with egg on its face, Worthington now is considering expanding its presence in the refrigerated section.