business news in context, analysis with attitude

The Wall Street Journal reports this morning on an experiment gone awry in the UK, where Nestlé SA tried to use the popular Kit Kat brand to roll out a “dizzying array” of new products.

“For the summer months, it launched strawberries and cream, passion fruit and mango and even red berry versions,” the WSJ writes. “In the winter came ‘Christmas pudding’ and tiramisu, which contained real wine and marscapone. Even though Britons never fully embraced the Atkins diet craze, the company launched a low-carb version.

“The experiments flopped. In just two years, KitKat's overall sales in the U.K. dropped 18%, to $253 million for the 52 weeks ending in April. Nestlé recently abandoned virtually all of its exotic flavors. The executive in charge of the gambit has been replaced. And Nestlé's experience has become a lesson in the perils of trying to push new versions of much-loved brands too hard.”
KC's View:
Some people think that multiplication is the same thing as innovation.

It ain’t.

As Sean Connery’s Jimmy Malone said to Kevin Costner’s Elliot Ness in “The Untouchables”: “Here endeth the lesson.”