Simply V: “Overwhelming development”

Caroline Zimmer, Geschäftsführerin E.V.A. GmbH Quelle: Simply V

Simply V grew very fast since it’s launch. The CEO Caroline Zimmer is talking about details of this journey.

How would you describe the development of Simply V since 2015 in three sentences?
In one word: overwhelming, in every respect. In a very short time, we developed a product that many consumers have been waiting for: plant-based cheese alternatives that really taste good and can be used exactly the same way as dairy cheese. Thus, Simply V has debunked many prejudices against vegan products and helped to make the vegan diet socially acceptable. This pioneering achievement has been rewarded with disproportionately high growth in the market; in the cheese alternative segment, Simply V is market leader with a market share of 70%.

In Germany, Simply V is available in many food markets – what about abroad? Which countries are doing well?The success of Simply V and its associated growth sometimes leaves us speechless. At the moment, we can’t keep up with the demand from abroad since it requires appropriate structures and personnel to meet this demand. Therefore, we are currently not active ourselves and only export on request. But of course, we want to change that in the future. After all, many countries – not just from Europe – are interested. At the moment, Simply V is available in Austria and Switzerland.

How big is the current range?
Simply V currently offers nine products in three categories: Simply V Spreadable Delight in the variants “nature”, “herbs”, “colorful peppers” and “horseradish”, gourmet slices in the varieties “spicy”, “nature”, “herbs” and “paprika-chili” and Simply V Grated Delight.

What products will be coming onto the market this year?
At present, we are preparing for the launch of two new products which will be on the market in August. I can’t reveal much more now, only this – when developing these new products, we listened very closely to the consumer. And of course, both new products meet our high-quality standards, which we always pursue. Simply V has set a high bar again – prepare to be surprised!

Which advertising campaigns are planned (print, online, social media)?
In the first quarter, we supported Simply V with TV advertising and at the same time drove an online campaign on various digital platforms from popular magazines. Both were accompanied by print adverts, which will run into the second quarter. Then, in autumn, we will run another TV campaign focusing on a money-back-campaign.

On social media, we maintain a constant dialogue with our fans throughout the year. This is very important to us, because we have direct contact with our customers and we get a lot of suggestions from them. We attach great importance to having an existing fan base – if you ‘like’ us, you actually have bought and tried Simply V!

What support at the POS is planned for 2018?
As already mentioned, we will offer a big money-back-campaign at the POS in autumn. Beyond that, we are currently working on a concept that is closely aligned with the trade; just as we listen to the consumer in our product developments, we naturally respond to the wishes and needs of retailers in POS campaigns, too.

How important is influencer marketing to Simply V?
Influencer marketing is very important to Simply V. At the moment, we are working with a few selected bloggers and would like to expand these cooperations. Here, too, we are preparing to implement this more in the second half of the year. But of course, as a young company with such rapid growth, we can’t handle everything at the same time. After all, as with our products, we have high quality standards when it comes to marketing.

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