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Co-creating the evaluation of a product launch in Africa


family business

length / size
6 weeks / 8 people on client side

Sub-Saharan Africa

Consumer profiling
Design Thinking
Co-creation (Hackathon)

BEL Group, a French multinational cheese family company, wanted to assess the launch of a new product in the Ivory Coast. beez co-created the post-launch evaluation with its West African teams.

BEL Group‘s mission is to bring healthy food to as many people as possible on the planet. Specialised in milk-based products, the group recently extended its portfolio to plant-based products.

In November 2018, the group initiated the p)ilot launch of a new product in the Ivory Coast. The project is currently not delivering according to plan and the roll out in the rest of the Sub-Saharan Africa region is on hold.

Jacques Gabrielli, recently appointed BEL Group‘s SSA marketing director, reached out to beez in January 2020 for support on the launch evaluation. The aim was to verify whether the product was ready for a roll-out in neighbouring African countries and if the marketing mix needed to be adapted. To that end, beez proposed to follow its consumer-centric Design Thinking methodology.


Within two weeks, beez organised a 3-day hackathon in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. On 11-13 February, beez facilitated a series of creative and field sessions with marketing, trade marketing & sales representatives from the West Africa BEL team.

    • On Day 1, the team co-created the launch audit, answering beez questions organised in rounds. Day 1 ended with assumptions why the launch derailed to be checked in consumer connections on Day 2.
    • On Day 2, the hackathon participants connected directly with consumers. Throughout the day, it visited different areas of the city of Abidjan to gather first-hand feedback from families and children after they tasted the new milk-based product.
    • On Day 3, the team reconvened in the premises of the West African office in Abidjan. The aim was to build consensus on the main assumptions and knowledge gaps to be tested or addressed. At the end of the day, the team had agreed on a preliminary outline of the market research plan.


The next day, beez compiled and sent the hackathon wrap-up summarizing the main outcomes of the co-creation sessions.

The BEL Group launched a quantitative market research study to check the main assumptions from the 3-day hackathon. In mid-May 2020, the SSA marketing team was able to explain why the launch did not go as planned in a one-pager executive summary distributed to the BEL Group Executive Committee.

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