Newcastle University Business School

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Newcastle University students showcase their top marketing talent, winning the annual Greggs Marketing Challenge

On Wednesday 14 February, students from our International Marketing MSc programme were victorious in their battle against students from Northumbria, Sunderland and Teesside in the Greggs Marketing Challenge.

The competition, which is now in its sixth year, sees postgraduate students from North East universities create an innovative campaign in the response to a brief set by the food-on-the-go (FOTG) retailer. This year’s brief set students the task to design a campaign to keep the Greggs brand contemporary and appeal to their young adult segment within the UK.

The 2018 challenge was held at Northumbria University’s Newcastle Business School, where students and academics, along with Gregg’s staff were invited to the afternoon of presentations. 

The afternoon kicked off with keynote speaker Gordon Bethell, Chairman of London and Leeds ‘CreativeRace’ who delivered a thought-provoking speech about the delusions in marketing, something that he believes students should be looking out for.

Following this, the four universities presented their campaigns to a panel of marketing experts, namely, Hannah Squirrell, Customer Director at Greggs, Graeme Nash, Head of Customer and Marketing at Greggs Malcolm Copland, Commercial Director at Greggs and Gordon Bethell, keynote speaker.

The Newcastle University team had undertook secondary research to analyse the brand and determine the lifestyles of UK young adults, the FOTG market dynamics, consumer trends and long term predicted trends to create a pragmatic and well-informed strategy.

The research determined that, although young adults aim to be healthy, they have a preference for both health and treat food in a 'flexitarian' approach of mixing and matching nutritional suggestions and personal preferences to create a diet best suited to their own needs. 

Natalia Bogiatzoglou – member of the winning team – commented; “Greggs' menu is very well suited to this, as it not only offers the classic pasties, sweet treats and other snacks it is so closely associated with but also the Balanced Choice range, which offers delicious food under 400 calories.”

As a result, the team created their ‘Abs vs Buns’ campaign, which would promote both sides of the menu and inform consumers that all their healthy and treat needs could be met in one store. The campaign would be implemented across social media platforms, engaging consumers in a good natured competition of picking a side.

In the end, Newcastle’s creative and fun campaign won over Northumbria’s #FuelTheNorth campaign, Teeside’s ‘Conscious Kitchen’ campaign, and Sunderland’s push for vegan alternatives.

The winning team: Natalia Bogiatzoglou, Qiumei Jing, Jennifer O’Neill, and Yujia Song with their trophy.

published on: 27 March 2018