Creating a new growth category outside direct competition

Dragsbæk A/S in Thisted is part of the Orkla Group and the second-largest manufacurer of butter and margarine products in Denmark with its Bakkedal and AMA brands. Dragsbæk has used Nerve for brand development and innovation for more than 20 years.

The AMA margarine brand was threathened from two sides: From the category’s general volume decline caused by a dramatic shift in consumer preference towards using oil products in their cooking. On the other side, from price fighting margarine products causing deteriorating margins.

Our research confirmed that margarine products were widely perceived a thing of the past vs. more contemporary and culinary appealing oil products offering a healthier fats composition and a more convenient delivery system i.e. the bottle. Besides a lower price, margarine was only praised for its neutral taste in food and its frying attributes i.e. giving a delicate crust/browning. These qualities, however, were overshadowed by the perceied not in vogue image of margarine usage.

Consequently, we recommended Dragsbæk to pursue a disruption strategy i.e. develop an innovative new product with the vision to offer the best of two worlds: The culinary, healthier fats and convience qualities of oil combined with the frying qualities of margarine.

Over the next year, we explored different versions of this new product in close cooperation with Dragsbæk. In-usage test was conducted in more than 200 homes and finally a winning formula was defined. We named the new product Dragsbæk Oilmargarine, created the brand and packaging design as well as defined its market positioning and value proposition: ‘Makes great cooking a little healthier and much, much easier'.

The launch of Oilmargarine became the biggest success in Dragsbæk history with sales surpassing 17 million bottles within just a few years. Besides providing Dragsbæk a new growth market outside competition, the unique product also opened doors for Dragsbæk to big retail channels previously closed for them.

In the aftermath, big players like Unilever and Arla have launched their alternatives into this new category, just as Dragsbæk later introduced a variant in its own AMA brand name.

Today, the combination of oil and margarine/butter in a bottled product is a large category in the EU - but it all started with our creation of Oilmargarine in Thisted.

Nerve work:

Qualitative & quantitative research

Category innovation strategy

Product development

Brand naming & positioning strategy

Value proposition

Brand identity design

Communication concept & launch campaign


Nerve network:




Oilmargarine won the prestigeous European food innovation award: Sial D’Or in Paris.

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If you would like to know more about how your brand and business development could benefit from cooperating with Nerve, you are most welcome to contact Carsten Boye

Phone: (+45) 4044 8696

Mail: carsten@nerve.dk
LinkedIn: Carsten Boye

We also do speeches and conduct workshops related to brand and business development in practise if you are looking for an inspiring external input at your next conference, management meeting or workshop.   


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DK-1306 Copenhagen K

Tel.: +45 3329 0000

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