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Marketing Elements and Customer Analysis

SPLENDA Analysis


Rated number one in their market, Splenda is a no-calorie sweetener made by McNeil Nutritionals, LLC; a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. This analysis will look at Splenda’s marketing mix by examining their target customer, product and branding, price, promotion, distribution, and positioning.

Target Customer

There is never any one-target customer. Instead, companies create market segments. “A market segment consists of a group of customers who share a similar set of needs and wants” (Kotler & Keller, 2009, p. 208). In the case of Splenda, there are two general market segments. One segment is comprised of the commercial food-service members that use the product in their finished goods. Many of these companies also serve the product directly to their customers. The second segment consists of health minded people who are looking to get the sweets they crave without the consequences related to sugar intake; i.e.; calories, sugar-rush, or diabetes.

These segments are prime examples of the typical Splenda user. These product enthusiasts are looking for ways to counteract the negative effects of sugar intake while still enjoying a little sweetness. Not only are they able to control weight gain, users can avoid the glucose spikes associated with sugar intake, and the resulting crash when the rush wears off. With more people looking for ways to control their sugar intake, the food industry is smart to get on the bandwagon, and offer Splenda to their customers.

Product and Branding

Splenda is a no-calorie sweetener that has the texture of puffed sugar if you can imagine such a thing. It compares cup to cup to the sweetness of real sugar, but doesn’t contain the same calories, doesn’t provide a sugar rush, and is a safe alternative for those who are trying to cut sugar from their diet. Splenda sugar blends are also available. These products, which are blended with real sugar, use half the amount of sugar, and provide similar benefits. The newest Splenda product is the Essentials line, which promises, “the same great taste you love, plus a small boost of healthy nutrients-B vitamins, antioxidants, or fiber” (McNeil Nutritionals, LLC, 2011).

Splenda comes in a variety of packaging options, from a 2lb bag to individual packets sold in a box. One thing that is distinct in all the Splenda packaging is the bright yellow background coloring and a bright blue logo on a white background. The original Splenda motto, Made from Sugar, so it tastes like Sugar created some controversy, and they seem to have discontinued the tagline while continuing to uphold the taste connection.


Although Splenda is more expensive than real sugar, it is priced competitively in the no-calorie sweetener category. The Splenda Granular Sweetener is the most expensive coming in at $1.21 per ounce. Restaurant packages come in between $0.03 to $0.06 per packet, brown sugar mix at $0.34 per ounce, and the standard sugar blend is $0.26 per ounce. Competing brand Equal costs the same as the least expensive Splenda packets at $0.03 per packet. Competitors Stevia and Truvia are more expensive with a cost of $0.08 and $0.11 per packet respectively. (Safeway, 2011)

Although Splenda occasionally goes on sale, it is not discounted very often. However, coupons are available through the product’s website, where free samples can also be obtained. Financing should never be required for this product, which can also be purchased directly through the website. Shipping is free on orders of $49 or more, and reasonably priced if this limit is not reached. (McNeil Nutritionals, LLC, 2011)


While there is a surprising lack of advertising involving Splenda outside of the product’s website, promotional efforts are still doing their work behind the scenes. Many products now use Splenda as their sweetener of choice in low-sugar products, and the Splenda logo is included on many different packages. Splenda also has a strong presence in the food service industry, and one can rarely go out to eat without seeing the familiar yellow package on the table.

In spite of these promotional efforts, little advertising could be found. They seem to have pulled their advertisements from television, and we did not find a single ad in print, not even in health, food, or diabetic magazines where print advertising would be quite effective. Old video ads are still available online, but it was difficult to find anything current. This is especially surprising since the company has just launched their Splenda Essentials product line. Are new promotions in the works for this new product line, or has the company come to the point where they’re happy to rest on the promotional laurels of the past? This lack of current advertising will be discussed in more detail later.


Splenda can now be found on almost every grocery store shelf in America. It is also available online through the Splenda website, and can even be shipped overnight if necessary. Orders from the website are shipped through Fedex, and shipping to multiple addresses is allowed. For commercial use, Splenda is distributed through food suppliers who act as intermediaries between the restaurant and the manufacturer.

Splenda’s distribution mix is effective because it allows for a variety of delivery methods. Customers can purchase the product in their local store, order it directly from the website, and even find it in their favorite restaurant.


The goal of positioning “is to locate the brand in the minds of customers...” (Kotler & Keller, 2009, p. 268). McNeil Nutritionals, LLC has done a good job positioning Splenda in the minds of its customers. Users of the product know to look for the bright yellow packaging when they’re shopping, and know they’ll get a product that offers consistent quality while helping them control calories and counteract the undesirable effects of real sugar. Teaming with the food service industry has further enhanced Splenda’s positioning. Although there are still places that do not offer Splenda to their customers, it is almost universally available in the United States.


Splenda is the Number One No-Calorie Sweetener on the market for a good reason. They understand the needs of their target market, and make it easy for these customers to find the products they need. Constant innovation helps them meet needs as they arise, and their pricing is reasonable in comparison to similar products. Their unique packaging helps brand the product in the customer’s mind and effective positioning is used to keep it there. Their unique blend of retail and commercial promotion allows them to stay ahead of the competition without inundating the customer with confusing contradictions, and continued efforts will keep them poised at the top of their product category.


Kotler, P., & Keller, K. L. (2009). Marketing Management. Upper Saddle River: Pearson Prentice Hall.

McNeil Nutritionals, LLC. (2011). Shipping Info. Retrieved July 16, 2011, from

Safeway. (2011). Sweeteners & Substitutes. Retrieved July 16, 2011, from