As CP Foods UK invests more than £4m entering the micro-snacking market, The Grocery Trader meets their new brand, Taste Inc., Business Unit Director and head of UK Manufacturing, Adrian Wilson.
With burgers, hot dogs and paninis within the chilled microwaveable snacking market now currently worth more than £93million*, CP Foods UK announced an investment of more than £4m in its Newmarket site, entering the market with micro-snacking brand Taste Inc.
CP Foods UK is part of the worldwide CPF Group, one of the largest added-value food producers in the world. The company, which specialises in poultry and seafood, recognised a gap in the micro-snacking market for a range that combines great taste with quality ingredients and low calorie content.
Taste Inc. – a new incredible tasting range of sandwiches, subs, burgers and baguettes, launched in April 2013 and now has listings with Morrisons and One Stop as well as a number of garage forecourts and convenience stores across the UK.
Taste Inc. Business Unit Director and Head of UK Manufacturing, Adrian Wilson speaks exclusively to the Grocery Trader;
“It is a very exciting time for us; we’re going through our biggest change since 2005. 12 months ago we recognised that there was a gap in the micro-snacking market for something which really did taste incredible. As part of one of the world’s largest producers of added value poultry, currently supplying the food service industry, own label to supermarkets and with a successful brand in CP Authentic Asia, we knew we had the skills, knowledge and passion to take on the growing snacking market. We were confident we could bring something new to the category and meet the demands of the consumer for a quality, tasty convenient hot snack. We’re lucky to have a board of directors who are willing to listen, make quick decisions and invest in a good idea.
“With Taste Inc. we aim to shake up the microwave snacking category with our 15-strong range of sandwiches, baguettes, subs and burgers. Traditionally, the micro snacking market has been seen as the domain of the white van man. Our research suggests the category has moved on. For example; we know that mothers are key buyers in this category as they seek quick, easy, snacking solutions for the whole family and ingredients and nutritional information are increasingly important to them.
“Occasionalities for micro-snacks have expanded over the years. As a nation we continue to lead hectic lifestyles and micro-snacks are seen as something that can be consumed throughout the day, offering a quick and satisfying eating solution.
“Our research shows consumers are increasingly looking for greater variety and new taste experiences in the micro-snacks category. Taste Inc. was developed to be all about food that tastes incredible, using the best ingredients such as 100% whole chicken breast fillet, combined with on-trend flavours such as spicy Piri Piri Chicken, through to crisp Chicken & Chorizo Baguettes. In addition each of the 15-strong Taste Inc. range comes in at under 500 calories, with the lowest at only 265 calories.
“We’ve invested more than £2m building a new factory to produce the Taste Inc. range and employed more than 100 new staff members across production management, technical management, shop floor technical support, warehouse logistics, procurement, high and low risk operatives and engineers.
“Investing a million pounds on equipment and systems, we have worked hard to create a streamlined production facility, installing high-tech machinery to keep us at the forefront of modern manufacturing practices. To ensure we stay ahead of the game, with a focus on innovation and lean manufacturing processes at the heart of our operations, we are currently in the middle of a robotics and automation review, researching the most cost effective and efficient production methods. Investment also includes providing our shop floor technical teams with tablets, allowing data to be instantly uploaded and shared, creating a paperless system.
“The development of our range has been led by Sarah Hull, our Development Manager for Taste Inc. Sarah has worked closely with a range of suppliers to ensure all ingredients are of the highest quality and meet our strict nutritional requirements.
“Developing on-trend flavour profiles was high on the agenda, we therefore benchmarked across a wide range of similar products both currently in the category and the wider market to ensure we were meeting and exceeding consumers’ expectations.
“It’s crucial to get things right first time when launching a new brand, so it was imperative that we had the best teams in place across all disciplines. A key focus and investment area for us was the Commercial and Marketing aspect of Taste Inc.
As well as the overarching need to raise our profile and build brand awareness during the launch, we required a full understanding of the market we were about to enter; establishing who our potential consumers would be and their requirements and desires from a hot and quick snack. We therefore brought in two highly experienced Commercial and Marketing people to lead Taste Inc. and drive the brand forward. Commercial and Marketing Head Chris Wenham and Brand Manager Ruth Entwistle joined the business at the start of 2013.
“The team has worked tirelessly during the launch and we have secured some fantastic listings; the retailers have really bought into the brand, one of which is Morrisons who listed five of our Taste Inc. products at the start of July, just three months into the launch.
“We’ve worked hard to develop packaging which conveys all the best bits about our products to the consumer in a matter of seconds during their shopping trip; we know that front of pack is the main point of engagement in the category. We therefore developed bold and vibrant packaging which highlights not only the product, but the amazingly low calorie content of our range to help give it real stand-out in the chiller.
In addition we’re working closely with retailers to help them get the most out of their chiller cabinets, investing in eye-catching in-store PoS and developing campaigns to drive customer footfall.
“Now five months in and having brought something new to the category, the challenge is to change the perception of micro-snacks. We want to target people currently buying in the category, but more importantly to encourage new consumers to try these products and make them a regular purchase.
“We’re investing more than £1m in a dedicated marketing and PR programme for the new range to ensure customers understand the incredible taste proposition and try the range for themselves. We are planning targeted sampling sessions that will take place throughout the next year to help increase awareness of the brand and to get people trialling our great tasting range.
“We are constantly reviewing our range to ensure every one of our products continues to deliver on taste and quality with every bite and offer the consumer an incredibly tasty hot snack.
“We believe we have an incredible tasting product and one we are confident will really shake up microwave snacking.”
Priced at £1.89, Taste Inc. is available nationwide,
Full product range list:
• BBQ Chicken Sandwich
• Chicken & Chorizo Baguette
• Chicken Sandwich
• Flame Grilled Quarter Pounder
• Flame Seared Meatball Ciabatta
• Flamin’ Chicken Sandwich
• Ham & Cheese Melt
• Piri Piri Chicken Sandwich
• Smoky BBQ Ribsteak
• Southern Fried Chicken Sub
• Tex-Mex Chicken Sandwich
• The Original Hot Dog
• Jerk Chicken Sandwich
• Cajun Chicken Sandwich
• Southern Fried Chicken Sandwich
*Kantar Data – 52 w/e 9th June 2013
CP Foods UK Ltd
Tel: 01638 722888