Anne-Marie Cannon is Brand Manager for the Mary Berry’s Foods range at brand owner RH Amar. Mary Berry’s is giving its dressings and sauces a colourful new look ahead of the peak summer sales season, which will help drive the trend for consumers to trade up to the premium end of the category.

How long have you been in your job?

I have been working for RH Amar as a brand manager for the last six years, and before that I worked in marketing for a major high street electrical retailer. As a foodie who is mad about marketing and branding, working on a great brand like Mary Berry’s really is a dream come true.

What does your job involve as Brand Manager for Mary Berry’s at RH Amar?

The best aspect of my role is that we handle every stage of the marketing journey for Mary Berry’s – from product development to developing and signing off advertising, PR and social media plans. This really allows us, as a marketing team, to take a holistic view of the brand’s development.

When was the Mary Berry’s Foods brand first launched, and what products are in the range?

The range was first launched by Mary and her daughter Annabel in 1994, and RH Amar was heavily involved with the brand from the outset as its distributor. As well as owning brands, RH Amar distributes more than 40 fine food brands on behalf of brand owners, including Crespo olives, Del Monte canned fruits, Kikkoman sauces and condiments, and Ella’s Kitchen baby food.

We were lucky enough to acquire Mary Berry’s Foods in 2014 and our core focus today is an eight-strong range of dressings and sauces including Mary’s Classic Salad Dressing, which is based on an old family recipe, our popular Honey & Balsamic Vinaigrette, and our super-versatile Mango, Lime & Chilli Dressing, which is a great marinade for meat and fish.

Is Mary personally involved in the brand and developing the products?

We continue to consult Mary on all aspects of the brand’s development, and on any new additions to the range.

What food trends are you addressing with the Mary Berry’s range?

Convenience and inspiration are definitely two of the trends we are driving, with scratch cookers increasingly looking for both, particularly during the week. The great thing about all our products is that they are so versatile, which is why the central theme of our new #NotJustForSalads 2019 marketing campaign is all about showing off our range’s versatility across different meal occasions.

Where are these products stocked in retail?

As the number one brand in premium dressings, products from the Mary Berry’s Foods range are stocked by all the major multiple retailers, as well as on Ocado and in Lakeland. We also have a loyal following in speciality wholesale. What’s the story behind the new look? It was simply the right time to update the brand, so we challenged ourselves to come up with several options to put forward for testing. In fact, the final design – which highlights vibrant photography of each recipe’s natural ingredients – was among four different options put into consumer research, with the winning version scoring highest across a host of exacting criteria including intention to purchase.

How have the new packs been received? When do they go into the trade?

They’ve been really well received, and the first bottles will start hitting shelves in March. We’ve already been delighted with how the new packs have been received in trials, and our new colours really do create an added stand out on shelf.

What consumer marketing support are you giving the Mary Berry’s range?

We will be supporting our popular social media channels with a #NotJustForSalads campaign aimed at showing off the range’s versatility across different meal occasions. In particular, posts will be aimed at inspiring summer eating and entertaining beyond salads, while our brand’s vegetarian and vegan-friendly credentials will also be a feature of the campaign, with key activity planned around Vegetarian Week and National BBQ Week events in May.

How are you helping your retail customers grow their business?

All the growth in dressings is at the premium end of the market, with value sales growing ahead of volume. As the number one brand in premium dressings we are obviously best placed to help retailers realise that opportunity with a brand that shoppers clearly know and love.

How can retailers maximise sales of your products?

By stocking them on the dressings fixture at eye level. Mary Berry’s is the brand that shoppers are looking for, so it’s essential to make it as easy for them as possible. Retailers should also consider dual siting with fresh salad items, particularly during the summer months.

And finally, what are your retail channel plans for Mary Berry’s for 2019? Is more NPD in the pipeline?

We are always reviewing flavour combinations and looking to introduce exciting new dressings to our range, so watch this space.

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