Record growth and real product innovation make Challs’ brands a must-stock for retailers

Graham-BurchellThe plughole care market is one of the most profitable in the grocery industry and Challs have been at the forefront of it for 25 years, driving it forward with their ubiquitous Buster brand.

The plughole category has seen huge growth of 14 percent in 2014 alone, and Buster is directly responsible for this, with a whopping 50 percent growth in the same year.*

“This market is growing at great pace and not only that, it’s also a very profitable one for retailers with huge opportunity for incremental sales,” says Graham Burchell, Managing Director of Challs. “Our Buster brand is directly driving the market, outselling rival brands and clearly the No 1. plughole care brand in the UK.”

This success of the brand is due to a number of factors, according to Burchell. “Product quality and performance are the key drivers for the success of the brand. We invest heavily in product design and innovation and pride ourselves on developing highly effective products that really do change the way we clean.” he says.

“Add to this our commitment to customer and promotional support and it’s easy to see why Buster is out performing all other brands in the category.”

“There are over 135 million domestic plugholes in the UK, that’s an average of just over five per household,” he goes on. “They are an integral part of every home and need the same regular cleaning and attention as the rest of the home.”

All of these plugholes present a huge opportunity and it’s one that Challs is intent on capitalising on. “One of our marketing slogans for Buster is ‘every hole’s a goal’ and this has become part of our mission statement for the brand. We see massive opportunity for the category and for incremental sales, and will continue to drive this through new product development and heavy weight marketing and television advertising campaigns.” Burchell enthuses.


With emphasis on educating consumers on the need to regularly clean their plugholes, the marketing campaign highlights the dangers of potentially harmful germs such as E. coli, campylobacter and salmonella which can lurk in and around plugholes and be transferred around the kitchen via water splash back. Regular product use will help to keep it free flowing and germ free.

Challs has also committed over £2 million (rate card) to television advertising for Buster in 2015, its biggest investment to date and a reflection of its commitment to the brand. Currently on air the ‘Plugholes need Love too’ campaign will continue to be aired throughout the year.

Challs has also successfully driven the Buster brand to global brand status, with listings in major retailers around the world, including the USA, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark and Ireland. More recently the brand has gone on shelf in Singapore and there are plans to open other markets, particularly in Europe.

25th-Anniversary-Signifier_RGB“We’re immensely proud to be a British manufacturing SME flying the flag abroad,” enthuses Burchell, “especially in the larger markets like the USA and Australia. Progress has been good in each of the territories and we plan to expand our reach around the world, introducing more ranges and brands in time.”

The cleaning product manufacturer, based in Hadleigh, Suffolk, was founded by managing director, Graham Burchell, in 1990, to create and manufacture plughole care products. Twenty five years on the company boasts a flourishing portfolio of household cleaning products including Bin Buddy, Max and Knaus.

So, what’s the secret of Challs’ success to date? Burchell has his views, “There are many factors which have contributed to our success, underlying them is our unwavering commitment to create new and innovative products, that really do change the way we clean. We invest heavily in product design, which to date has earned us two prestigious DBA awards, and this year will also see a record investment in TV advertising for our Buster brand.”

“We have a solid longstanding team committed to the business, some of which have been with Challs for over 20 years. We pride ourselves on being a tight-knit group, with family values at heart, but our professionalism and ability to get the job done is second to none.”

To usher in the 25th year the company has unveiled a new corporate identity which reflects the company’s mission statement to changing the way people clean, along with an anniversary signifier, which will be used throughout the year. They are also in the process of constructing a new, modern corporate headquarters to be built in Hadleigh. The build is scheduled to commence in the latter half of 2015 and will complete in late 2016.

*Source: Kantar Dec 2014

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