Millions of us like to start our weekday mornings with breakfast-time toast, topped with our favourite spreads. But our busy lifestyles, more fluid working lives, conflicting family schedules and dietary considerations based on the growing health and wellbeing trend mean that like the rest of our eating habits, breakfast is evolving to fit in with our routines and spreads are a major part of the story.

Against this background 2018 has been a busy year for the spreads category, with a wealth of innovation to keep shoppers interested. In the Butter sector, Lactalis McLelland has rolled out new Président Sea Salt Crystals Butter, packed in a resealable 250g tub. Mike Chatters, Sales Director for Lactalis McLelland says:

“We expect Président Sea Salt Crystals Butter will further drive salted butter growth. It perfectly embodies the brand’s French heritage and expertise and delivers the quality and provenance consumers expect from Président.”

Ready-to-serve and developed to be used at the dining table, straight from the tub, Président Sea Salt Crystals Butter comes in a convenient resealable tub, which keeps the butter fresh in and out of the fridge. Président Butter is the fastest growing butter brand in both value (+35.5%) and volume (+15%) sales. Consumer awareness has been heightened during 2018 thanks to the brand’s sponsorship of Channel 4’s Come Dine With Me, shared with Seriously cheddar.

Peanut butters have long been popular as a rich source of protein, vitamins and minerals but the addition of Baobab as a superfood ingredient is a new move in the nut butter category, says Sue McIntosh, Head of Marketing at Meridian Foods, makers of Meridian peanut butter:

“The superfood trend shows no sign of going away, with demand and production of superfood products soaring in recent years, and we hope people are looking forward to trying something new.”

Meridian Foods’ new Peanut Butter & Baobab is perfect for spreading on toast and crumpets, stirred into porridge & ice cream, or adding into smoothies, shakes, cakes and bakes. Baobab offers a range of health benefits, with six times more Vitamin C than oranges, twice as much Calcium as milk and extremely high antioxidant levels.

Best known as a jam, marmalade and preserves manufacturer, Duerr’s originally launched their High protein peanut butter brand, Hi-PRO to appeal to athletes and sportspeople looking for ways to increase the level of protein in their diet in a tasty way, says Richard Duerr, Sales and Marketing Director at F. Duerr & Sons. “However, in the past year, we have noticed a shift in shopper habits as Hi-PRO has become a simple and healthy choice for mainstream nut butter fans wanting to make healthier lifestyle choices.”

Duerr’s Hi-PRO has undergone a redesign, highlighting the 33% protein claim and the clean product qualities – no salt, no sugar, no whey and zero palm oil. The overhaul coincides with a digital rebrand, sampling campaign and digital influencer marketing campaign to reach high protein and health shoppers. Hi-PRO Peanut Butter is available in Sainsbury’s nationwide, priced £2.95.

As health continues to dominate the food agenda, consumers are increasingly conscious of their diets, including their daily salt intake, says Shannon Lennon-Smith, Marmite Brand Manager at Unilever:

“Consumer tastes and their desire for wider choice, including lower salt variants, is constantly evolving. As the UK’s number one yeast extract, Marmite has a huge and very loyal fan base and we are listening to their needs and responding accordingly. By expanding our range with a new Reduced Salt variant, we hope to extend Marmite’s appeal even further so even more people enjoy it.”

Featuring light blue packaging as associated with low-salt products, 25% Reduced Salt Marmite is available in a 250g jar at £3.09 RRP, the same as the standard product. Reduced Salt Marmite will benefit from a £3m multimedia spend as part of the ongoing Marmite Gene Campaign, which won Gold at the 2018 Cannes Lion Awards.

Marmite is suitable for Vegans, and with the trend for this specialist diet on the rise, the packaging has been updated across the range to ensure consumers are aware they can enjoy Marmite as part of a Vegan diet. Lastly Unilever are demonstrating Marmite’s versatility through social media, proving that Marmite is not only fantastic on toast, crumpets and bagels, it can also be added to eggs, avocado and cheese to give the traditional brunch a Marmiteflavoured twist.

Currently worth £47.9m, Nutella has grown 55.8% since 2014, with over five million households buying the brand every year. While breakfast remains Nutella’s heartland, Ferrero are looking to inspire consumers to explore new occasions via their social channels and their recipe hub.

Ferrero introduced Nutella’s first dedicated UK Christmas campaign in 2017 with a new festive TV creative and rolled out snowman sleeves on the 400g, 750g and 1kg jars. They also supported the campaign in digital and social media. Ferrero are conducting a similar Christmas campaign this year, including Nutella’s first ever glow-inthe- dark 200g jars.

More than a third of UK households buy into the chocolate spread subcategory, equating to some nine million households, says Michelle Frost, General Manager at Mars Chocolate Drinks & Treats. “Chocolate spreads’ all year round appeal has also led to an increase in purchasing frequency to an average four times a year.”

The spreads category as a whole is worth £458 million, and continues to show growth of three per cent year on year, with chocolate spreads worth almost £68m. Earlier this year, Mars Chocolate Drinks & Treats launched a new family sized range of spreads in 350g glass jar, capitalising on the extended usage trend and offer even better value for money. The launch of the new pack format coincided with the introduction of a new M&M’s spread, joining Maltesers and Galaxy spreads.

Finally, Jacob Thundil, Founder of Cocofina, the Coconut Experts has announced a delicious addition to their range of coconut products, the creamy Organic Hazelnut Chocolate Spread, made with organic hazelnuts, cocoa, sunflower oil and sweetened with unrefined, low GI coconut sugar. With no hidden ingredients, preservatives or additives and no unnecessary fillers, this organic hazelnut chocolate spread is sure to be a favourite among chocolate lovers. It is certified organic by Soil Association, is vegan, vegetarian and has a low GI.

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