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In May this year hot snacking specialist Kepak Convenience Foods unveiled a raft of moves to enable retailers to significantly increase profits from the chiller cabinet.


A new category definition – Hot, Quick & Tasty – was at the heart of what Kepak Marketing Director John Armstrong described as ‘one of the most significant moves in convenience chilled food retailing’ for decades.

He said: “We’re now urging retailers to re-appraise how they approach foods that are eaten as ‘quick, hot meals’ as it’s very evident from all the research we have done – and independent social trend analysis – that this sector is poised for strong and sustained long term growth.

“We’ve taken a long, hard look at a group of chilled products that suit the quick, hot meal occasion, but are different to ready meals, cold snacks and sandwiches. Products that fit into the Hot, Quick & Tasty category can all be eaten hot, prepared in less than 5 minutes and are for the single serve occasion. They are all chilled and nothing needs to be added to them.”

Kepak divided Hot, Quick & Tasty products into the following four areas:

1. Micro Snacking (hot snacking products)

2. Quick Serve Micro Meals (i.e. pasta pots and veg pots – cook and eat from the pot)

3. Micro Pastry

4. Chilled Soups

At the time of the launch, the category was valued at £350 million and used by 60% of all UK households, with a forecast that it would be worth over £500 million in the next ten years.

Armstrong maintained that the fridge is the prime location for products that are eaten as snacks or quick to prepare meals.

“Every week, consumers go to the fridge for food and drink almost twice as often as the cupboard (42 fridge visits vs. 24 cupboard visits*). That’s why the fridge is the ideal location for Hot, Quick & Tasty products that in many cases also deliver higher margin than their ambient equivalents,” he said.

“The beauty is that many retailers are already selling many of the products that form the Hot, Quick & Tasty category and we’re already seeing a rise in the launch of new products that fit the criteria.

“To make the most of the opportunity retailers need to merchandise the products together, to reflect the eating occasions that these products are suited to. This will make shopping the fixture easier and give shoppers the choice they’re looking for. There’s also real scope to make this dynamic new category more visible through effective POS and promotions.”

Existing users will increase purchase rates and new consumers will be attracted to the fixture.

Kepak also unveiled plans to maintain the impressive growth of its own portfolio, led by a 20% increase in brand investment this year.

“The exciting plans we have will maintain the momentum we generated last year when Kepak brands grew in value by over 20 per cent*,” said Armstrong.

Campaign highlights included market-leading Rustlers (now one of the UK’s top 100 FMCG brands**) and ZUGO’s Deli café brands being advertised on TV for 8 months of the year, spear-headed by new TV commercials and sponsorships, category-boosting NPD and nationwide sampling.

Quarter-Pounder“We’re also intent on broadening the appeal of the category. NPD such as Rustlers Noodle Snack Pots will open up significant new profit opportunities, enabling chilled food to increase its share of quick hot meal occasions as we take Kepak brands into new areas of hot snacking,” added Armstrong.

Support for Rustlers, the UK’s number one hot snacking brand valued at £83 million***, included new TV advertising, more NPD taking the brand beyond its traditional base and a continuation of the brand’s close and highly successful association with the UK’s millions of gamers.

ZUGO’s Deli Café benefited from major brand sponsorship of numerous leading TV shows on ITV2 (‘Telly Worth Talking About’). New idents were created for the sponsorship, which ran from April to June, reaching 54% of the ZUGO’S Deli Café target audience of working adults.

In addition, heavyweight brand support for ZUGO’s Deli Café included profit-boosting NPD, extensive product sampling and on-going social media support.

* Kantar Worldpanel Spring 2012

** The Grocer’s Top 100 brands Survey, March 2013

*** Nielsen Scantrack w/e December 29 2012

Kepak Convenience Foods

Tel: 01772 688300

Twitter: @kepaktrade

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