Kepak Consumer Foods is celebrating the success of its latest nationwide campaign to tempt shoppers into trying the All Day Breakfast Sausage Muffin. Looking at ways to drive consumption of its popular microwaveable hot snacks into new eating occasions was the inspiration behind Rustlers’ latest activity, The Rustlers Breakfast Taste Challenge ‘Up For It’ on-pack promotion, which offered shoppers a second free All Day Breakfast Sausage Muffin when they bought the product.

Kepak’s Shopper Marketing Manager Monisha Singh, spoke to Grocery Trader.

What does your job as Kepak’s Shopper Marketing Manager involve?

The crux of my role is to align our brand plans, marketing and NPD launches with our customers, to ensure we can effectively develop these into relevant, high impact campaigns or products, across different channels and store formats, engaging as many shoppers as possible. Much of my time is spent with retailers, understanding their plans, expectations and ambitions for the category and working with them on how we can best execute these together.

How would you sum up the Rustlers proposition? What do you see as the key marketing opportunities in the multiples and how are you addressing them?

Rustlers serves the growing trend towards convenient, functional food that can be eaten on the go with ease, but goes further by delivering a satisfying hot eat thanks to its flame grilled taste credentials. Rustlers’ equity stretches across eating occasions throughout the day. We know consumers rely on us at lunchtimes, but the success of our All Day Breakfast Sausage Muffin demonstrates that young professionals and younger shoppers are seeking that same functional on the go food to start their day, without compromising on satisfaction or taste.

How do you work with supermarkets and other multiple retailers?

We have strong relationships with our customers and work collaboratively to lay down our plans at the start of the year. We’ve also invested in sharing insights and trends and are really open as to how the category is evolving and where growth is coming from.

What’s in your Rustlers product range? Which are your biggest selling SKU’s?

Our best-selling SKUs are our core lunchtime products, particularly the Rustlers Quarter Pounder and BBQ Rib, but this year our Breakfast Sausage Muffin has established itself as a best seller.

When did you launch the All Day Breakfast Sausage Muffin? How have sales been doing?

We launched it last May and it’s performed phenomenally well, gaining really strong distribution. It’s already purchased by over one million households and has helped to drive the value of the Total Breakfast Category over £13 m (Kantar Worldpanel Total Market by Brand KPI’s, 52 w/e 14th July 2019).

How big is the breakfast opportunity for Rustlers? What else are you doing to drive breakfast time sales? What are the demographics for people who buy micro snacking products for breakfast?

The breakfast opportunity is huge. We’re committed to growing our breakfast range and are researching what the right products are for the right customers and how to fill gaps within the market.

Breakfast has a broad customer base but we’re seeing real traction with younger shoppers who want to emulate the satisfying hot eat they enjoy at home, along with young professionals who need something on the morning commute that delivers on taste and quality.

How did the Rustlers Breakfast Taste Challenge ‘Up For It’ promotion work? How long did it run for?

The nationwide promotion ran throughout September/early October and was geared to driving trial among new audiences and increasing product penetration. It revolved around an on-pack which offered consumers a second free All Day Breakfast Sausage Muffin when they bought, tried and enjoyed the product, which we knew they would.

The promotion was flashed on the best-selling Rustlers Quarter Pounder. It was supported by in-store activation and a national sampling campaign with student sampling company Dig In. Using the kitchen takeover method, 16,000 Rustlers All Day Breakfast Sausage Muffins were placed directly into the fridges of students at eight universities across four cities.

How important are the multiples’ convenience format stores and forecourts to sales of Rustlers?

They are extremely important. These shoppers are really on that food for tonight mission looking for ease of preparation that delivers on taste, heartiness and ultimately the feel-good factor, which we know Rustlers delivers.

We’re currently implementing a merchandising excellence initiative, working with retailers across different store formats to ensure that we can offer the very best Rustlers proposition to all retailers, irrespective of their store size, format or location.

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