Kepak Convenience Foods has announced a £multi million investment to double sales in the convenience channel in the next three years.
The UK’s leading supplier of micro snacks, and the driving force behind the fast-growing hot, quick & tasty category, has targeted annual sales in convenience of £66 million by 2018.
The move follows the launch last year of Rustlers Super 6 – a range of Rustlers top-selling SKUs all price-marked at £1.99 which already accounts for more than 40% of all sales within the micro-snacking market of 60 SKUs.
In addition to TV advertising (for the 14th successive year), innovative NPD, a new look for Rustlers and major on-pack activity this year, Kepak is increasing the size of its convenience sales force and stepping-up its face-to-face contact with retailers.
Rustlers, the UK’s best-selling micro snack, will benefit from a major overhaul this year, including the introduction of a refreshed logo and new packaging to reflect the brand’s growing male and female consumer base.
“Young lads can no longer make an exclusive claim on Rustlers,” says John Armstrong, Kepak’s Marketing Director.
“Rustlers has evolved and has attracted lots of new consumers, so much so that 40% of Rustlers consumers are female and the age profile of Rustlers’ consumers now stretches from 16 to 34-year-olds.
“This is really good news for retailers. With more consumers than ever before buying Rustlers, there’s never been a better time to stock the brand, particularly as we’re now embarking on an accelerated growth programme.”
Kepak is starting from a position of real strength as 23 per cent of the company’s sales are in the convenience channel (excluding Co-ops and major mults) vs. a grocery average of 7.7 per cent.
“The even better news is that currently only one in four of our core target market buys micro snacks regularly, so the potential is huge. However, we must plug the distribution gaps and work with more retailers to show the sales uplift they can achieve by selling micro-snacks and merchandising them effectively,” adds Armstrong.
“Micro snacks are already amongst the top-performing SKUs in the chiller cabinet, but there’s still an education job to be done.
“Our core target market of 16 to 34-year-olds are true convenience channel shoppers. They plan less, shop more frequently and are of course heavily into snacking, whether it’s young adults buying for themselves or parents buying for older children still living at home.”
Kepak will be using its flagship Rustlers brand to drive growth in convenience. The Hunger Monkey TV commercial will be back on national TV this autumn, once again delivering the ‘hunger satisfying’ message.
In addition to new packaging, a sustained NPD programme sees the introduction of two panini products to the Rustlers range along with a limited edition, £1 PMP ‘Hot and Kicking’ range.
Kepak will also be boosting Rustlers’ popularity as a food to go favourite with the introduction in 2015 of a ‘cook in pack’ range which will include the Quarter Pounder and Bacon Roll.
What’s more, an on-pack promotion linking with this summer’s blockbuster movie, Terminator Genisys, will run in June and July across 8 million Rustlers packs, backed by a digital drive on YouTube and VoD (Video on Demand).
“The combination of increased resource and focus on the convenience channel, major TV advertising, on-pack promotional activity, a new-look and innovative NPD will drive demand for Rustlers to new heights this year, ensuring that we’re well on track to double our sales in convenience in the next three years,” adds Armstrong.
“It’s an exciting time for Rustlers and we want as many retailers as possible to join us as we double the brand size and reinforce Rustlers role as a true champion of chilled FMCG.”
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