Market-leading Kepak Convenience Foods has secured a major distribution gain with a re-listing after two years of its hot snacking range in Tesco.

The announcement comes as Kepak unveils plans to double the size of its £80 million business in the next five years through accelerated growth in the UK and Ireland and by taking its proven business model into Europe.

“Tesco’s decision to re-list all Kepak’s leading products as its only hot snacking range is a strong signal that our strategy of major product innovation, in-depth consumer insight and heavyweight brand investment is the key to accelerating the growth of our business and the category,” says Peter Jackson, Kepak Convenience Foods Chief Executive.

Kepak Convenience Foods currently has a 66% share of the hot snacking market (source: Nielsen Scantrack Total GB 52 w/e 09/07/2011). The agreement to supply Tesco is expected to increase the company’s market share to 78% within 12 months.

Fabia Terranova, Tesco Destination Meals Buyer, added: “Kepak has a fantastic understanding of the hot snacking category and is focused on delivering sustained category growth. We are pleased to be working with Kepak because it adopts a category-wide perspective, delivers innovation and insight, and adds value.”

Tesco’s decision to stock Kepak products follows the introduction of several new lines, including Rustlers Hot Subs and recently launched Rustlers Hot Wraps, sales of which have reached £2 million in just 13 weeks (Source: Nielsen Scantrack 13 w/e 09/07/2011). More NPD is scheduled.

Kepak is also the only hot snacking manufacturer to back its brands with national TV advertising in the UK, with both Rustlers and ZUGO’s Deli Café supported by major TV campaigns this year. In addition to forecasted growth in the UK, which the Tesco listing is expected to bolster, Kepak has set its sights on major European expansion.

“Europe’s hot snacking market is in its infancy and we are intent on become Europe’s leading supplier of hot snacking products by 2016, using the successful brand and category-building model that has served us so well in the UK and Ireland in the last decade,” adds Jackson.

After just three years of launching into Belgium and Holland, Kepak is already the largest supplier and key driver of category growth in those countries.

In addition, the company has just secured its first retail listings in the key markets of France and Germany.

“These markets represent a massive opportunity for us,” adds Jackson. “Retailers across Europe are looking to innovative food processors like us to generate new sales opportunities, particularly in chilled food which is more advanced in the UK and Ireland than in virtually all other European countries.

“We’re investing heavily in mapping current and future trends in consumers’ shopping and eating habits and looking closely at wider social change, i.e. the rise of single person households and meal occasions across Europe.

“Key insights into the dynamics that will shape the future of the market will provide the platform for us to double our business in the next five years,” adds Jackson.

Kepak Convenience Foods

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