Morning glory

One way to start the day right is with a healthy breakfast. With the options available ever expanding the consumer has more choice on what to eat, and more choice of healthy options.

Mintel says the concerted drive to reinforce consumer perceptions about cereals being the healthy breakfast choice for the whole family has had a positive effect on sales, reaching pound;1.2bn in 2005 and 419,000 tonnes of cereals sold.

Last year PepsiCo UK launched Quaker’s first Oat Granola product and this year is adding to the range with Strawberry Raspberry and Red Apple Wild Blackberry. A muesli range has also been developed, and like Quaker Granola, the high oat content is designed to help lower cholesterol with every serving. The muesli range is available in Quaker Fruit Nut Muesli, Exotic Fruit Oat Muesli and Harvest Fruit Oat Muesli.

Carol Garbutt, marketing director of Quaker, says: “The cereals market has changed over the last couple of years, and we are seeing oats and oat-based cereals growing in popularity and driving category growth. The health credentials of its cereals is something Quaker takes extremely seriously. The Quaker Oat Granola range contains 30-50% less fat per serving than most other granolas, while the muesli range offers a ‘no added sugar’, ‘no added salt’ variety.

“As the number one oats brand in the UK, Quaker has taken the opportunity to use its oats expertise to create this exciting range of ready-to-eat cereals for people who want all the health benefits of oats but more variety of choice.”

According to PepsiCo, Hot cereals are growing six times faster than ready to eat cereals and are worth pound;12m in impulse and Quaker is the leading hot cereals brand with 59% of the hot cereals market.

This year pound;15m is being invested in a campaign to introduce new packaging and products, and a focus on the natural health benefits of oats.

The re-launch is designed to communicate the message of the cholesterol-lowering properties of oats.

Garbutt says: “With over 100 years of oat experience, we believe Quaker is ideally placed to help raise awareness of the risks of raised cholesterol while at the same time highlighting the role Quaker Oats can play in the solution.”

Another breakfast area for PepsiCo is juice with Tropicana. According to PepsiCo, the chilled juice market is worth pound;100m in impulse and is growing at 25%. Tropicana is the biggest player with 44% of the impulse chilled juice market and is currently growing at 42% in impulse.

PepsiCo says, 30% of independents are not stocking the leading brand Tropicana Premium Product and this is something it would like to work to change.

Alan Cullom, retail sales director of Mornflake, says: “The oats market has been experiencing phenomenal growth over the last few years due to the health benefits associated with the product and we have been at the heart of this growth. Oats have become a key sector within the breakfast cereal market and it is essential that retailers include oats as part of their offering especially during the winter months when porridge oat sales peak.

“Mornflake was one of the first to remove added salt from its brands and with over 35% of all branded porridge oats shoppers buying Mornflake, we have the most loyal consumers in this sector.”

According to Mornflake, it is the number one brand in the UK market in terms of volume. Cullom said there was a large number of consumers who would only purchase Mornflake and would not choose another brand if Mornflake was out of stock. He states this as a reason for wholesalers and independents to stock the brand. Mornflake has also developed smaller case sizes of sixes for independent retailers.

According to Mornflake, the oat crisp market is currently valued at pound;35.1m. However, due to lack of innovation the market has remained relatively static for the past year. Aiming to revitalise the sector Mornflake has introduced a range of different products under its Oat Classics brand. The oat clusters are mixed with other flavours Granny Smith Apple, Macadamia Nut Cranberry and English Rose.

In December of last year Mornflake launched its Wallace Gromit branded porridge oats aimed at children.

Cullom adds: “We need to ensure that current oat cereal consumers remain satisfied with the products on offer and launch new and innovative products to stimulate interest and draw new consumers into the sector.”

According to the Weetabix Food Company, the overall breakfast cereals and cereal bar market currently produces total annual sales of pound;1.4bn and is demonstrating a year-on-year value growth of 5.3%. In addition, breakfast contributes 24% of all food consumption occasions.

Tony Corp, marketing controller of Weetabix, says: “The last 12 months has seen a rapidly growing new cold oats category, largely led by the successful launch of Oatibix into the marketplace. The Oatibix range, a cold oat cereal in the famous Weetabix biscuits format, launched in 2006 established a combined 2% value brand share and 15% household penetration within just six months.”

Weetabix is aiming to offer consumers the health credentials of wholegrain oats, but with greater convenience than hot oat cereals. The range has also been enhanced with Oatibix bitesize Chocolate Raisin to sit alongside Oatibix bitesize and bitesize Sultana Apple.

The Weetabix Food Company has also added to its Alpen Light bars range this year with a Chocolate Orange variant.

Early this year the company also launched two cereals featuring Disney characters. Star Force is based on Power Rangers and contains multigrain caramel-flavoured stars and Princess Stars features Disney Princess characters and has crispy multigrain strawberry-flavoured stars.

Ken Wood, CEO of the Weetabix Food Company, says: “We know that breakfast can be a real battle ground, which is why our new Disney Princess and Power Rangers cereals will offer mums a real resolution in breakfast cereals, meeting their children’s demands for fun cereals with on-pack activities, and their own desire to provide their children with a nutritious start to the day.”

This year Nestl eacute; Cereal Partners has introduced Oats More cereal range in two flavours. Available in Almond and Honey the cereal is targeted at adults wanting to incorporate more oats into their diet.

Targeting the family, the company has introduced a new variant to the Cheerio range with Oat Cheerios.

According to Nestl eacute; Cereal Partners, the oats cereal market has grown by over 50% in the last two years. This rise in sales has been triggered by over 6.6m households buying into the oat ready to eat cereal market.

Mark Fanner, NPD manager of Nestl eacute; Cereal Partners, says: “This is an exciting extension of the Cheerios brand providing all the family with the goodness of oats in a great tasting breakfast cereal. The oats market is currently booming so launching Oat Cheerios allows us to be part of this growing market with a brand that we know already has great family appeal. As well as appealing to our current Cheerio consumer, the oat variant will also attract new consumers to the brand.”

According to Kellogg’s, the total value of the UK cereal market is now pound;1.23bn, with value growth being driven by big brand ideas.

Kellogg’s has recently expanded its range with Special K Bliss, Special K Bliss Creamy Berry Crunch and Special K Bliss Strawberry Chocolate.

Kellogg’s has also launched Optivita, made with oat bran, aiming to help remove ‘bad’ cholesterol from the body.

Regarding foodservice, Andy Phillips, foodservice solutions marketing controller of Kellogg’s, says: “The foodservice market is showing signs of steady growth and with 41% of the UK population still leaving home without breakfast, the out of home breakfast occasion provides caterers with a huge opportunity to maximise sales, at what is considered to be the most important meal time during the day.”

On the subject of stocking the products he says: “The relationships between big brands like Kellogg’s and wholesalers could be improved. The onus to do this and improve sales all round, falls on companies like ourselves to continually provide wholesalers with a core range that both caterers and consumers want, but also to the wholesaler to take on board category management advice to maximise the sale of such products.”

Dorset Cereals has been working with hotels, bed breakfast establishments and other eating-places throughout the UK with 100g packs, created specifically for the hospitality industry.

Patrick Horton, marketing controller of Dorset Cereals says: “Our new packs will sit well on a breakfast buffet table alongside pastries, fruit and yoghurts. The smart boxes reflect the quality ingredients within each recipe, ideal for businesses that want to create an impact at breakfast.”

Dorset Cereals are available in Berries and Cherries, Super Cranberry, Cherry Almonds, Super High Fibre, Really Nutty Muesli and Fruit, Nuts Seeds.

Horton says: “It’s been a tremendous year for Dorset Cereals and our growth into the foodservice sector is an important part of our development as a premium cereal maker.”

Peter Butler, UK sales manager of Dorset Cereals, says that Dorset Cereals products are packed in outers of six in shelf ready packaging, designed to make them easier for wholesalers and the retailer.

According to the Federation of Bakers, the UK bread market is worth more than pound;3bn and breakfast is one of the most important meal occasions for bread, with between 40-60% of the bread manufactured being consumed first thing in the morning.

Gordon Polson of the Federation of Bakers says: “The time pressures of modern living have ensured bread has remained a popular choice as it can be prepared in minutes and with a variety of toppings can provide a healthy, tasty and varied meal to enjoy at this food occasion.

RHM Frozen has launched a range of McDougalls bake-from-frozen morning goods including Pains au Chocolat, Croissants, Pecan Danish, Cinnamon Danish and Custard Danish, all sold in packs of four, five or six. The range is aimed at people with a lack of time or expertise to bake from scratch, but who still enjoy the taste of fresh baking.

Alison Wright, head of marketing of RHM Frozen, says: “Consumer interest in fresh morning goods has been heightened by the growth in coffee shops and in-store bakeries – driven by the appeal and aroma of fresh baking. The McDougalls’ bakery range offers consumers the same appeal and aroma, but baked from home. The range can be enjoyed warm out of the oven – and eaten fresh.

According to Alpro Soya, the value of the dynamic breakfast market continues to grow, driven by increasing interest in health and wellbeing and consumer demand for healthier options. Soya is a part of this growth and Alpro Soya has seen growth of 9% by volume.

John Allaway, commercial director of Alpro Soya, says: “Despite being up against major players, we are continuing to grow the breakfast sector through product innovation and NPD and to recruit new consumers into the category. Last year we added the first every dairy free probiotic to our yogurts, reduced their sugar content and added more fruit to them. NPD is key to keeping the range fresh.”

Last year Alpro Soya made improvements to its yogurt packaging, aiming to create a more distinct pack that clearly communicates the health benefits

In March the company launched Alpro Soya Organic to sit alongside the existing chilled range. This range includes Alpro Soya Original, Alpro Soya Light and Alpro Soya alternative to Yogurt.

The yogurts were updated last year and include dairy free probiotic (Bifidus), have added vitamin B2 and B12 and a lower sugar content than previous Alpro Soya yogurts.

Robin Gleave, marketing director of Sunrise Healthy Start, says: “The breakfast market is in a state of change as consumer demands for healthier products have led to a raft of NPD in the sector. The rise of ‘Breakfast on the go’ has also provided many more opportunities for retailers allowing them to provide an extended range of breakfast products.”

Soya Health Foods has launched a range of Sunrise Healthy Start soya beverage for the breakfast table. The range includes Organic Honey Vanilla Breakfast Soya as an alternative to milk on cereal and juice and soya fusions containing Orange Mango, Mandarin Pomegranate and Apple Raspberry.

According to Soya Health Foods the lifestyle changes in the last few years have led to a steady rise in sales of soya milk as an alternative to dairy products. Soya inevitably ends up poured onto breakfast cereals as the main usage occasion.

Gleave says: “A number of the most progressive wholesaler operators have been quick to see the potential benefits of Healthy products, and our initial listings for Healthy Start with Batleys and Bestway have shown some excellent growth and repeat purchasing just three months after launch.

“As Healthy Start is focused around delivering a great taste at breakfast, we have started to roll out a programme of demos and sampling that give the depot staff and customers the chance to try before they buy. As a result of the successful brand launch we are urgently working to deliver two new exciting developments to market. The first is an RTD pack format that satisfies consumers who want to have a Healthy Start on the go. The second NPD development we have in the pipeline is for a Breakfast Cereal Bar which will be the first to focus on the cholesterol lowering properties of soya.”

According to Heinz, breakfast is one of the key times for the consumption of Heinz Baked Beanz with kids or young adults being the predominant consumers. In 2006 there were 201 million baked bean breakfast at home which is a growth of 7% year on year. Heinz’s research shows that breakfast is the most important occasion for eating Heinz Baked Beanz with 67% of consumers choosing to eat them with a full cooked breakfast and 54% preferring them on toast at the start of the day.

Baked Beanz are also an important part of the traditional English breakfast, which according to Heinz, features bacon, sausage, egg, tomatoes, toast and Heinz Baked Beanz.

Tal Dori, brand manager of Heinz Foodservice, says: “Heinz Foodservice recognises the importance of the traditional English breakfast to consumers therefore the breakfast is a key platform of our marketing strategy in 2007, championing the occasion.

“Heinz is trusted more than any other brand by consumers and it also had the strongest heritage of any brand in the UK. To support our wholesale customers we are continuing to provide national and bespoke promotions to generate pull through in depot with advertising and PR mechanic, driving traffic. For caterers, stocking and displaying Heinz brands front of house will raise perceptions in an outlet. It says you care about the food you serve and you care about your customers, giving them reassurance of receiving a quality experience.”

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