Going for growth with new category definition

Kepak Convenience Foods (KCF) has unveiled ambitious plans to double the size of its £105 million microwavable snacking business in the next five years.

In a move that will see the company working even more closely with delivered wholesalers, cash ‘n’ carries and convenience and independent retailers, and providing increased profit opportunities for all concerned, KCF has set out in detail how it intends to achieve its exciting growth plans.

At the heart of KCF’s plans is the unveiling of the new category definition ‘Quick and Tasty Snacks and Meals’. The new descriptor covers all single serve chilled snacks and meals that can be eaten hot, on the go or in the home. A category that over 70% of shoppers buy.

“We have spent a lot of time researching the new category definitions which takes the broadest possible view of chilled, single serve snacks and meals. It includes products that complement our hot snacking range such as pies, pasties and soups,” says Kepak Convenience Foods’ Marketing Director John Armstrong.

Kepak’s research highlighted that there are two types of store offering ‘Quick and Tasty Snacks and Meals’ – stores providing ‘Food For Now’ and others offering ‘Food For Later’.

The location of the ‘Quick and Tasty Snacks and Meals’ fixture differs by store type, with Kepak providing dedicated merchandising advice for both ‘Food For Now’ and ‘Food For Later’ stores.

In trials, convenience store retailers who worked with Kepak, defining their store as Food For Now or Food For Later and listing the best-selling lines in the right location, increased sales of chilled snacking products by an average 30%.

“This is all about improving the customers’ shopping experience by tailoring retailers’ chilled snacking offering to shoppers’ needs and this will of course differ from store to store,” adds Armstrong.

“That’s why we’ll be working closely with retailers, and hopefully other chilled snacking manufacturers, to help retailers define their store type and then to maximise the profits.”

In order to accelerate its own growth, KCF will also be focussing on a business model that develops its market-leading product range through 3 Is – Investment, Insight and Innovation.

INVESTMENT

“We invest heavily in our brands compared to industry norms and have backed our brands with TV advertising for each of the last 10 years, even in recessionary times when many other grocery brands have shied away from TV support. That will not change and we have some really exciting brand support plans for 2012,” says Armstrong.

INSIGHT

“We’re mapping current and future trends in consumers’ shopping and eating habits. We’re also looking closely at wider social change, i.e. the rise of single person households and meal occasions and the positive impact this has on the Quick and Tasty Snacks and Meals Category.”

INNOVATION

KCF will maintain its focus on innovation, in relation to new product development and marketing support, continuing to take the most successful foodservice concepts into retail. This policy has worked particularly well so far, in particular with the recent and highly successful launch of Rustlers Hot Subs and Hot Wraps and the ZUGO’s Deli Café Panini and pasta range.

In addition, KCF will continue to add value with initiatives such as pre-programmed microwaves, enabling retailers to offer hot food in-store, and purpose-built stands that are proven to increase sales.

“Working closely with the convenience trade, we’re now poised to accelerate growth of Quick and Tasty Snacks and Meals, generating increased profits for retailers in what we predict will be the most dynamic sector of the food to go market in the coming years,” concludes Armstrong.

Kepak Convenience Foods

www.kepaktrade.co.uk