Whitworths’ Acting Marketing Director Sheraz Dar has joined the healthy fruits, nuts and seeds supplier at just the right time: the company is breaking new ground with nibl, a new, innovative range of healthier, indulgent mixes containing fruit, nut and chocolate.
The former head of marketing at Premier Foods, who’s also worked with Cadburys and Britvic, where he launched J20, is confident that nibl will strike a chord with consumers looking for a dash of indulgence in an everyday snack.
“A key part of my strategy is to be absolutely transparent about what we’re selling and make it very clear that nibl is both ‘healthy’ and ‘indulgent,” he says.
The big question with nibl is can an adult snack product really be both healthy and indulgent? Sheraz is in no doubt the answer is yes: “If you insist on having a pure healthy snack, you should eat a piece of pure fruit, but if you want something that’s a bit more indulgent, three of the nibl products are 80% fruit and nut and 20% chocolate, and the other is 100% fruit and nut.”
Then there is the matter of the premium price – 69p for 45g. Will people pay that much? Again, Sheraz is very positive that they will: “Adult snacking is a broad category, and consumers will happily spend a bit more on healthy but indulgent products than on a bag of salted peanuts.”
Intriguingly you won’t find the Whitworths logo on the front of nibl packs. Sheraz explains why: “nibl’s touch of indulgence goes beyond the Whitworths fruit and nut snacking proposition. For instance, we’d never put pieces of chocolate in a Whitworths branded product.”
For the record, there is still plenty of life in the Whitworths brand. Sheraz says the marketing team is putting the final touches to the imminent launch of some exciting new Whitworths-branded snacking innovations, which will come to market shortly.
Whitworths is focusing on achieving nibl distribution in grocery first, with listings already secured, then the on the go sector. nibl will be backed by a selection of POS. Consumer promotional activity in print and on line is set for September, says Sheraz, along with in-store sampling.
The UK fruit, nut and seeds market is currently worth £356m, of which nibl is targeting £5-10m. This is a brand with considerable mileage, so it could well go bigger, says Sheraz: “nibl has been specifically created as an adult proposition with ‘grown up’ ingredients like cranberries and sour cherries, but it could catch on with the whole family, in which case we’re looking at a different scenario.”
Whitworths already has a kids’ snack brand, Sunny Raisin, and the healthy indulgence principle is relevant across the consumer age range. The company is also looking at launching some new savoury snacking products, but they won’t be appearing under the nibl brand, says Sheraz: “If it’s healthy, it’s Whitworths. If it’s healthy indulgence, it’s nibl time.”
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