plantain-chips.jpgThe UK’s £70 million Caribbean food and drink category is one of the rising stars in the UK’s ethnic food market – and it’s poised for even more growth this year. Enco Products Limited, a division of Grace Foods UK, dominates the UK’s Caribbean food and drink market. The company’s 46% market share is more than twice that of its nearest competitor (source: IRI 52 w/e April 19 2008).
“We take our role as category leaders very seriously, and are working with retailers to accelerate profitable category growth,” says Andy Nicholls, Enco Products Limited Category Manager.

“One of the category’s biggest strengths is that distribution is spread across the retail chain and across a number of product sectors. These include nutritional drinks, sauces, malt and carbonate drinks, canned meat and fish. This highlights the broad appeal of the category and why it is attracting so many new consumers.”

Enco Products, meanwhile, is driving consumer awareness and demand to new heights. National advertising, promotions, and sponsorships are all playing their part, but so too is sampling close to point of purchase.

“Creating awareness by itself is not enough, we have to engage and enthuse consumers,” adds Andy Nicholls. “There is still an element of the unknown about Caribbean dishes and part of our job is to work with retailers to educate consumers on how quick and easy it is to make great-tasting snacks and meals with Caribbean food.”

Enco Products’ strategy is to invest heavily in its category leading brands such as Encona sauces and Nurishment, the UK’s number one nutritionally-enriched milk drink, to ensure that the Caribbean market continues to emerge from its core ethnic base into the mainstream market.

Enco Products is also backing its two leading soft drinks brand, Tropical Rhythms and Grace Ginger Beer, with a heavyweight sampling and promotional programme.

“We are capitalising on the rapidly growing consumer interest in food and drink with Caribbean origins. Consumers are broadening their horizons and looking for new taste experiences such as those that Caribbean food and drink provides,” adds Andy Nicholls.

The company is also investing heavily in NPD, extending its best-selling ranges and bringing new products to market. The wide-ranging programme includes the launch of Enco Products’ first mainstream snacking range.

The company is introducing a range of three 85g exotic snacks comprising green banana chips, plantain chips and sweet plantain chips, targeted at consumers looking for a delicious alternative to traditional savoury snacks.

Enco is backing the gluten free range, suitable for vegetarians, with a national sampling campaign and PR activity targeted at women’s interest titles.

Each of the three products is packed in outers of 12, with an rrp of 79p.

For more details on Enco Products’ market-leading range of food and drink, call 01707 326 222, visit www.gracefoods.co.uk or e-mail customer.services@gracefoods.co.uk

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