Sales: £371.0m (-11.1%)
Kingsmill’s Great White has sunk its jaws into the bread market and clocked up almost £25m in sales since its launch last March.
Hardly small fry, but the NPD hasn’t been sufficient to offset a £46.3m slump in overall Kingsmill sales - the greatest loss of any of Britain’s biggest brands in 2014, and a decline that has seen CEO Mark Fairweather leave the business.
Kingsmill has fallen victim to a double whammy of declining volume sales in the sliced bread market and a bread price war that has driven a 5.6% decline in the average price of Kingsmill. But with a £210m UK-wide production and infrastructure investment set to conclude this year, the business is remaining upbeat.
“The investment is enabling [us] to quickly capitalise on consumer and industry trends, producing a broad range of the highest quality, affordable products to attract new consumers into the category and grow the brand,” says category director Martin Garlick.
Great White was among these products. Targeted particularly at shoppers who had shunned white bread over health concerns, it offers the same fibre as wholemeal. “Great White attracted new customers to the sector and achieved the highest repeat purchase of any bread launch to date,” says Garlick.
The launches didn’t end there. In September Kingsmill extended into the burgeoning sandwich thins market pioneered by Warburtons. “Despite a decline in traditional bread sales impacting overall category growth, sandwich alternatives are having a positive impact and this trend is set to continue in 2015,” says Garlick.
Available in white and 50/50 versions weighing in at 99 calories each, Thins are being backed with an £8.4m advertising spend.