Sales: £100.6m (+9.4%)
Pot Noodle is no longer just for lads. Gone are the more risqué ads, such as the 2013 Peel the Top Off A Hottie campaign that prompted a slew of complaints of sexism to the ASA; in is the more universal appeal of the brand’s You Can Make It push, aimed at young go-getters of both genders.
“Young people are more ambitious yet busier than ever,” says marketing manager Monique Rossi to explain the ads’ central message: that by opting for a Pot Noodle rather than cooking a meal from scratch, one can save time that would be better spent chasing dreams.
Of course, Unilever hasn’t done away with Pot Noodle’s trademark sense of humour. One ad proclaims: “There’s no time to dilly dally (if you do you’re a silly billy).” Another follows a boxing fan’s journey to a Las Vegas venue in pursuit of his dream of making it not as a boxer, but as a ring girl.
Recent key NPD included Pot Noodle Sausage Casserole, to tap the trend for traditional flavours, and putting Chinese Chow Mein, one of its most popular variants, into the King Pot Format. Next came a new Mac & Cheese line. “Cheese has seen a massive increase in usage as part of savoury snacks,” adds Rossi.