Arla Foods is ploughing £10m into its £80m Anchor butter brand this year with a complete packaging relaunch and a concerted push on Lighter Spreadable to reverse slowing sales growth.
It has redesigned the range with a more modern twist on the nature theme, featuring words such as 'wander', 'moo' and 'roam' against the grass design. Packs will also carry The Free Range Butter Co. branding for the first time after it began using the strapline in its ads last year.
A four-week TV campaign for Anchor and the Lighter variant kicks off on 21 January with £5m being pumped into Lighter alone, including additional in-store spend on a 50p-off promotion and sampling.
The ad will include fuzzy felt animations of a cow in a field, with a banjo hoe-down soundtrack. It will focus on what Arla claims is Anchor's unique positioning as the UK's only free-range butter as its milk is sourced from New Zealand cows that are free to roam.
Anchor Lighter was launched in January 2005 and achieved sales of £10m in its first year. However, three years on its sales growth has slowed and is up just 4.4% to £12.3m on last year. It plans to target the lower-fat spread as a more family-oriented brand, with a new claim in its ads that it has '50% less saturated fat compared with standard butter'.
"Since we launched Lighter the market has become more competitive," said senior brand manager Lorraine Crowe. "It's important that we differentiate Anchor, which we've done by reinforcing the free-range positioning. January is a key time for Lighter and the new campaign will engage our target market."
Crowe added that it had not felt any consumer backlash to recent price rises, which rose from 84p for block and £1.86 for spreadable pre-September to £1.22 and £2.26, respectively, as a result of dairy increases across the board.
The core Anchor brand advertising is also hoped to turn around the decline in its block butter, sales of which are down 4.7% on last year to £30.4m.