Premier Foods is further encroaching on Heinz’s territory with a move into another of its core categories - thick sauces.
The company is launching Branston-branded tomato ketchup and brown sauce to compete with the market leading brands: Heinz tomato ketchup and HP brown sauce, which will be transferred to Heinz this year if its purchase of HP Foods is allowed by competition authorities.
Branston brown sauce and tomato ketchup, packaged in 470g top-down plastic bottles (rsp: £1.19), are another challenge to Heinz following the launch of Branston
baked beans last autumn. The beans achieved a 6.2% share by the end of 2005 [IRI, 5 w/e December 24] and Premier also has lofty ambitions for its brown and red sauces, which it reckons can gain a 20% and 10% share in two years.
The unique selling point for the ketchup is that it contains 20% more tomatoes than Heinz and the brown sauce is the first top-down version to market.
The sauces, which are going into Sainsbury this week, will benefit from a £5m TV and press campaign this summer with a barbecue theme and a ‘Putting more on the table’ strapline.
Premier said a merged Heinz and HP would have a share of more than 80% of the thick table sauces category and there was room for a credible alternative.
Sue Knight, Premier’s general manager of pickles and sauces, said: “The only brand that can reverse the stagnation of table sauces is Branston. It has a natural fit with brown sauce and there’s an opportunity for a more grown-up tomato ketchup.”
Premier is forecasting the sauces will deliver £20m sales in two years to fit Branston’s target of becoming a £70m brand by 2008. Innovation around the Branston brand in the past two years has included a move into beans, sour pickles and relish.
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Claire Hu