As part of an aggressive marketing drive for the brand, Premier Foods is running nationwide commercials from Friday (January 20), pushing the product as a tastier alternative to the market leader.
It follows a dramatic u-turn by Heinz in November, when the company was forced to reverse a freeze on above-the-line activity in the face of competition from Branston and put Heinz Baked Beanz back on TV as ‘the original superbean’.
Premier also exclusively revealed to The Grocer the results of its independently audited blind bean poll of 746,000 consumers comparing the Branston and Heinz brands. Martin Hall, head of Branston Beans, said the results showed that 74% preferred the taste of Branston and the results would now be used in marketing, including on the can itself, from the spring.
“Put simply, our brand is preferred. It would appear that the initial lack of concern by Heinz is not reflected in the activity going on behind the scenes,” he said.
The commercials have a strapline of ‘Richer Branston’ and feature an animated bean can dancing to Hot Chocolate tunes with a twist - for example, You Saucy Thing.
Despite being listed in all multiples except Somerfield, the new brand has a long way to go to catch up with Heinz which at £167m was worth £150m more than its nearest rival, HP, in October last year (The Grocer Top Products Survey, 52 w/e October 1, 2005).