After changing hands last July, one of Britain’s oldest and most recognisable canned foods brands is to receive a long overdue makeover.
Princes bought the Crosse & Blackwell name - along with Farrow’s and Smedley’s - from Premier Foods as part of its £182m acquisition of Premier’s canned food business. The brand has been sidelined in recent years as Premier focused investment on its 10 ‘power brands’, including Ambrosia, Hovis, Bisto and Oxo.
But no longer. Its new owner is implementing a £4m relaunch for Crosse & Blackwell, kicking off in September with the introduction of a 20-strong range of canned soups backed by a major marketing campaign. Comprising Core, Best of British and Premium tiers, the range is designed to straddle the category by offering varied products at different price points.
The Core line includes classic flavours such as cream of tomato, cream of chicken and minestrone, while the Best of British collection draws on traditional recipes such as roast chicken & vegetable, broccoli & Stilton and pea & ham. The Premium range - including more complex soups such as chunky tomato and basil - will be priced at the higher end of the canned soup category.
Princes marketing director Chris Wright believes Crosse & Blackwell can become a major brand in ambient food over the next five years. “We see Crosse & Blackwell as a really important brand within our portfolio. It’s a UK brand we can develop and invest in to the benefit of the consumer.”
In short, Princes has no intention of stopping at soups. It plans to follow the new range with more brand extensions and innovations, says Wright. “We’ve gained a whole set of ideas through consumer research that will take us into a different set of markets.”
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