Bear Alphabites cereal

Bear is launching its first cereal range.

Fruit snack brand Bear is taking on breakfast giants Kellogg’s and Nestlé with the launch of its first cereal range.

Aimed at kids, Alphabites contain no added salt or sugar and will initially come in two variants, multigrain and cocoa multigrain (rsp: £2.69/375g). The cereals hit Waitrose next week followed by a wider rollout in the autumn that will coincide with a £1m outdoor, press and social media push.

The company, which won the SME Food & Drink Brand of the Year at The Grocer Gold Awards 2013, said the extension into the breakfast category was a “natural progression” for the healthy snacking brand, which includes Fruit Nibbles and Yo Yos fruit rolls.

The cereals, which contain only multigrains, cocoa powder and coconut nectar - a natural sweetener high in amino acids and with a low GI - would be extended with further flavours next year, alongside new cereal ranges and “innovative snacking products”, said Giles Brook, founding partner of parent company Urban Fresh Foods. He predicted the brand, which grew 87% to £11m last year according to internal data, would grow to more than £19m this year.

Featuring a ‘with no added nonsense’ strap on-pack, the new range would appeal to the growing number of parents who were concerned about what they fed their children, particularly given the link between breakfast and childhood obesity, said Brook.

It was priced competitively to “deliver value at the heartland of current offerings” and to ensure that people had access to healthy ranges at affordable prices, he added.

“We were very realistic as it is a category dominated by a few large players, but we want to make an impact,” he said.

Alphabites is hoping to tick boxes with kids as well as parents with on-pack activities focusing on letters of the alphabet.