41 (37) Pringles
Sales: £145.3m -4.7%
It’s crunch time for Pringles. Volumes fell 19.7% for the brand last year. But since its surprise acquisition by Kellogg’s in June, there’s been steady promotional support to shore up flattening sales. This has focused on promoting the flavour upgrades that formed P&G’s last activity with the brand, as well as pushing some of the lesser-known and new flavours. Next up is the launch of the ‘bigger, bolder’ Pringles Xtra, which will roll into stores in March.
42 (51) Müller Light
Sales: £143.7m +13.6%
A record year. Not only did sales of the limited-edition mint with chocolate sprinkles yoghurt overtake all other Müller Light flavours within two weeks, but it also entered the burgeoning £100m-a-year Greek-style yoghurt sector in March. It has since added to the Greek range with Luscious Lemon and Strawberry Sublime variants. It has also launched a limited-edition Turkish Delight with sprinkles line in the hope of repeating last year’s mint performance.
43 (46) Kenco
Sales: £143.6m +6.8%
The strong performance of the posher Millicano brand extension, a wholebean instant that is currently being backed with TV ads (left), has helped offset the declining fortunes of Kenco’s standard range of coffees.
The brand tapped into demand for more convenient coffees with the launch of Kenco Millicano sticks in February, and unveiled its first decaffeinated wholebean instant, Millicano Caff Free, in July.
“We’re delighted with the performance of Kenco,” says Emad Nadim, assistant brand manager for Kenco at brand owner Mondelez International. “This year’s growth is down to the continued success of Kenco Millicano, which has repeat rates of 43%, as well as the growth of Eco Refill bags, which are growing at a rate of 32%.”
The brand also launched the Kenco Rewards Club in September, allowing consumers to collect points towards goodies such as Jamie Oliver-branded kitchenware and eco-kettles with every pack of Kenco, and made its debut on Twitter. Kenco now claims to have more followers on Twitter - nearly 7,500 when The Grocer went to press - than any other instant coffee brand in the country.
Social media is certainly taking up more of the brand’s attention. In October, Kenco launched a Facebook campaign encouraging coffee drinkers to support its efforts to save Colombia’s Choco rainforest. The sustainability campaign gives coffee drinkers the chance to ‘save’ a square metre of the forest by ‘liking’ the Kenco Fan Forest page.
44 (50) Velvet
Sales: £142.3m +9.8%
Reversing the pattern in the rest of household, paper products brands are wiping the floor with own label as a growing reliance on price promotions lowers the price differential between the two. Velvet brand owner SCA puts some of this down to the steady flow of innovation and a focus on environmental stewardship. In November SCA launched Velvet Almond Milk, helping to insulate itself from rising raw material costs through premiumisation.
45 (49) Schweppes
Sales: £137.4m +4.0%
Schweppes sought to add extra fizz to its sales with a Jubilee-themed push that continued its joint work with Diageo spirit brands to promote mixed drinks. In addition to a £3.5m marketing push, the activity included the roll-out of limited-edition Union Jack bottles of lemonade and tonic. The brand is looking to build on last year’s growth in 2013 with a Summer Punch variant it started rolling out, perhaps a tad prematurely, last month.
46 (44) Finish
Sales: £135.9m -0.7%
Not a very powerful performance for a so-called ‘global power brand’. Sales have been flat for the past couple of years in the UK. Reckitt Benckiser has promised a new multimillion-pound campaign to help get it back in growth for 2013. That’s on top of the £3.5m TV ad campaign last year to back the launch, in late 2011, of the premium-end Quantum Power Gel tablet, featuring special effects the producers said were inspired by the Harry Potter and Avatar movies.
47 (40) Bold
Sales: £135.6m -6.6%
Bold has been squeezed by the rise of own label in the laundry sector and the fierce promotions that have ensued. The brand also missed out on much of brand owner P&G’s heavyweight marketing around the Olympics. P&G says it has tried to take a step back from promotions compared with some of its competition in the past year and is committed to innovation for Bold, which is aimed at the mid-price bracket, between Ariel and Daz.
48 (47) Uncle Ben’s
Sales: £135.5m +0.9%
The Uncle continues to plod along without threatening to set the world alight. In April, Uncle Ben’s became one of the first brands to be featured in a Channel 4 cookery programme, under new product placement laws. It appeared along with Yeo Valley in Jamie Oliver’s show Jamie’s 15-minute Meals while the launch last summer of a Twice the Fibre long-grain rice product saw the brand engaging with the ‘hidden healthiness’ agenda.
49 (42) Duracell
Sales: £133.4m -4.6%
Bizarrely, more than three million people like Duracell batteries on Facebook. Its major move in 2012 was a new line of batteries that it claims will improve storage life by 43%. They won’t last any longer in a device, but Duracell is excited enough to claim ‘Duralock with Power Preserve’, which will enable batteries to sit in storage for 10 years, is its biggest breakthrough since the CopperTop. The numbers show that Duracell certainly needs a breakthrough.
50 (52) Volvic
Sales: £132.5m +14.9%
Group Danone has worked hard at encouraging consumers to splash out on Volvic. And it’s been rewarded with sales that have soared almost 15% year-on-year.
Much of this has been driven by the flavoured water line Volvic Touch of Fruit. Together with Volvic Juiced, a mix of mineral water and fruit juice launched last April, it has tapped into the boom in the flavoured waters market that Danone says has contributed to half the overall growth in bottled water.
Both ranges have benefited from heavyweight marketing, with Touch of Fruit hitting TV screens last May with a 20-second ad that ran for seven weeks. It was supported with a Facebook app that enabled fans to morph their faces into animals featured in the ad. Juiced was given an integrated marketing push that included a poster campaign at 5,000 sites, sampling, PoS material and digital activity.
But the growth hasn’t been at the expense of Volvic’s core offer, says Danone Water’s category development head Christina Medford. “Most of flavoured water drinks’ growth is incremental and is not driven by switching from plain water,” she says.
Growing public interest in health has boosted the performance of plain Volvic, which has also benefited from growth in smaller formats. Touch of Fruit was expanded with a tropical variant in January, supported by a team of tropical hula girls touring cash & carries. It will be extended into TV and outdoor ads later in the year. Juiced will also be back on screens later this year, too.