Bohemian vegetarian sandwich company Cranks is casting aside its sandal-wearing image and taking on the big boys by expanding its portfolio to cover salads, juices, smoothies and ‘thickies’.
The company said the wider range of products would create a one-stop shop for lunchtime snacks and satisfy what it said was a growing demand for ‘grab and go’ options. It is planning further innovation in lunchtime products in the coming months.
Ben Johnson, Cranks brand director, said: “They are tapping into a contemporary audience which fits into the direction Cranks is taking. It’s a completely new era for the company.”
Salads include classic Caesar, chargrilled mushroom nicoise,
feta & slow-roasted tomato pasta, mozzarella & green pesto pasta and fire-roasted Mediterranean vegetable couscous. Five noodle salads, with a range of heat levels, have also been developed. Pad Thai (mild), Chinese mushroom (mild), biryani (medium) and spicy Singapore (hot) can all be eaten cold or heated in the microwave in 90 seconds. The juices include freshly squeezed orange, two smoothies - orange & mango and strawberry & raspberry - and vanilla bean & honey yoghurt thickie, a more substantial version of a smoothie.
Cranks originally opened as a ‘hippy-style’ vegetarian restaurant in London’s Carnaby Street in 1961. But since its purchase by The Grocery Company in 2002, it has looked for a more mainstream appeal.
Johnson said the expanded range was targeted at people trying to cut down on meat intake, as well as die-hard vegetarians.
The products are manufactured under licence by Brambles Foods and Cranks is in talks with the major retailers over listings.
Weetabix returns to TV screens next month as part of a £10m campaign running until the end of the year. The What Are You Made Of? ad features a scarecrow which has lost its ability to scare off birds and has been cast into a ditch. However, a kindly farmer comes to the rescue and puts the scarecrow in a field of golden wheat. It dances across the field with renewed vigour in its scare tactics.
Stefan Chomka