How a new product is performing…

Company: Weetabix
Launch date: June 2005

The launch of Weetaflakes last summer spelled the entrance for Weetabix into the burgeoning wholegrain cereals market. Combining the health benefits of Weetabix with the convenience of a flake-style product, Weetaflakes was introduced as an attempt to reaffirm cereal’s image as a healthy breakfast.

The eight-month-old brand, which, at the time of launch, the company claimed to be lower in salt and sugar than other brands, as well as high in fibre, has so far managed to clock up sales of £2.1m. This figure translates to a 0.32% market share of the total £667.1m ready-to-eat cereals market. Although it is still early days for Weetaflakes, it has had a warm welcome from buyers.

“It is a little too early to comment on this product, but I do believe it will fit nicely into Weetabix’s portfolio,” said Clifford Frazher, Nisa-Today’s category controller.

Weetaflakes has achieved 51% distribution in all possible outlets with 2.7% of ACNielsen’s consumer panel having tried it. Just over 20% of those found it tasty enough to return for a second purchase.Compared with the total RTE cereals category, Weetaflakes has proved to have a slightly more upmarket consumer base, as well as having an older age profile.

It also appears to appeal equally to smaller and larger households, while the total market generally has a stronger index for larger families.

At the beginning of this year, Weetaflakes increased its health credentials by throwing a prebiotic and a new fruit variant into the mix. Weetaflakes Prebiotic and the raisin, cranberry & apple variant were added to the menu in February to further increase the brand’s health credentials.

Weetabix Prebiotic has so far recorded £30,000 worth of sales and has secured distribution in 17% of all possible outlets. It is currently also benefiting from Weetabix’s sponsorship of Channel 5 soap Home and Away. The Weetaflakes brand will return to the small screen later this year as part of a £1.5m marketing push.

Data: ACNielsen 4 w/e February 25, 2006.