Quorn and Cauldron's new owners will launch an aggressive TV advertising campaign this year in a bid to reverse the decline of the meat-free category.
Speaking exclusively to The Grocer following the £205m sale of Premier Foods' meat-free business to Exponent Private Equity, Quorn Foods' new CEO Kevin Brennan revealed plans to target the nation's TV sets after a two-year hiatus.
"We're going to be on air about 23-24 weeks of the year," he said.
Advertising would focus on the brand's health credentials as a lower-fat alternative to the nation's everyday favourite meals. "In a world governed by EU regulation on health claims, being able to say you can take fat down by 75% on a brand is very powerful."
Brennan noted that meat-free had already benefited from the extension to Quorn's ready meal range in January and accompanying TV support, which had driven a 3.7% increase in value sales in the four weeks to 19 February [SymphonyIRI].
Brennan, who is targeting 5% to 7% annual growth this year before launching an assault on the US, attributed the poor overall performance last year the category fell 3% to £221m in the year to 31 October [Kantar Worldpanel] to a lack of marketing investment and innovation.
Two waves of NPD in the spring and an upgraded burger and sausage range would drive growth, he predicted. Improvements to category management were another priority.
"By mid-late next year we'll be in a stronger position and more confident about putting resources out more widely," he said.
Linda McCartney back on TV after 15-year break (10 March 2011)
Quorn will realise its potential under new owners, say experts (29 January 2011)
Focus On Meat Free (29 January 2011)
Quorn sold to private equity group in £205m deal (24 January 2011)