Heinz is taking on Colman's in the £25m mustard category with the launch of a milder variety that it believes will have wider consumer appeal.
The launch of Heinz English Mustard, which hits shelves at the end of the month.
"We think there's room in the market for another mustard," said marketing manager Mike Docherty. "The category is worth £25m but it offers consumers little choice. Mustard is thriving but families in particular find existing ranges too hot for everyday use. Our authentic English Mustard will appeal to children as well as adults with more cautious palates."
The mustard will come in 270g squeezy plastic packs, following the successful launch in April of Heinz's Salad Cream handy packs, which have added 50% incremental sales to the brand, according to Heinz. At £1.29 English Mustard is slightly cheaper than Unilever's Colman's mustard, which costs 88p for 170g squeezy pack, said Docherty, positioning it well for a Christmas launch.
"The sauce category gets a boost over the festive period as people eat cold meats and leftovers," he said. "Our research shows there is a gap for a milder flavour. We hope our English Mustard will appeal to the whole family."
Any advertising campaigns and in-store promotions for the line would depend on how the product performed in its first three months, he said.
The category was ripe for a new entrant, said Asda buyer Ged Futter. "The Heinz mustard sits between the US squeezy varieties and traditional English mustards so it is a different proposition to Colman's. The condiment market could do with a shake up."
Colman's has slipped by 3% in the past year, though it still dominates the category with more than 50% market share.
The launch gives Heinz a wide portfolio of condiment brands in the £424m market, which already includes Tomato Ketchup, Salad Cream, HP Sauce, Lea & Perrins and Daddies.
Heinz currently sells mild mustards in the US, but only to restaurants and cafés through its Heinz Foodservice business.