>>How one of last year’s launches is faring

Weetabix chunkyfruit bars
Launch date:
July 2004
A lack of continued marketing support appears to have been the main downfall of Weetabix Chunkyfruit Bars.
The fruit-filled bars hit shelves last summer backed by an integrated marketing campaign including television, outdoor advertising, sampling and money-off next purchase coupons.
However, according to buyers, Weetabix failed to continue this support and this spelled the end of the road for the range, which the company has confirmed has been scrapped.
“Essentially, it was a superior product that Weetabix failed to support beyond launch - and hence its demise,” says Martin Bull, cereals buyer of Musgrave Budgens Londis. “It was off to an excellent start with high level marketing support. However, the support was not sustained and Weetabix was competing against manufacturers and brands that invest heavily in promotional activity. As a result, sales disappeared.”
According to new figures from ACNielsen, sales peaked around February and March this year when the range clocked up sales of more than £479,000 (four w/e to March 19, 2005). However, this figure had by July, a year after launch, plummeted to a mere £190,000 (four w/e to July 9, 2005).
Still, Weetabix is adamant it has been pleased with the performance of the range and said the decision to discontinue it was down to a combination of factors, including manufacturing and logistic concerns, as well as a focus within the business on its Alpen cereal bar range.
Trial of Chunkyfruit Bars has been consistent throughout its short lifetime.
The latest figures reveal that more than 5% of ACNielsen’s consumer panel tried the product, out of which, an impressive 37% returned for a second purchase (ACNielsen four w/e to October 29, 2005).
Chunkyfruit bars were the first to launch under the Weetabix brand and were positioned as a more substantial snack than standard cereal bars.
And, the company, which is expected to launch a number of new products under the Alpen brand early next year, had high hopes for the range, predicting it would sell 50 million products within its first year and claim a 5% share of the cereal bars market.