Their only major listing is in Somerfield, which stocks the products in 500 of its outlets, despite growth of 46% in the flavoured couscous category. The £11.2m total couscous market is also growing - at 29.1%. (TNS 52 weeks ending August 2003).
However, according to Whitworths head of marketing David Smith, the company had not been aiming for market leadership as the category was already established. He admitted that the range’s 2% market share was “very small”, but he claimed this exceeded the company’s expectations and he pointed out that money-off promotions increased sales by three and a half times the range’s normal rate.
Smith conceded that the launch timing could have been better. “If we had got in there first, this would have greatly increased our distribution with other retailers,” he said.
The company aimed to grab a share of the growing category by offering something convenient, quick and versatile. Recipe suggestions showed the products as an accompaniment or a snack. Flavour innovation is top of the agenda for next year, with launches planned from late spring. The company also hopes to increase distribution into other multiples.