McCain is feeling chuffed with the performance of Rosti, which it launched in October 2001, despite conflicting information over its sales.
Figures from Information Resources show sales of just under £5m for the year ending July 14, which falls short of the frozen potato product specialist's first year prediction of £10m. However, this tally includes only sales in multiple grocers and Co-ops and a company spokeswoman said wider-based TNS figures to August 18 backed its £9.5m ex-factory total.
"The product established itself immediately," she added. "The trade were unanimous in their confidence and support. It has been welcomed with open arms, is listed with all the majors and enjoys 90% distribution across the top six. Around 60% of its growth is incremental to the category."
McCain added the newcomer ­ thinly sliced potatoes pressed into patties ­ to its repertoire as an accompaniment to various dishes and gave it the strapline The perfect partner'.
A £3m support programme kicked off in Autumn last year, with the aim of driving trial. Sampling in supermarkets, a roadshow fronted by Brummie TV chef Rustie Lee and ads in supermarket magazines formed the first phase, followed by two bursts of TV advertising.
A frozen buyer from one of the big four agreed heavy promotions had got Rosti off to a good start. "It continues to be a successful product," he said. "And it's in the right sector."

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