Kellogg's UK business is to ramp up its presence in snacks in a bid to emulate its parent company's success in the category across the Atlantic.

The cereals giant has formed a new UK snack business unit, headed by snacks and convenience manager Jean-Yves Heude, in a bid to generate half its turnover from snacks - as it does in the US.

Snacks currently make up 15% of Kellogg's UK's sales, but that is set to change with a wave of new product development, which began this week with the launch of its first bagged snack, Kellogg's Special K Mini-Breaks.

Heude, who has been drafted in from the Brussels office, said snacking was poised to become more important to consumers as people shared fewer big family meals and focused instead on individual needs.

This trend was already being observed in other European markets, he said .

"Traditionally snacks have been treats and indulgence lines. Our mission is to develop and bring to market products that meet new consumer needs," he added.

The snacks unit had been tasked with building sales through the convenience channel in particular. "Of course we need to get the big multiples on board and work hard with them," said Heude, "but for this part of the business to grow at the levels we are talking about, we need to develop the singles business in c-stores. We are working on packaging and formats to really meet the needs of this channel."

Kellogg's existing UK snack range includes cereal bars under its own and the Nutri-Grain brand. As it increases its portfolio, it is expected to place much more emphasis on bagged products.

In the US, its established bagged snacks include Kellogg's Crunchmania Graham snacks and Garlic and Herb All-Bran Crackers.

It has also branched into drinks with the flavoured Special K2O Protein Water.

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