Stiff competition in the toddler meals aisle intensified further this week as Morrisons’ delisted the Annabel Karmel range in favour of Little Dish - and Ella’s Kitchen announced it was entering the market.
The delisting of Annabel Karmel follows Annabel Karmel’s ousting of Little Dish from Sainsbury’s last September - and comes two years after Little Dish ready meals replaced the Annabel Karmel range in Tesco.
This week, Little Dish began supplying Morrisons with four SKUs - fish pie, chicken risotto, pasta bolognese and cottage pie - in place of Annabel Karmel lines including beef lasagne and cottage pie. Annabel Karmel will still have a presence in Morrisons though, as the retailer will continue to carry its Disney co-branded ambient snack range.
“We are disappointed we have been delisted in Morrisons. However, the accounts we currently serve are doing extremely well,” said a spokesman for Annabel Karmel.
The deal is the latest in a string of wins for Little Dish, which rolled out to Asda in April 2013.
Both businesses have brought in new senior staff this year, with Little Dish creating the new positions of COO & head of finance and marketing director, and Annabel Karmel appointing a new sales director and a head of PR and marketing.
Meanwhile, next month, Ella’s Kitchen is to launch the six-strong My Little Big Meals range (rsp: £2.19) for children aged 12 months-plus. Meal include Chicken ‘Paella-ella-ella’, Bolognese Bake, and Beef Stew, and are sold in a tray format rather than the pouches traditionally used by the brand. “The range has at least five fruits and vegetables in every pack and no added salt or sugar,” said brand founder Paul Lindley.
Ella’s Kitchen holds a 20% share of the baby food market [Nielsen 13w/e 29 June 2013].