Tesco has shaken up its chilled toddler meals by delisting Annabel Karmel’s lines and making Little Dish its exclusive brand.
Distribution of Little Dish’s chilled ready meals has been increased from 450 to 800 Tesco stores and the brand has been appointed Tesco’s category advisor to help drive growth and manage the toddler fixture. Tesco delisted three Annabel Karmel chilled meals in September after a range review, although it has extended Karmel’s Disney toddler snacks and is doubling their distribution.
The branded meals shake-up follows a revamp of Tesco’s own-label kids’ products in which it replaced its own-label Disney range with the Goodness kids’ brand, originally developed for the US market and sold though its Fresh & Easy stores. The range, which was tweaked for the UK market, comprises more than 70 healthy-eating products including snacks, chilled ready meals, pasta sauces and smoothies.
“We want to ensure parents have a good mix of own label and brands in the chilled aisle,” said a Tesco spokesman. “Our goal with Goodness and Little Dish is to drive penetration and frequency in this vibrant category.”
Little Dish sales director Andy O’Brien said the brand would be working hard with Tesco to attract more traffic to the toddler meals fixture. “We’re really pleased they’ve chosen us over a competitor that has great scale and credentials in the category,” he said. “Some parents struggle with the ready meal concept for children, so we’ll be looking to increase footfall and build awareness.”
Little Dish claimed retail sales had rocketed 40% to £7m by the end of 2010 and were expected to hit £13m by the end of 2012. The brand has listings in Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and Ocado and is set to go into 180 Morrisons stores on 6 October. It plans to add new lines early next year.
Hipp Organic is increasing its Little Nibbles offering, incorporating new Fruit Bars with Cereal and Squiggly Corn Puffs into the snack range.