whole earth peanut butter

Sales of peanut butter have overtaken marmalade after a year of intense NPD and marketing centred on health.

Shoppers have spent 13.3% more, bringing the value of the UK market to £62.4m. Volumes are up 9% [Kantar Worldpanel 52 w/e 12 October 2014]. Sales of marmalade are down 2.4% to £54.8m.

Market leader Sun-Pat has grown 10% to £16.7m on volumes up 3.4% [IRI 52 w/e 9 November 2014] after a 2013 rebranding and the launch of a larger, 600g jar. Second-placed Whole Earth has grown 17.8% by value on volumes up 19.3%, closing the gap between the two brands to just £2.5m.

Whole Earth’s growth has been driven by a combination of NPD, widened distribution in The Co-op Group and Tesco, and sponsorship of sporting events. It has partnered with the British Triathlon Association and endurance race Man Vs Horse, as well as launching on-the-go sachets aimed at cyclists and runners in 2013.

“More people are now taking sport into their lifestyle,” said Whole Earth marketing director Gill Hesketh, pointing to the September launch of three new nut butters with added seeds as another example of how the brand was looking to attract health-conscious consumers.

Jam, honey and marmalade’s combined decline of 3.1% on volumes down 5.4% had been driven partly by concern about sugar content, said Sue McIntosh, marketing manager at Meridian Foods, which also reported strong growth in its nut butters.