Premier Foods is dropping Mr Kipling from the cake brand's new ad slogan for the first time in more than 30 years as it launches the biggest piece of NPD for the brand in a decade.

The marketing campaign, which kicks off in July, features the strapline 'Exceedingly happy bitesize cakes'.

It had dropped 'Mr Kipling makes exceedingly good cakes' as its slogan, in favour of something new to "reflect the brand positioning of carefree light enjoyment", said Rachel Pirt, senior brand manager for Mr Kipling.

The three-strong Mr Kipling Cake Bites range, backed with a £4.4m campaign, is aimed at the on-the-go bitesize treat market.

Each tub contains 15 individually wrapped bites (rsp: £2.49) and comes in caramel, lemon or strawberry & vanilla variants.

Premier wanted to raise the appeal of the brand outside the traditional tea and cake event as well as make it more appealing to younger consumers, said Pirt.

"Cake is no longer just about sitting down with a cup of tea. Consumers are now enjoying more informal occasions in and out of home," she said.

Last year, sales of Mr Kipling rose 7.1% to £167m, outperforming the total ambient cake market, which was up 3.6% to £1bn [IRI 52w/e 16 April 2008].

New product development was integral to keeping the momentum going, said Pirt. The range also taps into the trend for bitesize treats that has emerged this year, particularly within ice cream with Magnum Minis and Cornetto Minis.

Innovation in cakes has been few and far between in recent years.

The previous piece of major NPD from Mr Kipling was Angel Slices, now its top-selling SKU, in 1998. It also ventured into better-for-you two years ago with Delightful, a lighter version of its signature range, which it said was now worth £4.5m.

To coincide with the NPD, the entire Mr Kipling portfolio has had a makeover to give it a less cluttered look.

The marketing campaign will consist of TV, sampling and PoS material.