Allied Bakeries is expanding its Kingsmill brand into the burgeoning sandwich thins market.
The baker is investing £8.4m in its Glasgow site to facilitate the launch of Kingsmill Sandwich Thins, which will be available in white and 50/50 varieties from this month (rsp: £1.29/six).
The square, pre-sliced thin rolls are similar in appearance to the Sandwich Thins rolled out by rival Warburtons in 2011.
The launch comes as sandwich alternatives such as wraps and thins are bringing incremental growth to the bakery market. Kingsmill said research had shown consumers wanted more variety and healthier alternatives when it came to bakery, adding that its Sandwich Thins contained 99 calories each.
Sandwich alternatives were the “growth engine” for bakery, said Kingsmill innovation head Janene Warsap.
“Not only are we investing in our bakery infrastructure to build capacity and distribution, but we are also committing £5m over two years to a significant and sustained marketing campaign, including TV and shopper marketing,” she added.
Analysts Kantar Worldpanel described the growth in sandwich alternatives as “staggering”.
“We’ve seen nearly £30m of value growth in sandwich alternatives come from incremental sales alone – a level that is far outpacing the growth rate of plant bakery overall,” added Kantar’s Chris Longbottom.
In March, Warburtons received planning permission for a £20m plant in Burnley, Lancashire to increase its own capacity for wraps and thins. At the time, it said its own sales of sandwich alternatives had grown 87% year-on-year.