A look at the most promising newcomers in key grocery categories. This month: Ambient grocery
Product: Knorr Recipe Kits

Company: Unilever Bestfoods

Distribution level: 77%

Repeat purchase rate: 30%
Unilever’s recent focus on its Knorr brand appears to be paying dividends, at least as far as new grocery products are concerned.

Its six-strong Recipe Kit range, each containing the spices and trimmings for an ethnic meal for two, minus the base ingredients, launched in January this year.

A £6m TV advertising campaign, which was spread throughout the year, seems to have raised the newcomers’ profile and they are now listed in more than three-quarters of possible outlets, according to data from ACNielsen.

Just under 4% of consumers on its consumer panel have tried the products, with 30% of these buying a second time.

Wing Yip’s range of Oriental sauces lead the rest of Knorr’s grocery rivals, but as they are aimed at independent stores rather than multiples they have a much smaller distribution rate and are listed in about a quarter of possible outlets. Trial rate among ACNielsen’s panel is low at only 0.6% but a fifth of these consumers have bought a second time.

Other notable newcomers in this category include Bertolli stir-in pasta sauces, which are building distribution steadily with the tomato-based variants now available in half of all possible outlets.

Sharwood’s Bundh sauces and Loyd Grossman’s ambient pouched soups are both too new to have registered on ACNielsen’s radar yet, but should make some impact in the coming year.