Nut butter brands are being spread thinly. Overall, they’ve shed 2.7% of their volumes. Their 1.3% value rise is entirely due to higher prices.
However, three of the top 10 brands have registered gains in both value and volume. Chief among them is Pip & Nut, up 26.6% in value on units up 25.3%.
This was achieved by driving home why its spreads are “worth paying more for”, says founder & CEO Pip Murray. “Our tactics in 2023 have included refreshing our packaging to more clearly call out the provenance of our premium nuts, as well as using illustrations to explain how our ingredient sourcing and processing delivers a great-tasting product.”
Tactics to drive higher jam sales
In jams & preserves, Fearne & Rosie is similarly looking to buck a downward trend. While branded volumes are down 7.9%, the healthier player is undergoing a pack refresh in January 2024 to call out its credentials. The brand is “simplifying messaging and dialling up the fact we’ve got more fruit” per jar, says founder Rachel Kettlewell.
Of course, that higher fruit content comes at a cost. For Fearne & Rosie, the soaring price of raspberries meant pausing production of its raspberry jam for almost a year.
“The cost rose exponentially and we couldn’t make the product commercially viable to land on shelf,” says Kettlewell. It’s finally due to return from January.
So far, the brand has avoided passing on those rising costs to shoppers. In January 2023, Fearne & Rosie switched jars from 200g to 310g. The 55% increase in size was accompanied by a much smaller price rise of 3.2% per 100g, in a reverse of shrinkflation.
Peanut butter pricing impacted by raw costs
But not everyone has been able to keep a lid on rising prices. The cost of peanuts has risen “by an absurd amount, well over 40%”, says Stu Macdonald, founder of ManiLife nut butter. As such, in January, ManiLife changed from 295g plastic pots to 275g glass jars, while rsp stayed at £3.75.
This could be a risky tactic as brands face increased competition from own label. NIQ analyst Karl Ruggiero notes it is “gaining share and more importance in the market as consumers trade down to reduce spend”.
In nut butter, for instance, own label is up 5.6% in volumes. That’s a hefty extra dollop of sales.
Top Launch 2023
Sea Salted Caramel Almond | Pip & Nut
Pip & Nut tapped the affordable indulgence trend with the launch of this limited-edition line in July. Sea Salted Caramel Almond Butter (rsp: £3.50/170g) is a collaboration with Hackney Gelato, inspired by the luxury ice cream brand’s Almond Butter Gelato. With flavours of toffee caramel, sea salt and Mexican agave, it can be spread on pancakes or poured on overnight oats for a decadent breakfast. Or, as Pip & Nut suggests, wait for evening to drizzle on a bowl of Hackney Gelato.
Face off: Top Products Survey 2023 pits brands vs own-label
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Spreads & jams 2023: Pip & Nut is star spreads & jams brand