"In the US they spend a lot of time airbrushing designs on to instore baked cakes and we thought that was a good idea," says Richard Ilsley, business unit director, retail and foodservice. "It sounds simple. But it has taken us three years to develop. It's a technological breakthrough."
The aerosol concept achieves two things. First it retails for an attractive £1.89. Second, it appeals to the all-important home bakers with kids.
The development is part of Renshaw Scott's strategy of breathing life back into the £105m baking aids market. "In all the countries in which we operate we are trying to bring fun and easy to use products to the consumer."
If Renshaw Scott's efforts in npd are bang on strategy, so are its efforts to make
The baking aids category is driven by impulse sales. If a mum buys a cake mix, then she will probably want decorations and candles to go with it. But making matters difficult for her will be confused and disparate fixtures, says Ilsley, with as many as 120 SKUs crammed into 4ft of space. "Our challenge is to increase those impulse sales through better merchandising and product innovation," Ilsley adds.
Supercook's new units are pretty neat, combining as they do gravity feed racks for jars and tubs and hooks for hanging products with conventional shelves to create what marketing director Mark Leddy calls a more organised and appealing fixture. Better still, the units put 20% more products into the same space through a combination of better ranging and increased shelf efficiency.
It's not all without controversy, as the category will be managed by Supercook. Rivals are nervous about that (see box).
Nevertheless, the trade has responded positively, says Leddy. "We are talking to everybody and testing with most, and will go live with three or four chains before Christmas."
The work under way is described as phase one. In phase two it will try to roll out the work to other store operators, as this is "not an initiative for the multiple grocers alone". In addition, the company is planning to work on adding theatre and driving the sector harder in the big chains.
Ilsley is upbeat about prospects for growth in the sluggish baking aids sector. "Our innovations will increase impulse buys and increase the number of times a year the majority of consumers buy into this fixture," he says.