Food-to-go and bake-off supplier Country Choice has been in operation for 21 years, but marketing controller Rajesh Tugnait says that growth has been dramatic over the past two years as the Bake n Bite concept increasingly becomes a consumer brand.
"Our core sales come from products that range from sausage rolls and baguettes to chicken wings."
The company has more than 7,000 retail customers, including Spar, Londis, forecourt operators such as the Safeway/BP Partnership, plus a variety of independents.
All this adds up to hard graft for the marketing team. In outlining some of the work Tugnait said: "We plug products through deep cut promotions mailed to customers, attached to PoS flyers.
"Bake-off is often a category that retailers don't market well, so we do the customer marketing for them. One of the key challenges is making retailers more professional. They have a profitable category to offer, with margins of 45%-60%, but they need to be more disciplined about quality, presentation and constant product availability."
A major focus has been the drive to promote Country Choice's developments in chilled food-to-go. "We've just launched chilled sandwich fillings, so retailers can add value to the fixture by preparing filled baguettes," says Tugnait.
And he says the next area of activity for the marketing team is just round the corner: "Continuing the concept of food-to-go, we're launching a complete package of fresh soups for the convenience market."