United Biscuits is ditching its McV a:m range due to faltering sales and will instead concentrate efforts on its ‘better for you’ brand Go ahead!.
The breakfast snacking range was launched in spring 2003, backed by a £12m marketing spend. However, it only delivered sales of £12m in its first year and annual sales have since dropped to £9m - £3m to £6m below expectations, said UBUK marketing director Jon Eggleton. The range will be withdrawn in January, apart from the Granola Bars - launched in March - which will be rebranded Go ahead!.
Co-operative Group category manager Debbie Clarke was not surprised by the decision. “McV a:m has not performed as well as we would have wanted given the overall growth of the category,” she said.
Eggleton said McV a:m had failed to fulfil predicted trial and repeat purchase rates, which he blamed on the competitive market environment and on the range being too broad.
But he added the decision to scrap McV a:m was made easier by the success of UBUK’s Go ahead! range, which has grown into a £28m brand.
“Better for you is critical to us strategically,” said Eggleton. “It’s a rapidly growing market and we predict it to become the biggest sector within biscuits.”
He added that Go ahead! would be supported by further new product development and advertising in 2005.