Sara Lee is hoping to make it big in the UK again with the relaunch of its frozen desserts, more than a year after the previous manufacturer of the products went bust.
The brand has teamed up Country Style Foods to produce Sara Lee Classics desserts, a revised version of the old range featuring 10 signature offerings such as double chocolate gateaux, raspberry cream gateaux and lemon meringue pie. The recipes have been changed to give a more wholesome image, with real cream and butter and new packaging reinforcing an ‘honestly delicious’ theme.
The controversial demise of the UK producer of Sara Lee desserts, Hibernia Foods, at the
end of 2003 was blamed variously on poor management and deep discounting on the brand as it tried to claw back share from the growing chilled sector.
In 2004, Sara Lee took back the bakery trademark in the UK and teamed up with Country
Style as manufacturing, sales and distribution partner.
A spokeswoman for Country Style Foods said: “What is new about the products is their formulation. The recipes use good, wholesome, quality ingredients.”
The desserts have an rsp of £1.99. The company said: “Our view of deep discounting and bogof is that they only add cost to the retailers and don’t drive true category growth.”
Alf Carr, director general of the British Frozen Food Federation, hoped the range would succeed but said it was disappointing.
“It just seems like minor changes to their old portfolio, which failed,” he said.
“I think that the frozen desserts category needs something new to revitalise it.”
Samantha Mullen, ice cream and desserts buyer at Iceland, said: “It’s a historic brand that is recognised by customers for everyday pricing and I think if they try and make it premium there is a risk they will fall flat on their face.”
Max Wilde, the hero of the Sunny D adverts, is travelling to Barbados with his parents in his latest ad to support the brand’s new Caribbean No Added Sugar flavour. The ad, carrying the usual strapline ‘Because no child is like Max Wilde’, will push the health credentials of the soft drink. The ad will run from August 1 to mid-September.
Claire Hu