UNCLE BEN RICE TIME

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Uncle Ben’s remains the category’s biggest advertiser, despite cutting spend by nearly half in the past year. The cut represents a return to normal service: the Uncle’s budget quadrupled in the year ending 31 March 2012 to back its Express Rice.

Upping ad spend by more than 130% and a steady stream of NPD have paid off for Tilda. Value is up 8.6% for overall rice, on volumes up 6.6% [IRI], driven by microwaveable lines, up in double digits.

Birds Eye slashed the budget for its Rice Fusions range by almost 30% to £2.4m, contributing to a value sales slip of 17% on volumes down 23.5%. But it is getting a cash injection in 2013. The brand says it will spend £2.6m supporting its latest NPD (see p64). We could be seeing more of the bear soon.

rice advertising table