Allinson looks to claw back sales in ‘biggest’ push

Allinson is launching its biggest advertising campaign and overhauling its packaging as part of a multimillion refresh designed to boost flagging sales.

Allinson-product-2013
Allied Bakeries brand returns to TV for the first time in ten years to take on Warburtons and Hovis.

The marketing strategy drops the focus on the brand’s Victorian heritage seen over the last two years in favour of a product led approach designed to appeal to older consumers.

The campaign will target women aged 45 plus after research the brand conducted last year revealed the demographic represented a £6.4m opportunity for growth. It will centre around a TV spot, Allinson’s first in 10 years, that aims to reinforce the taste credentials of a revamped range. The Contagious Content created ad features a mother and two children – with the mother and oldest child teaching the youngest how to pronounce the brand name ‘Allinson’.

Allinson says the creative concept comes from a large proportion of consumers pronouncing the name wrong and only being able to recall the brand when prompted.

Chris Heyn, group brand manager at Allied Bakeries, says: “One of the key challenges we have for the brand is that its not top of mind amongst consumers. Talking about the product is a natural step on from us discussing our heritage in the past and from the research we’ve done we know its something older and more health-conscious consumer is interested. We’ve got a massive gap between prompted and spontaneous awareness so we wanted to lift this and make the shopper think of Allinson when in store.”

The TV push launches later this month (18 February) and will be supported by online activity from the brand’s revamped website and an in-store campaign.

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As part of the strategy, Allinson is moving into the hybrid white bread market for the first time with the launch of a Fibre White loaf that will see it go up against established products including its sister brand Kingsmill’s 50/50 and Hovis 50/50. The launch is part of a wider innovation push from the brand to develop raft of premium products aimed at older buyers.

“Shoppers have told us that our range is too limited”, adds Heyn. “We know we need to address this through product development to modernise the brand and broaden appeal.”

The strategy aims to raise awareness for the struggling brand after its rebrand in 2011 failed to lift sales. Allinson has seen its sales slip year-on-year as shoppers reduce spend on bread (see box) during this period. For the 52 weeks to 29 december 2012, Allinson’s value sales fell 31.6 per cent to £10.9m, the biggest drop in UK baking category, according to Symphony IRI.

Last month, Warburtons launches what it claims is the biggest-ever marketing campaign in the bakery category with a £16m brand drive.

UK Bread sales – Symphony IRI: 2011/2012

Brands Value sales 52 w/e 31 Dec Value sales 52 w/e 29 Dec % Change
Warburtons £348.2m £348.2m 1.6%
Hovis £284.2m £284.2m – 6.0%
Kingsmill £244.9m £244.9m – 2.5%
Own Label £199.7m £199.7m – 2.8%
Allinson £6.8m £6.8m – 33.4%
Other £109.6m £109.6m – 7.6%

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