Weetabix aims to recruit ‘lost generation’ of breakfast eaters with head of brand appointment

Weetabix has appointed Gavin Loftus as head of brand for its Weetabix ‘On The Go’ breakfast drinks unit, as it seeks to double the size of the business and recruit a “lost generation of cereal eaters”.

Loftus told Marketing Week that the cereal brand is currently battling against a declining market. Figures by Mintel show that volume sales of cereal fell by almost 6% between 2010 and 2015.

As a result, the brand has recruited Loftus for a newly created role as head of brand to take its On The Go breakfast drinks to the masses. He will predominantly look after insight and innovation, as well as research and development. He joins Weetabix from Jordans and Ryvita, where he held the position of cereals marketing controller.

Loftus told Marketing Week he is on a mission to recruit “busy” men and women who find that “sitting down with a bowl and spoon” no longer fits into their lifestyle.

“18 to 35-year-olds are a lost generation of cereal eaters. They grow up and stop eating cereal as they’re no longer in a traditional family environment. So Weetabix has identified an opportunity and is getting behind its On The Go business to set it up for success,” he said.

By focusing on its On The Go unit the brand hopes that it will bring people back into the category and grow the business. Through upcoming marketing activity, the brand hopes to challenge the status quo when it comes to eating breakfast.

“The traditional ‘sit down and eat breakfast’ is the norm. We’re challenging that. We’re very much in year three of our six-year plan, so it’s about raising awareness and increasing our penetration. That will enable us to double business growth,” he commented.

According to Loftus, growth will come through “heavy-weight” communications, which will be rolled out in May and September with a TV and OOH campaign. Sampling will also be a central part of the brand’s marketing plans for this year, where it will hand out 400,000 products among the public.

He concluded: “There aren’t many marketing roles where you get the opportunity to build something. While lots of marketing roles allow you to maintain or add tweaks to a brand, this is an opportunity to build a brand at scale.”

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