Its launch comes as a study by Leeds University researchers, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, found only 1% of primary schoolchildren’s packed lunches meet the nutritional standards set for school meals in England.
Crisps, sweets, and sugary drinks still dominate over fruit and veg despite the government’s Change4Life drive to make lunchboxes healthier, it claims.
The range called Mr Kipling Oatibakes will be available in Caramel, Strawberry and Blackcurrant variants. Its packaging features a large window to show the product inside, and stresses it has ‘no artificials’ in a ‘hand-written’ font to demonstrate Mr Kipling’s ‘personal touch’.
According to TNS research, there are 4 billion lunchbox occasions and these are growing by 5.1% year-on-year, worth £5.39bn. Within lunchboxes, consumption of cake is growing by 12%, and is expected to deliver an additional 13 million new Lunchbox cake occasions next year, creating a category opportunity of £9.2 million.
Based on these estimates, Mr Kipling’s parent company Premier Foods predicts the range will drive over £4m incremental sales for the cake category.
Matt Hunt, head of cake marketing at Premier Foods, says: “We have identified an opportunity for a completely new product with great potential to grow the cake category. Mr Kipling Oatibakes tested very well with mums and kids, with mums indicating a strong intention to buy. Mr Kipling is a popular, trusted brand and we have focused on taste and convenience with Mr Kipling Oatibakes.
“Each cake is baked with wholesome oats and golden syrup and has a gooey layer running through the middle. They are wrapped individually and packaged in a box which opens from the top to make things easier for busy mums.”
Mr Kipling recently signed up to sponsor ITV’s All Star Mr & Mrs.
Oat-based foods are becoming more popular in the New Year. Earlier this week, Kingsmill launched a new range of bread called Oatilicious, which will be baked with a combination of wholegrain oats and wheat flour.
Last year, children’s snack food brands hit back at a consumer report that says the “healthy impression” given by kids’ lunchbox foods is misleading.