Mr Kipling pushes ‘cake-on-the-go’ snacking as it introduces new brand positioning

Mr Kipling is rebranding and launching a campaign under the slogan ‘Exceedingly Good Distraction’, as it seeks to become more relevant with young families and push its cakes as ‘on-the-go’ snacks.

The £2.5m campaign will launch on 11 April and run for seven weeks across TV, OOH and in-store. It is also undertaking an ITV sponsorship, which kicks off in June, as part of ITV’s daytime ‘Everyday Favourites’ programming. Owner Premier Foods says it has not yet decided the programme it will be sponsoring.

The new campaign is based around insight that cake is “intrinsically linked” to happy memories, and is part of the brand’s aim to be part of ‘everyday moments’ and appeal to younger, more affluent families.

Phil Ellis, marketing director of sweet treats at Mr Kipling parent Premier Foods, told Marketing Week: “Our aim is to drive the relevance of cake to consumers, as currently 53% of cake purchases are made on impulse. The new campaign will ignite top of mind awareness for the cake category and make consumers fall in love with the category all over again.”

Mr Kipling’s decision to focus on impulse cake purchases comes as Mintel research shows that less Brits are snacking on sugary food. Just 39% of Brits are now snacking on cakes and sweet baked goods between meals; this is down from a rate of 51% of Brits in 2014.

Changes to packaging

The brand has divided its cake range into different ‘moments’ and changed the packaging to include iconography to represent the specific segment. The segments include celebration, afternoon tea, mug of tea and a bit of cake, on the go and treat.

“We looked at the archetypal cake moments from ceremonies like birthdays to afternoon tea, snacking and coffee and found that each moment had its own rules and expectations,” Ellis explained.

“The result is a new segmentation of the different types of cake moments – each with its own set of associations that creates emotional engagement with the consumer, leading to a meaningful way of navigating the range.”

Pushing cakes on the go

The brand is also planning a heavier focus on driving its ‘on the go’ range. Mintel figures show that the ‘on-the-go’ market is expected to add an additional £50m to the snacking category between 2014 and 2019. And later this month, Mr Kipling will be launching new product innovations, including Mr Kipling twin pack cake slices in angel, chocolate and lemon flavours to tap into the on-the-go trend.

“Cake on-the-go will be a major focus for the business and initial trials have gone exceptionally well with consumers and retailers asking for it to be rolled out as soon as possible.”

Phil Ellis, marketing director of sweet treat, Premier Foods

Reacting to the health agenda

Last month, the government announced plans for a ‘sugar tax’ in 2018. While it currently only affects soft drink brands, Ellis admitted that the company has an obligation “to do what [it] can to encourage healthier food choices”. So far, the Mr Kipling brand has worked to remove salt, sugar and fat from its range and launched single portion packs. It is also planning to introduce colour coded labelling on all its Mr Kipling cakes.

Ellis clarified: “We’ve also invested in single portion packs for Mr Kipling and Cadbury cakes, which now represent 40% of our branded cake portfolio, growing twice as fast as the rest, and we’ve introduced an ‘exceedingly good’ range of Mr Kipling cake slices with oats, fruits and coconut, which all have less than 140 calories a slice,” he said.

However, Ellis recognises that “more needs to be done” to promote healthier lifestyles. He says Mr Kipling remains ‘committed’ to reducing sugar across its cake portfolio where feasible and to introducing calorie caps, which means by 2018 all cakes – excluding its celebration, premium and seasonal categories, will be 150 calories or less.

He concluded: “We will also be increasing the percentage of single portion packs we sell as a proportion of our overall cake portfolio, as these help consumers to control their portions more effectively. We are looking at introducing calorie caps across our different ranges of sweet treats.”

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