Rather than pulling spend and retreating to weather the Covid-19 storm, Premier Foods has spent the past year ramping up its marketing investment to capitalise on the coronavirus-inspired shift to home cooking.
The parent company behind brands such as Mr Kipling, Oxo and Sharwood’s is now teeing up further brand investment, tapping into “continued high levels of consumer demand” as restrictions mean eating at home remains the reality for much of the UK.
This decision to back marketing in a big way is paying off. Group sales rose by 9% in the three months to 26 December, with branded sales up 12.1%. The Mr Kipling brand is on track for another record year, with UK sales up 7% during the third quarter, backed by an “extended period of marketing investment”.
Rising sales of Ambrosia during the same period have been credited to the release of a new TV campaign and return of the ‘Devon knows how they make it so creamy’ tagline after a four year break.
Elsewhere, Sharwood’s is back on TV for the first time in five years as the pan-Asian cooking brand looks to retain the 3.8 million new customers it has attracted since the onset of Covid-19. During the third quarter sales of Sharwood’s sauces rose by 40% and a new range of low sugar stir fry sauces launched, helping sales to nearly double across key global markets.
Yet, despite a year of success, how does Premier Foods intend to retain the millions of new consumers it has attracted now the UK has a roadmap out of lockdown?