BREAD giant Allied Bakeries is putting its money where it reckons the market’s mouth is.
It has ploughed £8.4m worth of investment into its Glasgow bakery and will spend £5m on marketing activity in support of the launch of Kingsmill Sandwich Thins.
The company’s new manufacturing facilities at the Scottish bakery will be entirely devoted to the production of the new product in the category that marketers call sandwich alternatives.
Kingsmill’s head of innovation Janene Warsap, said the investment was part of the firm’s strategy to address a growing segment of the bread market.
“Bread is in long-term decline, but there are parts of the market which are showing growth and one of those areas is sandwich alternatives,” she said.
“We’re predicting it to grow over the next three years by about 21%. Consumers are cutting back for health reasons and want something less heavy. They also want something a bit different and exciting to liven things up a bit.
“Within sandwich alternatives, one of big growth areas in the market is sandwich thins. That’s worth about £45m and we’re predicting that to grow over the next three years to about £87m.
“At the moment, only about 24% of households in the UK have bought sandwich thins, obviously there’s scope for growth.”
The 99-calorie, pre-sliced square rolls (available in both white and 50/50 varieties) look similar to Warburton’s sandwich thins, launched in 2011.
However, the road to producing a Kingsmill thins product has been a long one.
“We’ve spent the past year and a half trying to get the right product and that has involved us investing £8.4m into a brand new, state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in Glasgow,” Warsap said.
“One of the key attributes consumers were looking for was softness. That’s something we’ve worked really hard to achieve and that’s why designing the manufacturing facility to ensure we get consistent quality has been really key for us.”
For retailers, Allied Bakeries recommends positioning Kingsmill Sandwich Thins alongside other bread alternatives (like bagels and wraps) and, if space is an issue, prioritising the white bread variant.
The firm says it will spend £5m over the next two years on marketing support for the new product.
The package will include in-store support and TV advertising.
Kingsmill Sandwich Thins’ RRP is £1.29 for a pack of six.