FOR Kepak Convenience Foods, the firm behind the Rustlers brand of ready-to-microwave hot snacks, chilled convenience snacks is a product category whose time has come.
It calls its products and their competitors the hot, quick and tasty category, and the firm reckons the lines fit perfectly with an era of small shopping by people living busy lives, often in small households.
The importance and relevance of chilled products to consumers is highlighted by research which confirms that people take food out of the fridge at home an average of 42 times a week, almost twice as often as from the cupboard, said John Armstrong, Kepak Convenience Foods’ marketing director.
“Rustlers has evolved and has attracted lots of new consumers, so much so that 40% of Rustlers consumers are female and the age
profile of Rustlers’ consumers now stretches from 16 to 34-year-olds.
In recent years Kepak has encouraged retailers to install customer-operated microwave stations to gain impulse sales of hot on-the-go snacks. And it has also been busy developing its range of micro snacks, packaging many of them in PMPs that it says have a significantly positive effect on impulse sales figures.
Most recently it has announced plans to double sales in the convenience channel, targeting annual sales in c-stores of £66m by 2018.
As well as running TV advertising for the 14th successive year, the company says it plans to launch innovative new products, develop a new look for Rustlers and run major on-pack activity on the brand this year.
Kepak will also increase the size of its convenience-channel sales force in a bid to increase its number of face-to-face contacts with retailers.