The Drum looks at the launch of Oatilicious, the new smooth, oat-led loaf which has been added to the company's offer this month.
Brand’s know then that the beginning of the year is the perfect time to get those healthy options marketed to the hilt - and Kingsmill has been no slouch in doing the same, having begun to roll out its new addition to the ‘healthier white segment’, an oat variant named Oatilicious.
Health has been a consumer trend for several years now. The consumer has become more particular about what they eat while parents are now casting a more discerning eye over what they feed their families.
Oatilicious joins other oat led products to have reached the marketplace in recent years, developed from tried and tested brands - Oatabix from Wheetabix, Cadbury’s Oat and Chocolote Chip cookies, Oat Cheerios - there’s no denying that consumers have a taste for the grain.
“Oat’s mean health,” says Julia Clark, brand manager of Kingsmill.
“It’s a trend that is going to stay long-term and we need to make sure that we have a portfolio that is going to cater for genuine needs in the marketplace - just as Kingsmill’s Little Big Loaf is meeting the need of the growing single households - it’s similar to that,” Clark continues.
Oatilicious has been in development for two years and has proven hugely successful pre-launch, when Kingsmill undertook a major quantitative research process in order that the product would be on-message when introduced to the category.
Consumer testing found that over 80% of respondents said they would be interested in trying the product and that its performance saw 84% of respondents say that Oatilicious met or exceeded expectations having sampled it.
“We always knew that we had a fantastic tasting product, so the results have showen that and highlighted to us the importance of getting the product into people’s hands, making sure that we communicate the right messages and ensuring that people pick it up and try it.,” adds Clark.
The packaging of Oatilicious has been designed to communicate both the taste and the health messages in terms of the fibre and cholesterol reduction - and features a transparent window to allow consumers to see the product they are buying.
A £1.3million marketing investment will focus on driving awareness, highlighting the taste and aiming to persuade consumers to trial the product, with TV advertising, created by Saatchi & Saatchi, due to hit screens mid March.
This will be supported by in-store activation and promotions, trade and consumer PR, and regional sampling across eight of the company’s bakery sites.
Millie Harasymiuk-Mackenzie, Kingmill’s Scottish commercial manager says that she believes that the timing of the launch has been crucial for this product, which has long awaited by those within the company.
“We’ve found a product, we’ve got an established base, we know that this product does work, we’ve got one that’s perfect for kids but we need something that is a little more refined and a bit more sophisticated for an adult which we could launch in January when everyone is more focused on health. There’s been a lot of thought behind it and we’re confident that it’ll be a success.”
Clark admits that launching a new product into the sector is likely to see Oatilicious compete against other Kingsmill products as well as those from competitors in the battle for space on retailer’s shelves.
“The great thing for us is that we have one established skew already in Healthier White with 50/50 and that is delivering on a real need and the whole reason that segment has come about is because it is helping parents get goodness into their children in particular. With this, the gap was a more adult positioned offering. Why? It’s slightly more premium than our 50/50 loaf and we see that they will sit alongside, but they are meeting similar needs, but for slightly different demographics.
“There will be cross over and the research highlighted that the loaf has a very broad appeal so people will add it into their repertoire. People who are eating products with ‘bits’ in it will also purchase a smooth loaf, so they will also, potentially, purchase this loaf as well.”
While there are no firm plans as yet, Clark admits that once the product is established in the marketplace, a Little Big Loaf version may follow if the demand is there.