Launched in 2021 and a 2022 Product of the Year winner – we get the low down on the meteoric rise of Weetabix Melts, a breakfast cereal that has innovated to deliver a winning combination of indulgence and nutrition.
Mark Perry is Head of Insight & Innovation at Weetabix Food Company and we started by asking him about the firm’s winning product and why it has resonated so well with consumers?
So, the Weetabix Melts range is an extension of the Weetabix brand that combines good taste and texture as well as providing the nutritional credentials synonymous with Weetabix.
It’s also indulgent and tastes amazing – and that certainly hasn’t been lost on our consumers! 765,000 households (and counting…) have already bought the product since launch.
It’s hard to believe that something so good (with chocolate) can provide such great nutritional value too.
We are in an era where consumers want transparency when it comes to choosing their breakfast, so we put clear traffic lights on all of our packs to help them make informed decisions.
Weetabix has always been known as a tasty, nutritional choice for breakfast, and Melts, which is HFSS compliant, is an extension of this.
Taste and texture are always two of the most important things to provide when it comes to food products – add to this nutrition and indulgence and you’ve got Melts.
What has been the impact of winning a Product of the Year award?
From an internal perspective, winning proves that the innovation pipeline works and that we are good at understanding what our consumers want.
It also brings kudos and credibility and gives us another angle to promote and advertise the product.
Consumers can also be confident that they are buying a product voted for by 10,000 UK consumers.
How important is innovation in the breakfast/cereal category in terms of keeping up with changing consumer demands?
Consumers are much more aware now of how to make healthier choices. And beyond sugar, this includes: protein and fibre intake, new grains, importance of oats, milk alternatives, flexitarian lifestyles etc.
The Weetabix range has always been that go-to healthy, tasty breakfast choice for consumers and we want to ensure we continue to be that.
In fact we have just teamed up with Lyle’s Golden Syrup to launch another exciting Weetabix tasty choice – and who knows, perhaps another Product of the Year Winner?
Are there any trends you will be tapping into this year in terms of product innovation?
My job as head of insight and innovation means as a team, we are always looking at category trends and developments to support consumer requirements.
Our research informs the direction of travel for the business, and we then help to find solutions to the findings.
This is exactly how Melts came about as we recognised the consumers’ needs for taste and health.
We are always looking at new developments to enhance breakfast occasions. Covid had a massive impact on people’s morning needs and requirements – and although some might have assumed people had more time for a ‘sit down’ breakfast, it wasn’t necessarily the case.
It was more of a mindset shift from an ‘on the go’ breakfast to a ‘busy breakfast’.
Quick, healthy, nutritious, tasty food was still required – to allow people to get on with their day of working, home-schooling etc.
And finally, what do you think is going to be the biggest development in your category in the next five years?
We are very aware that consumers are now more conscious than ever about understanding where their food comes from, its impact on the planet and the carbon footprint/food miles to get it to their table.
This is a big focus for us over the next five years.
The health of the nation will remain something that is incredibly important and I’m sure there will be many more technical advancements when it comes to combining health and taste within food.
We are also seeing a rise in the flexitarian/vegan movement which I’m sure will continue to affect our breakfast choices – so we are actively looking at ways we can tap into that as well.
Ensuring our food tastes good with all milk alternatives for example.
It’s an exciting category that continues to flex and change and we are happy to be a trusted breakfast cereal brand and chuffed to have bagged ourselves a Product of the Year award.