Gavin Loftus, Head of Brand, Weetabix On The Go, discusses the launch of Weetabix On The Go Kids


Can you please give an overview of your brand?
Weetabix on The Go is the delicious breakfast drink brand from the Weetabix Food Company. Our drinks deliver what you need from a decent breakfast in a deliciously smooth chocolate, vanilla, strawberry or banana drink, while we also offer our Protein collection. 2019 is an exciting year for Weetabix On The Go as we are growing penetration (up 10% from October 2018), through greater distribution and increased consumer investment.

Our research has found that more and more people are looking to make an active start to the day, whether that’s walking or cycling to work or squeezing in an early gym session. When we’re on the go in the mornings it can be a challenge to find a truly convenient breakfast that provides the energy, fibre and protein you need for an active and busy morning. This is why Weetabix On The Go was introduced – our range all provide the protein, energy and fibre of a typical Weetabix cereal with milk.

How is your brand currently performing?
Weetabix On The Go helped create the breakfast drinks category and remains the UK’s No. 1 breakfast drink, a £15m brand with a 65% share of the sector (Nielsen). The brand has sold 95m bottles since its launch and is the biggest dairy drink brand in the UK outside of milkshakes and iced coffee, selling four bottles for every one of its nearest breakfast drink competitor.

As the market leader we understand the importance of investing in our brands to drive our sales, but also the whole category and we’ve seen a growth in value sales and household penetration due to recent TV and radio investment. It’s an exciting time for us as we are focusing more than ever on making sure our product is available when shoppers need it most, reaching out to all forms of travel, high street and impulse outlets.

How is the breakfast drink market currently performing?
Breakfast drinks is a £20m category and has grown +7.5% in the past year (Nielsen), with +15.9% more shoppers buying into the category compared to this time last year (Kantar). As the most impulsive part of the cereal category, we believe there is a huge opportunity to grow the breakfast drink market. We’re working with retailers to ensure they are making the most of the on the go occasion and we’re confident we can continue to lead the way in category growth. All of our mornings are getting busier, so being able to grab a tasty, convenient and nutritious breakfast has never been higher on the agenda. By injecting some excitement and increasing our distribution we’re helping retailers tap into the demand for chilled breakfasts on the move to increase their sales and uplift the category.

What marketing support do you currently have for your brand?
We’re going big with a new multi-channel marketing campaign this year and are committed to investing in our brands to help grow the category. A major part of this is our ‘Win Your Commute’ activation – we’re tuning into the busy lives of consumers and aiming to lift the spirits of workers by offering the chance to win back the cost of their commute. We’ve been supporting the competition with in store, on-shelf and digital media. Weetabix On The Go returns again to TV in July as part of Weetabix’s £10m masterbrand investment and continuation of the ‘Have You Had Your Weetabix?’ campaign.

Tell us about your latest new product development?
Our latest launch is Weetabix On The Go Kids, aimed at 5-10-year olds which puts the fun back into children’s’ breakfast. We know that parents want to deliver a good breakfast to their children, but fussy eating habits and our busy lives can sometimes get in the way. The drinks are a source of vitamin D, calcium, fibre and protein, as well as containing no artificial sweeteners, colours or flavour.

To meet the demand from consumers for more food products that help people increase their protein intake, as well as providing a substantial and tasty breakfast for on the move, we introduced Weetabix On The Go Protein. We’ve found that demand for protein remains strong and we expect this to continue.

How important are independent retailers to your brand?
As we operate in an impulse-purchase category, independent retailers are hugely important to the brand. As the market leader, we are striving to work with existing and new retailers to add incremental value to the breakfast category, using our shopper insights to inform in-store position and also to advise on when people are purchasing grab and go products. We’re partnering with retailers to provide category management for both ambient and chilled space, ensuring retailers can stay ahead of the Breakfast on the go growth curve. Breakfast on the go shopper missions vary considerably across different store formats, by partnering with retailers we can ensure retailers have the right range and pack sizes in order to capitalise on the opportunity.

What three words would you use to describe your brand?
Proper breakfast, bottled