Me and My Brand: Danielle Mendham on Quaker Oats

With the pandemic meaning that more people are cooking breakfast at home, it’s been a bumper year for oats, and Danielle Mendham, Senior Brand Manager for Quaker Oats, explains how the veteran cereal company is responding

Danielle Mendham

Can you please give an overview of your brand? 

Quaker Oats is over 140 years old, founded in 1877 by Henry Parsons Crowell. Today, the brand portfolio is vast and varied, including everything from traditional rolled oats to convenient Porridge To Go bars – the most recent addition to our range – all aiming to provide a healthy breakfast option.

How is the cereals category currently performing? How is your brand currently performing? 

The Hot Cereals segment is worth approximately £8.7 million in the Impulse channel1, with Quaker’s strong growth of +24.5 per cent driving the segment’s own performance of +25.3 per cent in Independents and Symbols during 20202.

Our Oats cater perfectly to this change in consumer demand with their naturally-occurring health benefits and low sugar content and – as a natural, raw ingredient – we lend ourselves to scratch-cooking solutions, helping shoppers get creative with their breakfast at the start of the day. We have tapped into this trend, with the launch of our Go Forridge campaign which we kicked off at the start of 2020 and quickly adapted during lockdown with “Stay Home. Go Forridge”, to show that you can make delicious breakfasts using ingredients that you already have at home.

How are you supporting your brand & NPD? 

Following the success of Go Forridge in 2020, we’re back on air this January and February, showing consumers just how tasty and versatile oats can be, at breakfast and beyond. To support this is the launch of our new “Have 2021 for Breakfast” on-pack promotion, which will give shoppers the chance to win 1000s of amazing prizes to get their year off to a great start!*. With every purchase of a promotional pack across January and February 2021, shoppers can enter the competition and have the chance of winning prizes including yoga mindfulness courses to luxury glamping escapes, cooking courses and everything in between.

How important are independent retailers to your brand? 

There is no doubt that the current situation has brought unprecedented challenges for everyone, independent retailers included, who have become even more pivotal at the heart of the community, offering shoppers daily essentials. Whilst independent stores might typically over-index in single serve and on-the-go formats, shoppers are now enjoying more breakfasts at home3, so it’s even more important for retailers to offer large pack sizes of our oats to cater to this.

What trends are occurring in the sector? 

COVID has definitely changed everything. With this in mind, we commissioned a shopper sentiment study, and it was no surprise that more breakfasts are being enjoyed at home. However, an interesting trend was that breakfast is now happening two hours later, and a third of people are spending more time making it4. We know that oats lend themselves to scratch cooking, so consumers can spend more time creating the perfect meal, adding additional ingredients to their oats that they have in the house.

Businesses will be looking to continue to offer greater flexibility not only over the next few months, but long term. However, we still expect on-the-go options will see a resurgence as routines return and busy mornings make a comeback. Our on-the-go formats are ideal for those shoppers with limited time to spend on their breakfasts, but who are looking for a tasty, convenient and healthy way to start the day.

Do you have any new product development planned? 

We’ve just launched price-marked pack additions to our range and have lots more planned for the new year and beyond, perfect for the impulse channel. As part of this, we recently re-launched our 1kg Traditional Oats proposition with a new PMP, available for £1.99 RRP. Traditional Oats in price-marked packs have grown hugely (+26.9 per cent) during the recent pandemic5, so it’s important retailers are able to offer larger pack sizes at great value. The new PMP is a great way to provide consumers with a better-value proposition.

Describe your brand in three words…

Trusted, wholesome, innovative.

*UK, 18+. Main Promotional Period:10:00 GMT 04/01/21 – 17:00 BST 31/03/21. Purchase of a promotional pack necessary. Internet access and email address required. To enter: visit, enter your details and barcode found in the Best Before box. Max 1 entry per email address, per day, each with a separate purchase.Retain packaging for verification. Max 1 prize per household. Available Prizes: 1 x Group 1, 100 x Group 2, 500 x Group 3, 2,000 x Group 4 & 4,000 x Group 5 prizes available to be wonincluding home experiences, staycations and outdoor activities. Winners have choice of prize within the relevant prize group. Prizes awarded via instant win algorithm. All prizes available to be won. Not all prizes may be won. 10,896,000 total promotional packs. Wrap Up Prize Draw: Entries received between 17:01 BST 31/03/21– 17:00 BST 30/04/21will be entered into the wrap up draw for the chance to win 1 x Group 3 prize.See website for full T&Cs, prize details and NI NPN.Promoter: Walkers Snacks Limited,450 South Oak Way, Green Park, Reading,RG2 6UW.

  1. Nielsen Total Impulse Hot Cereals MAT Value WE 17.10.20 £8,795,992.8
  2. Nielsen YTD WE 10.10.2020 Symbols and Independents, Hot Cereal
  3. Kantar, Consumption Data, In home breakfast occasions 52 w/e Sept 20
  4. PepsiCo Internal Research: Consumer sentiment study 2020
  5. Nielsen YTD WE 19.09.20 Value Symbols and Independents