Nestle subsidiary Cereal Partners UK has entered the rapidly growing cereal bar market, with the launch of three new bars. The 'Cereal and Milk Bars', already available in France, Portugal and Spain, are made from the Nestle cereals Cheerios, Golden Grahams and Nesquik. The bars are individually packaged in boxes of six and were launched on the UK market at the end of last year.
The range marks the first Cereal Partners products outside the ready to eat (RTE) cereal market. A 30-second television commercial, created by Saatchi & Saatchi London, will air early this year to support the new bars.
Research by Information Resources and Taylor Nelson Sofres shows that the cereal bars market has grown by over 36 per cent in the past three years and has achieved a penetration of 49 per cent of households compared with 95 per cent for the long established RTE cereal category. The cereal bar category is thought to be worth nearly £145 million a year, with annual sales of around 670 million bars.
Cereal Partners claims that its bars are a healthy snack with as much calcium as a third of a pint of milk. This health benefit has attracted buyers from households with children (who are also the heaviest RTE cereal buyers). The company cites research suggesting that it is NPD that has grown the cereal bar category at 30 per cent, compared with 5 per cent for packaged groceries. There is little evidence to suggest new products stealing market share from the established brands.
Cereal Partners Worldwide launched the bars in France, Spain and Portugal in April 2001. France already had a developed bars market, but the company said its France unit had gained a 15 per cent volume market share by June 2002. Spain is said to hold nearly 11 per cent volume market share (June 2002), while Portugal has been the most successful market and Cereal Partners now has a 60 per cent market share in the undeveloped category.
Nestle Cereal and Milk Bars are priced at around £1.25 for six.