Premier Foods Mr Kipling ‘Best Ever’ Signature mince pies  2100x1400

Source: Premier Foods

Mr Kipling ‘Best Ever’ Signature mince pies

Premier Foods enjoyed its ‘biggest ever Christmas’ last year with significant market share gains, including for its Cadbury cake lines and Mr Kipling mince pies.

In its third quarter trading update for the 13 weeks ended 30 December 2023, the manufacturer reported group revenue of £352.7m, up 14.4% versus the same period in 2022. The sweet treats division accounted for £100m of this, an increase of 21.3% versus a year ago.

Premier Foods previously saw a 66% increase in own-label sales of its sweet treat division make up for a slight dip in branded sales during the first half of its financial year.

Its latest quarterly results, however, welcomed a return to growth for branded sweet treats with the £61.1m total marking a 17.1% improvement on the prior Q3 figures.

The company noted the strong performance was largely due to significantly higher sales of Cadbury cake compared to last year – reflected in core Cadbury Mini Rolls and cake bars ranges – with a softer comparative due to unscheduled maintenance of a plant line last year.

Premier Foods said it had grown well ahead of the cake category in the quarter. It sold almost 190 million mince pies, 4 million more than last year, including its new Mr Kipling ‘Best Ever’ Signature mince pies range.

Its own-label ranges of sweet treats, meanwhile, also maintained impressive growth into Q3, leaping up 28.7% from its 2022 sales to hit £38.9m. This was explained by contract gains in pies & tarts and pricing benefits.

Premier Foods CEO Alex Whitehouse said the business had delivered a very strong performance in its “important third quarter” with double-digit sales growth across the group.

“Our international business had another very good quarter, growing sales by 11%, delivering progress in our strategic markets,” he commented, noting that sales in new categories had more than doubled with Mr Kipling as one of its “standout performers”. The sweet bakery brand has achieved new listings in Canada, taking the combined number across North America to close to 3,000 stores.

Whitehouse also revealed that the integration of its Fuel10K breakfast brand, which it acquired for £34m last October, was “progressing in line with plan”.

Lower promotional price points introduced in the third quarter had positively impacted performance, he added, while helping consumer budgets go further. The lower prices are to be extended to additional products in quarter four, such as Mr Kipling Bakewell slices.

Continuing to trade strongly into the final quarter of its financial year, Premier Foods said it is well on track to deliver against its previously raised profit expectations.