Allied Bakeries has revealed plans for the "UK’s biggest-ever bakery relaunch" as a £40m turnaround plan gets under way.
The plant baker plans to put £14m behind a national TV advertising campaign for the relaunch of its flagship Kingsmill brand, starting on 17 February.
Marketing director Jon Wilson said that following extensive consumer research, Kingsmill will be repositioned as a family-orientated, fun and lively brand - giving it more emotional appeal than it previously had.
Recipes have been revamped and loaves will be bigger and softer than before, with reduced salt levels and no artificial preservatives. Recipes have been reformulated to include 15% high-quality Canadian and German wheat, where previously a lower-quality flour had been used. And the bread is being baked in new, bigger tins.
The Kingsmill range has been divided into three sections: ’everyday family’ (such as medium white sliced); ’extra goodness for the family’ (healthier eating products, such as Head Start with Omega 3); and ’premium "for me" loaves’ (the new Kingsmill Good as Gold premium batch range).
The Kingsmill relaunch project has been taken from concept to launch in a "record" nine months as part of ’Project 180’. This three-year plan to implement a ’180- degree’ turnaround was put in place by Australian Brian Robinson, who joined Allied Bakeries as CEO in November 2005.
Further new product development is in the pipeline, Robinson said, and Allied is also preparing to relaunch its Burgen and Allinson brands in the next few months. "Innovation is the key, we have a rather large pipeline," said Robinson. "We are here to change the game. The vision is to lead the category as dynamic brand innovators. We want to add value and grow the category - both in volume and value. This is about category growth; just to switch from one supplier to another is not enough."
Allied Bakeries is also investing around £25m over two years in upgrading infrastructure across its UK bakeries. It has already replaced all the tins used to bake Kingsmill with new larger versions all around the country.
New equipment being installed includes a vacuum mixer at its Stevenage bakery and a new moulder at the Stoke plant. Four of its 11 bakeries are to have new cooling systems installed.
Allied also re-opened its Reading bakery in December to give it extra capacity.