Bringing a new food to life: From concept to shelf in six months

By Ben Simpson, U. K. Revenue and Channel Director

Imagine the challenge of taking a ubiquitous food and launching it in an entirely new category. Will people like it? Will they buy it? Will the new food help or hurt sales of the original?

These are just some of the questions we asked ourselves as we considered introducing Crunchy Nut Peanut Butter into the U.K. market. Afterall, Kellogg is a snacks and convenience foods company; we’re not in the peanut butter business. But Crunchy Nut is already the most popular breakfast cereal in the U.K., and peanut butter is one of the country’s most popular and fastest-growing spreads, so we saw it as a great fit and a tremendous opportunity.

Instagram shot - "One of the best things I've been involved in..."

This experience has reminded me that one of the things I’ve long enjoyed about Kellogg is that we’re small enough so everyone can make an impact. And we’re big enough that we have the scale for these impacts to be significant. This is exactly what happened with Crunchy Nut Peanut Butter.

Our culture encourages us to look ahead - to have a strategic mindset - and to drive results. Armed with insights that showed the potential of the idea, we pitched it internally and received approval to continue exploring the possibility. We then talked with one of our largest customers, the U.K. grocer Sainsbury. They liked it, agreed to stock it in 1050 stores, and put us in touch with a company that could produce the food. Six months later, Crunchy Nut Peanut Butter was launched. So far, it’s been a great success and we plan to roll it out to other customers later this year.

The speed at which this idea gained momentum and became a reality speaks to our Kellogg culture. It rewards innovation and supports our being agile, even entrepreneurial. Of course, we have processes to carefully vet big investments, but we also can act like a startup and move very quickly when ideas are anchored in strong insights. After all, “Make it Happen” is our Kellogg U.K. philosophy.

“After all, “Make it Happen” is our Kellogg U.K. philosophy.”

Conceiving, developing and launching Crunchy Nut Peanut Butter is one of the best things I’ve been involved in during my career. It took a high-performing, cross-functional team to bring this idea to life. Everyone from food developers to brand marketers to legal, food safety and quality, design and communications made sure the new food was aligned with the highly-regarded Crunchy Nut brand and drove benefit to the core cereal business. The opportunity to work with a sophisticated team like this is one of the reasons I joined Kellogg 10 years ago after working as a food/bakery buyer in the retail food industry.

Although peanut butter is more of an adult food in the U.K., marketed as a protein source, it’s still rewarding to show it to my two young daughters. I’m excited to think that a food I helped create could be on supermarket shelves many years from now when they are shopping with their children.

 

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