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Healthy brands boost the bottom line for bakers

By Neil Merrett , 29-Jul-2008

Bakers and snack makers with healthy brands in their portfolio will boost consumer loyalty, confirms fresh figures from the latest league table of 500 UK superbrands.

Popular breakfast cereal Weetabix rose 130 places, from 232 to 102, in the 2008 Superbrand report that asked over 2000 UK consumers to vote on 1,350 popular consumer brands from non-food and food industries.

And as the evidence stacks up to support the health benefits of oats, iconic Quaker Oats brand leapt from 397th to 190th place in 2008, according to the survey conducted by the UK's Centre for Brand Analysis (CBA).

In today's tough market climate, brands are increasingly perceived as a powerful weapon in a company's armoury to attract consumers and to lock into their loyalty.

Indeed, strong brands are driving business growth and beating market turmoil, with firms in the food and drinks sector recognising that brands are among their most valuable assets.

"Strong brands generate superior returns and protect businesses from risk," said Dr Joanna Seddon, CEO of Millward Brown Optimor, a research agency that recently completed its third annual BrandZ Top 100.

According to figures from the report, firms that own brands in the top 100 significantly outperformed the stock market when compared to the S&P 500.

Brand value depends on consumer sentiment - the power of the brand in the mind of the consumer - but is also intricately linked to the company's ability to translate that sentiment into shareholder value.

And for bakers and snack makers, revenue support is likely to come in the shape of healthier brands. For while Quaker Oats and Weetabix rose, crisp brand Walkers fell from 77th position to 144th from 2007 to 2008, according to the Superbrands report.

Bread brand Hovis also dropped, from 100th place to a ranking of 156. Warburtons came in at number 227 in the 2008 brands league, Shredded Wheat at 323rd position, Kingsmill at 344th, and Ryvita at 381.

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