Full steam Go Ahead! for McVities relaunch

Related tags Marketing Nutrition Marketing research Datamonitor

McVities is relaunching its low-fat range of biscuits and cakes
sold under the Go Ahead! brand, with a new pack design and a number
of new products. But is the decision a good one in the long term,
asks Datamonitor?

McVities, the UK biscuit brand owned by United Biscuits, is re-launching its Go Ahead! low-fat cake and biscuit brand in the British market, investing in a new marketing campaign to revive flagging sales of the brand first launched in 1996.

But while it is good to adopt a long-term approach to brand investment, the company may well be better served pursuing a slightly different approach, according to market analysts Datamonitor​.

McVities is pouring £3.5 million (€5.1m) into a new marketing campaign for the low-fat brand, introducing a new pack design across the range later this year and dropping a number of unsuccessful lines such as caramel and orange Crunch Bar variants in order to make way for a new range of products.

McVities is also promising further new introductions next year and said it remained confident about the brand's future outlook despite a certain scepticism emanating from some commentators and leading buyers, according to Datamonitor.

The company has said new products could add up to £7 million to the brand's value, and there are undoubtedly reasons for optimism about the continued potential for the brand. Go Ahead! is still the biggest brand within its segment, but as Datamonitor points out, low-fat cakes account for just a tiny percentage of total market value.

In addition, Datamonitor suggests there is one major pitfall which the brand must avoid to ensure that its future remains rosy. For the market analysts, McVities' decision to position the Go Ahead! brand as a 'middle-of-the-road' product offering both health benefits and traditional flavour profile is a dangerous one, because it must always be certain that it can offer the healthy indulgence it promises.

"While there is plenty of evidence that many consumers are concerned about having a healthy diet, there is still a trade-off between taste and health when it comes to snacking. Consumers' health concerns still remain secondary to taste and relatively few people are prepared to embrace a trade-off between the two,"​ Datamonitor said.

But despite this cause for concern, Datamonitor claimed that McVities was right to adopt a long-term approach towards marketing its Go Ahead! range.

"Given that snacking is now growing in prominence as a part of daily nutrition, in the next few years it will become increasingly important that snacking products possess ingredients with a positive health effect,"​ the market research company said.

"Rather than products focusing on what has been removed such as sugar or fat, manufacturers must increasingly embrace the concept of 'positive nutrition'. This focuses on what the products have added and specifically concerns innovative ingredients that are inherently good."

Related topics Ingredients

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