Unilever hopes to win over UK consumers with a 50% salt reduction across its Pot Noodle range and the launch of three new flavours.
“Since May last year we’ve made a lot of changes to the brand and we’ve seen a massive turnaround in the fortunes of Pot Noodle,” said operations manager Julie McCleave. The company has made a £10M brand investment and further improvements are planned.
Tikka Masala, Chicken Satay and Lamb Hot Pot are the new additions to the range and will retail at 94p each. The Beef and Tomato King Pot has also been relaunched. It used to contain 88% of the guideline daily allowance for salt, and this has now been reduced to 32%. “Consumers tell us the products taste at least as good as they used to,” said McCleave. “We’ve added more herbs and spices to compensate for the salt reduction.”
The company plans to focus its advertising on Mums who don’t want to spend their lives in the kitchen. “There are two groups of people we need to communicate to: 18-24 year olds and their mums who act as the gatekeepers,” said McCleave. “Over 5M households in the UK buy Pot Noodles, but people still think it’s artificial and unhealthy. The main issue for us is barrier removal. We need to get consumers to fall back in love with the brand.”
Pot Noodle advertisements will stick with the 2006 theme of noodle miners based in the fictional Welsh town of Crumlin. The new strategy to target mums with the snack’s healthier aspects is a complete u-turn for the product, which has previously marketed itself as ‘the slag of all snacks’.
The firm also launched a live weblink on Youtube.com last month to interact with young people by rewarding them for putting their Pot Noodle films and adverts online.