Cautious consumers prove no growth barrier for Kerry

By Ben Bouckley

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Brand

New Cheestrings varieties were a hit for Kerry
New Cheestrings varieties were a hit for Kerry
Solid branded and own-label growth in 2010 consumer food sales saw Kerry Foods see off rising ingredient costs, cautious shoppers and a tough promotional climate.

In the year to December 31 2010, the Irish giant’s consumer foods division revenues totalled €1.768bn (£1.494bn), up 1.3% on 2009, while trading profits of €132m (£111.6m) were up 5.3%, with growth in both branded and private label foods.

Bleak economic conditions in the UK and Ireland meant shoppers budgeted cautiously, while promotional activity played an increasingly prominent role, said Kerry, adding that it had refocused brands on the needs of ‘value conscious’ consumers.

Richmond (sausages) benefited from strong promotions and marketing to consolidate its brand positioning, while Kerry worked on a “cohesive brand identity”​ for the Wall’s portfolio, which extended into new pastry products that saw strong growth through retail listings.

New meat and cheese snack lines

Mattessons continued to lead growth in the meat snacking sector, said Kerry, with new launches such as market-first meat dipping snack Mattesson Rippa Dippa; in the cheese snack segment Cheestrings performance improved in the second half of 2010, with added sunflower, soya and olive varieties.

One notable success for Kerry was LowLow, with the reduced fat cheese brand leading cross-market growth within the low fat cheddar category.

Own-label dairy products faced tough branded competition, but Kerry hailed good growth in cheese slices and its UHT product range within the foodservice sector, while own-label retail spreads achieved ‘satisfactory’ growth despite what the firm described as unprecendent branded promotional activity.

Kerry said it shook up own-label ready meal portfolio, with new recipes and packaging rolled out during 2010 through major retail accounts, with frozen ready meals again proving highly competitive but showing greater stability in the fourth quarter.

The group’s overall sales revenue – which adds ingredients and flavours to consumer foods – increased by 9.7% to €5bn (£4.22bn) in 2010, with trading profits up 11.3% to €470m (£397m) driven by a 5.5% increase in continuing business volumes.

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