Warburtons boss: innovation vital in discounters’ market

By Michael Stones contact

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Innovation

Innovation is vital in a retail market increasingly dominated by discount outlets, says Jonathan Warburton, chairman of Warburtons.

“If we don’t innovate and are not looking to create some excitement in the category, then we will end up in the same place, which is price driven and volume driven area and that ultimately turns consumers off,”​ Warburton told FoodManufacture.co.uk in this podcast.

Innovation was also vital to keep pace with changing consumer tastes, as sales of white sliced bread declined, as consumers opted for innovative bread products and wraps, he said at a conference orgainised by a grain supplier earlier this month.

“So we will continue to innovate and make opportunities for customers to try new things – without that our business would go backwards,” ​he said.

‘Try new things’

Warburton added that technical advances had allowed significant progress in reducing the salt content of bread. But no one knew how much further salt levels could be reduced.

In a wide ranging presentation, he blamed the horsemeat scandal on the food industry’s “more for less culture”​ and said his firm would prefer to buy more British wheat but had been frustrated by technical difficulties.

The bakery chairman was speaking at Openfield’s Farmer Conference, at Towcester Racecourse on Wednesday April 2.

For more on Warburtons’ commitment to new product development, don’t miss the report in the May edition of FoodManufacture.co.uk’s sister publication Food Manufacture​.

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