Warburtons tops UK FMCG charts (again).

Warburtons tops UK FMCG charts (again).

First published in Bakery Info.

What do George Clooney, Robert De Niro and Sylvester Stallone have in common? Apart from being successful A-list celebrities, they’ve all appeared in commercials for Warburtons in recent years.

But while the stardust-sprinkled adverts are slick, memorable and have undoubtedly driven engagement, they’re just one ingredient in a prizewinning formula that keeps on giving for the Bolton-based brand. For the third year in a row, the fifth-generation family bakery has retained its crown as Britain’s most popular food brand in Kantar’s annual Brand Footprint report.

So how has the 146-year-old bakery achieved this?

According to Joe Shaw Roberts, a consumer insight director at analyst Kantar, 85% of the top 20 FMCG brands grew their Consumer Reach Points (CRP) – a metric calculated on how many households are buying a brand, how often and how this compares across countries, categories and competitors – in 2020. With this in mind, the biggest brands do tend to outperform the competition when it comes to brand footprint.

Warburtons scored 591m CRPs last year, up from 534m in 2019 representing growth of 11%. But it wasn’t the only major bakery brand to grace the list (see table below) as McVitie’s remained steadfast in third place with a CRP of 301m, followed by Hovis in fourth with 274m showing growth of 5% and 7%, respectively.

Building on trust

There are numerous lessons to be learned. Shaw Roberts argues there has never been a more important time for bakery brands to build consumer trust, especially as they are facing increasing competition from private label which grew ahead of brands last year.

“They need to have a point of difference,” he says. “Think about the good stuff that Warburtons has done. The presence in different categories, quality and focus on nutritional and health benefits. You’re much more able to do that effectively through a brand, rather than through private label.”

George Clooney popping up on a video call in its latest commercial was, arguably, the icing on the cake and in so doing displayed the brand’s sense of humour. The memorable ad not only reflected a sign of the times but raised a few much-needed laughs and, once again, put the Warburtons brand very much centre stage.

Read the full report here.