Schwan's prepares £3m dessert debut

Schwan's Consumer Brands, the company behind Chicago Town Pizza, is to enter the UK frozen dessert market with the launch of a premium cake brand to take on market leader Sara Lee.

Manchester agency BDH/TBWA has been briefed to handle the £3m launch for Amanda Smith Desserts, which will be backed by a TV and press campaign next month.

The range is based on Schwan's US brand Mrs Smith, and is intended to combat a decline in sales of frozen desserts. The market was worth £277m in 2003, marking a 14% decline since 1998, according to Mintel.

'Frozen desserts have become commoditised, with people buying products rather than brands.

This range will be positioned as superior in quality to the majority of products out there,' said a spokesman.

Schwan's has secured distribution through Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury's, Iceland and Morrisons for the line, which includes variants such as Mocha Mudslide and Ultimate Strawberry Cake.

BDH/TBWA, which has also worked with Schwan's on the Chicago Town Pizza brand, was hired to handle the launch without a pitch.

A second tranche of activity will break in the autumn in the run-up to Christmas.

In the past year, Schwan's has been extending brands and expanding into other categories. Earlier this month the company revealed that flavoured potato wedges would be added to the Chicago Town range.

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