Nestle is to kill off its Findus brand in the UK and bring the
40-year-old frozen-food range under the Crosse & Blackwell name.
The Swiss food giant plans to make Crosse & Blackwell a ’megabrand’ on
the scale of Heinz by 2001, with sales of pounds 200m.
Nestle will phase out the Findus name from the UK by next January.
However, the brand, which originated in Sweden, will still be marketed
Dominic Box, Crosse & Blackwell’s marketing manager, said Nestle had
been trying to build a single powerful UK food brand since 1994.
’Although Findus was larger, only Crosse & Blackwell had the potential
to stretch beyond the freezer and become a contemporary brand.’
Nestle is spending pounds 26m explaining the change to consumers, via
advertising and public relations. Findus products will carry Crosse &
Blackwell branding for six months before the Findus name is dropped.
Nestle says the move is the second stage of a five-year programme which
began in 1995. It has already spent three years and pounds 30m building
the Crosse & Blackwell brand through TV advertising.
Crosse & Blackwell’s combined sub-brands, including Sarson’s, Branston
and Waistline, contribute sales of pounds 60m. From the Findus stable it
will acquire Lean Cuisine, Crispy Pancakes, French Bread Pizza and Pasta
Meals, adding pounds 85m.
To increase the size of the market and reassure retailers, Crosse &
Blackwell is launching products in September, including a frozen noodle
range, New York Take Out, and instant meals called Snack Stop.
In August food service marketing manager Helen Vaughan will take over
from Box, who joins Cussons as marketing director.