All entries for December 2005

December 29, 2005

Where's the beans?

HP Baked beans seem to have disappered from supermarkets. Shock! Horror. They do taste better than Heinz, Sainsbury's and Tescos.

According to Heinz

Concerns over beans and pasta meals must be place(d) in context. HP exited the market as a supplier of beans and pasta meals a number of years ago. The HP brand for beans and pasta meals was licensed to Premier by Danone, and the licence is due to expire in the ordinary course In March 2006 [...] Premier is currently engaged in a major re-branding programme. This involves removing the HP branded product from the market (including de-stocking off the shelves of major multiples) and re-launching a new product range under the Branston brand, backed by a major advertising and promotional campaign."

Premier owns the Crosse & Blackwell and Branston brands.

A submisson from Mr Anthony Lee

Premier Foods has been forced to try to enter the beans market using the Branston brand which, while respected, is not known for tomato based products and will find it difficult to succeed. The combined bargaining power of Heinz/HP would also enable it to exercise leverage on retailers to minimise shelf space available to new entrants. It is noted that Heinz's submission refers to Premier "re-branding away from the use of the HP brand". It is ludicrous to suggest the move from the HP Brand which is well known for sauce for fried food and for tomato based products to the weaker Branston brand is some sort of independent strategic move by Premier rather than a move forced by the imminent loss of the HP licence. [...] there is minimal current competition in the relevant markets and it is implausible to suggest sustained new entry is likely in the face of the brand strength of HP and Heinz in the sector. The attempt to launch Branston Beans indicates that the position is slightly less clear-cut in beans and pasta products than in red and brown sauces and barbecue sauce, but it remains to be seen whether Branston Beans will secure a more than trivial market share in the medium term.

December 2005

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