Rachel Barr joined Danone Nutricia Early Life Nutrition at Bestway’s Abbey Road depot in London as the company introduced its newly-relaunched Cow & Gate brand to convenience retailers

Danone Nutricia Early Life’s best-selling Cow & Gate baby food brand underwent a significant relaunch in July. So last month, the company took a trip to Bestway’s Abbey Road depot in north-west London to launch its new jars into the convenience market.

It was keen to highlight the sales opportunity to retailers, with baby feeding sales up 5.5%*, newly exceeding nappies and wipes.

Read on to discover more about the new range and the trends driving sales in this key category.

Category

The total baby food category is worth £3m to convenience retailers. Cow & Gate jars represent one third of sales in the channel, so Danone Nutricia Early Life Nutrition’s category executive Charles MacDonald says it is a crucial brand for retailers to stock. With 52 different variants, retailers can tailor their range to the needs of their customers. “Cow & Gate is the market leader and the fact the brand has been relaunched is exciting for the channel,” he says.

Range

“As part of the relaunch, the recipes for Cow & Gate jars have been reformulated, recipes have been improved and new flavours have been added, such as blueberry and kiwi, with 27 different fruits and vegetables used across the whole range.”

“Having transparent labels on our jars is important…The most crucial change we have made is to remove added sugar from all but 3 of our jars and all sweet tastes from savoury recipes – an integral change to the recipes of our jars that fit our core purpose.”

Formats

One of the changes in the Cow & Gate relaunch is the introduction of clear jars across the range.

“Having transparent jars is important because it allows mums to look inside the and really see the changes we have made,” says Charles.

“You can see the colours, textures and ingredients which is helps encourage trust and make them look really appealing.”

Health

With health concerns driving product development in a number of categories, Danone Nutricia Early Life Nutrition was keen to incorporate the trend into its development of Cow & Gate, and appeal to parents with the change.

“The most important thing we have done is remove added sugar from all but three of our jars and all sweetener from savoury recipes,” says Charles. “Our aim is for babies to have healthy eating habits.”

Supply chain

The in-depot launch of Cow & Gate is the first of its kind for Danone Nutricia Early Life Nutrition, and was organised in this way to allow the brand to meet retailers in person, explain the changes and promote the category.

“This was important because we were getting in front of retailers,” says account manager Ray Pratt. “By having PoS we have been able to drive the relevance of the baby feeding category within the channel.”