Life Health Foods UK, a 50/50 joint venture set up between the owners of Sanitarium and finance and investment house Wingate, is set to take on the UK breakfast market.
Life Health Foods UK will launch Australia’s number one breakfast cereal brand, Up&Go, to UK consumers next month, ahead of assessing additional markets and opportunities in Europe and elsewhere.
Up&Go was launched by Sanitarium in Australia 15 years ago, and has capitalised on growing demand for convenient, nutritional breakfast choices. In addition to being the category leader, Up&Go has achieved 25 percent annual growth on average in the past five years, and it is now found in 22.3 percent of Australian households.
In the UK, where the liquid breakfast market is in its infancy, thirty-eight million Britons skip breakfast at least once a week, and research has identified significant demand for on-the-go breakfast options that are tailored to the local market.
Following extensive market research and planning, Up&Go’s launch into the UK will be supported by a new look brand, new packaging, a reformulated product and a detailed marketing strategy to encourage trial among target consumers.
Interest from supermarkets is strong, with national distribution agreements already secured and negotiations with additional supermarkets proceeding well.
Kevin Jackson, Sanitarium CEO and LHF (UK) director said: “It’s our owners’ strategic objective to see our major brands like Up & Go expand beyond Australia and New Zealand and this objective is made much easier with high quality strategic partners.
“The UK’s population is three times that of Australia’s and we project that the liquid breakfast market will reach £300m within five to ten years.
“Wingate has strong financial credentials and a culture and values that align closely with ours. I’m excited to be working with them to ensure Up&Go becomes an international success”, Jackson said.
Farrel Meltzer, group managing director for Wingate said: “Increasing demand for on-the-go breakfast products is part of a massive trend towards healthy food options sweeping through consumer markets in many countries, driving retailers around the world to look for nutritious innovations that reinvigorate spending in the breakfast aisle.
“We’ve been impressed by Sanitarium’s success, professionalism and commercial nous and we share a belief that providing nutritious foods is good for consumers, good for business and good for the society.
“It’s a tremendous opportunity, and we look forward to bringing key Sanitarium brands to the global market”, Meltzer said.
The joint venture company, Life Health Foods UK, is based in London and has completed a number of key appointments including James McMaster as CEO (previously of Ella’s Kitchen and Gü) and Rosie Foster-Carter as marketing director (previously of PepsiCo and Innocent Drinks).
In addition to providing funding, Wingate will provide strategic expertise via three positions on a six-person Board created to support the success and expansion of Life Health Foods UK.