Pukka is looking to diversify beyond pies with a multi-million pound push into handheld snacks, in a bid to attract new customers across the hot savoury snacks category.
The ‘Pukka Presents’ campaign is designed to support its new range of sausage rolls, slices and pasties, the strategy being to have a Pukka product to suit different occasions.
Hitting TV screens today (3 November), the campaign will be on air throughout November and December across channels including ITV, Channel 4 and Sky. The ads show everyday people and their love affair with the three new hot savoury snacks.
The first ad is set in the city at night, where a delivery driver is hard at work before reaching into his van to pick up a Pukka Sausage Roll, ahead of moving on to his next job.
The second shows a gardener in a park taking a moment to sit down and enjoy a tasty Pukka Steak Slice. Finally, the third creative focuses on a farmer who takes a break to enjoy her Pukka Pasty.
Speaking to Marketing Week, Pukka head of marketing and innovation Rachel Cranston says the brand’s marketing stems from “continuous consumer research”, which has led to the company growing faster than the wider category.
“We’ve grown up to three times faster than the category. We’re propelling that [category] growth overall,” says Cranston.
“But we’re not resting on our laurels. There is still a huge opportunity to grab an even bigger slice of the savoury pastry market and our bold new campaign will drive sales, attract a new generation of shoppers and contribute to incremental growth.”
The brand has become a fabric of the nation brand.
Rachel Cranston, Pukka
The brand’s latest research found customers wanted more variety from Pukka.
“A big thing from our research that was that there was over 80% purchase intent to buy a sausage roll, pasty or slice from Pukka, and over 50% of our current buyers are already buying into those categories,” Cranston explains.
She stresses that data collection is “massively important” for strategic planning and is essential to building brands.
“We’re a brand that’s very much built on data first and foremost, but then also one really building a category,and a consumer and sales story with listening to the consumer at the core of it all,” says Cranston.
“The brand has become a fabric of the nation brand. People are going to tell you they don’t like what you’re doing pretty quickly, but they’re also going to tell you what they want. So, the consumer research has always been at the core of everything that we do.”
Making relevancy a priority
Cranston admits while the new snacks are not innovative, but they do drive relevancy for Pukka, as pies have started to become “less relevant” over time.
The brand is now aiming to grow the hot savoury snack category in a similar way as it has taken the lead in the pie sector.
“We’re targeting people who may actually not have tried the category. There’s a lot of incrementality we’re trying to bring into this. We know we have managed to bring a lot of new shoppers into the whole category through our brand. A lot of the drivers predominately are about relevancy,” says Cranston.
The company is also aiming to encourage more out-of-home consumption to boost sales, as currently 5% or less of consumers buy a Pukka snack to eat outside the home.
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“It’s really important that we resonate with people and they see us as a fit for all occasions and not just at-home consumption,” Cranston explains.
“It’s about us being able to tap into even more occasions in people’s lives. By making a proposition that people can have on the go, it just makes us more relevant for more people on more occasions.”
Discussions to move beyond pies started more than two years ago, with the brand regarding it as a natural progression, a view backed up by research. Pukka commissioned bespoke research to gauge if there was consumer appetite for such products.
“From an innovation perspective it is really taking on those learnings from the big pieces of research that we do, and adding quantifiable and qualitative data. Then refining it even further down to what should be the strapline on the pack, for example,” says Cranston.
The plan going forward is to solidify the new range as Pukka staples and then transition them under a similar ‘People’s Pie’ positioning.
“Similar to the People’s Pie campaign, whether they become the ‘People’s Sausage Roll’ or the ‘People’s Slice’ or the ‘People’s Pasty’, we should really be able to seamlessly move into that type of positioning if we choose to, which will put them all under that one umbrella,” concludes Cranston.