Nākd continues top category growth as consumers turn to healthy options

Natural Balance Foods claims it is helping to buoy the Healthier Biscuits, Cereal and Free-From Biscuits and Bars Category as shoppers increasingly abandon high sugar and fat products in favour of minimally processed more natural snacks.

Latest Nielsen figures show that Nākd is now worth £25m – adding £4m in the last quarter alone and £11.3m over the year – growth of 75% year-on-year.

This is in stark contrast to the Category as a whole where 11 of the top 20 brands are in decline – six of those experiencing double-digit falls.  Nākd’s performance is helping to keep total Category sales from plummeting much further than the slight 0.09% decline showing to date.

Marina Love, marketing director at Natural Balance Foods said: “Nākd is now the sixth largest brand in the category, adding £11.3m sales year-on-year. This puts it above both McVitie’s and Alpen for the first time. Our growth is driven by existing Category shoppers turning to Nākd for its honest, healthy ingredients and new consumers to the Category who are buying Nākd instead of less healthy confectionery and sweets. In fact 69% of Category shoppers now add Nākd to their baskets, while Nākd has attracted £2.3m in sales that used to go to rival brands – we believe that if it wasn’t for Nākd those sales would have left the Category entirely. Nākd brand penetration now stands at 5.4% compared to 2.1% in 2012 and it continues to grow.”

Big brand losses include Kellogg’s Nutri Grain which is down 21.2% (£4.7m), McVitie’s, which is down 12.6% (£3.4m). Harvest has seen sales halve to £3.9m year-on-year.  Says Love: “Some brands are in long-term decline as shopper buying habits change. They now understand that just because a product contains grains or fruit, or is marketed as healthy, it isn’t automatically better for you if it is also highly processed and contains lots of added sugar. For instance since 2013 Weight Watchers has seen sales of its cereal bars fall by 40.7%. In contrast, Nākd sales are 210.4% up over the same period.”

And many of the brands that are in growth are driving sales volumes through NPD and heavy promotion – the category average for volume sold on promotion is 76%. Nākd, by comparison, sells just 39% of volume on promotion, and even stripping out NPD sales have grown by £11m since 2013.

Nākd is also performing strongly in the convenience channel – taking fourth place in single bars with a 107% sales increase to £2.9m year-on-year.

Love said this performance is yet more proof that even impulse shoppers are now searching for healthier options. “Nākd bars can offer shoppers a healthy and tasty alternative to chocolate and sugar confectionery. We’d encourage more retailers to position Nākd in impulse locations to take advantage of this changing consumer attitude.”

Love says she expects Nākd to continue its strong growth. “We have a strong programme of NPD in place and our advertising, marketing and promotional support throughout this year will continue to ensure new consumers are drawn into the category.”