Genius Foods is to launch what it claims is the first television advertisement for a gluten-free bakery brand in the UK

Genius Foods is to launch what it claims is the first television advertisement for a gluten-free bakery brand in the UK

Genius Foods is to launch what it claims is the first television advertisement for a gluten-free bakery brand in the UK.

The firm, whose manufacturing partner United Central Bakeries (UCB) is a subsidiary of Finsbury Food Group, said it was the "right time" to increase consumer awareness about the brand.

"This is the first advertising campaign for Genius," Gemma Lawrie, Genius brand manager told just-food. "We've been the market for over a year and we now have full distribution amongst the major multiples. We felt that now was the right time to really increase the brand awareness for Genius and do that through broadcast media."

The GBP3m (US$4.8m) campaign launches on 17 October and features a "recreation" of Albert Einstein. The advert will launch Channel 4 and is scheduled to run until early 2011. An interactive online advertising campaign featuring Genius competitions and offers will support the campaign.

Lawrie said Genius is hoping to attract new customers with the launch of the ad. "We are aiming to still bring in new customers that are avoiding gluten and wheat already, just people that haven't tried the bread," Lawrie said. "It's about overcoming their scepticism."

She added: "There are also a lot of customers we want to attract that don't have to avoid gluten but do because it's better for their well-being. But obviously our core consumers are those that do avoid it due to coeliac disease and so on."

As demand for gluten-free products increases, larger firms such as Warburtons have announced plans to enter the category. Lawrie, however, brushed off concerns over increased competition in what remains a niche sector.

"We believe that 15% of the population are avoiding gluten or wheat regularly so it's a big potential market out there," she said. "Everyone has really noticed the demand for gluten-free products and when consumers are given products they like then retailers really see the potential for the market and so do other companies. Clearly NPD levels have increased which is just a sign of how strong the market is growing really."

Lawrie said the focus for Genius next year will be on innovation. "Gluten is in so many things so it has really diverse product range potential. Obviously our core is in bread but we are keen to explore what other products we can bring out within the gluten-free bakery category," she said.

"We're just really focused on providing great products for people and that is our main focus really for next year, more new products that we can come up with. Obviously bread has done really well but there is lots more to do and that is the main challenge for us."