Blog: Dean BestHeinz, SPC Ardmona in Australia beans battle

Dean Best | 14 June 2011

HJ Heinz and fruit and vegetable processor SPC Ardmona have launched rival 1kg beans products in Australia.

Heinz, which first launched its resealable 1kg Fridge Pack in the UK last year (and is looking to add to the portfolio there with a reduced sugar and salt line) has taken the product Down Under.

The US food group is running a marketing campaign for the product now after its initial launch in Woolworths Ltd stores at the end of April and in Coles outlets last month.

Heinz claims to have almost 59% of the A$110m Australian baked beans category and marketing manager Natalie Koenen said: "Heinz is dedicated to looking for new ways to drive value in the beans and pasta category. As market leader, we have a responsibility to spearhead this growth. The launch of the Fridge Pack demonstrates how we are harnessing consumer trends, driving innovation and making the category more relevant and more exciting for consumers."

The company, however, faces competition from SPC Ardmona, which has also launched a resealable 1kg beans product - with "fridge pack" emblazoned on the front.

SPC, owned by Coca-Cola bottler Coca-Cola Amatil, says it is the second-largest baked beans maker in Australia, with a market share of "around" 30%.

The company insisted it had "got its inspiration" for its product from Australian consumers. Shoppers of baked beans buy just over 900g per purchase, SPC said, pointing to Aztec Panel data.

However, the launch of the SPC Ardmona product has been hit by "transport issues" that has "delayed delivery", a spokesperson said today. It will only hit Metcash shelves in August.

Heinz yesterday claimed its UK launch of Fridge Pack last year was a "success". The company and SPC Ardmona - when its product finally hits the shelves - will be hoping for more of the same in Australia.


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