Demand for products that allow for fast and functional eating is growing. With its new ‘a:m’ range McVities is clearly seeking to benefit from the large proportion of consumers that have neither the time nor inclination to prepare what is generally considered the most important meal of the day.

Breakfast is the most missed meal in Europe – on average European consumers skip 18% of breakfasts per person. However, the value of the breakfast market is expected to grow through to 2006. This growth will be driven in part by a burgeoning breakfast-on-the-go market. McVities has clearly seen this potential and developed suitable products accordingly.

McVities’ new breakfast brand, comprising multiple products, is called ‘a:m’ and is expected to start retailing within the next month. The range includes muffins, cereal bars and bite-size pieces of cereal in a bag.

Backed by a substantial marketing spend, both single sizes and multi-packs will be hitting the stores carrying the strap line “snacks to go”. The advertising, which will be spearheaded by a television campaign, is expected to contain an alternative slogan: “A tasty way to start the day”.

This is not completely new ground for McVities since it extended its low fat Go Ahead! range to encompass both cereal bars and muffins last year. Indeed, over the last year the cereal bar market has seen a proliferation of new arrivals such as Soreen and Weetabix’s Alpen bar, whilst Kelloggs has extended its range to include bars such as Special K and Frosties.

It is perhaps unsurprising that McVities is launching another assault on what is a growing market. Cereal bars provide a clear functional benefit to consumers as they can be consumed on the move and, of increasing importance, at the workplace. After all, mealtimes are ever more being treated as flexible periods of time that can be made to fit around the needs of consumers’ increasingly hectic lifestyles and consumers have a growing need for convenient meal solutions that suit these habits.

(c) 2003 Datamonitor. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without prior written consent. Datamonitor shall not be liable for errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.