Hormel has changed Skippy distributor in UK

Hormel has changed Skippy distributor in UK

Hormel Foods has indicated it has "bold growth plans" for peanut butter brand Skippy in the UK as the US group announced a change of distributor for the product in the country.

Tulip, the UK meat processor owned by Denmark-based co-operative Danish Crown, is to handle Skippy, succeeding Associated British Foods' AB World Foods unit.

Hormel, which acquired Skippy from Unilever in 2013, has worked with Tulip in the UK on two other brands - Spam and Stagg - for over a decade. "The decision for Hormel Foods to end its relationship with AB World Foods, who previously handled UK distribution, was based on bringing Hormel brands together under one partnership arrangement in the UK with Tulip," Hormel said. "Hormel Foods previously had a positive and constructive partnership with AB World Foods."

The growth of the peanut butter category in the UK has slowed from over 40% at the turn into the noughties to circa 15% in recent years but Hormel is confident about Skippy's prospects.

"Peanut butter is still a growing category, and Skippy peanut butter performed better than the two leading brands in independent taste panels. Our objective is to drive category growth with the American-style Skippy peanut butter rather than with a me-too product," brand manager Liz Dee told just-food.

Skippy peanut butter available in 340g PET jars at Tesco, Sainsbury's and Ocado. It is being sold in the UK in crunchy and smooth varieties with a sale price of around GBP2.40.

Dee indicated Skippy's price was due to the brand being an imported product in the UK. She added: "Higher-end peanut butters are growing at a much higher rate than the total category."