The brand, which was founded in 2013 by UK school friends Barney Mauleverer and Alex Matheson, has launched a range of 70 g Porridge Pots, reformulated with a lower sugar and higher protein content.
The additional 10 g of cereal per pot is aligned with consumer demand for a bigger breakfast serving.
Recent Kantar Worldpanel data indicates 44% of FUEL10K shoppers are either pre-family or young family consumers compared to the total category average of only 26%, Mauleverer told BakeryandSnacks.
“We did our research and spotted a big hole in the declining cereal market. We found that the younger demographic was rejecting the traditional boxed cereals in droves, so we created a solution that would make breakfast easy for this group – easy format, easy protein and easy nutrition.”
He claimed that Kantar data also shows these younger shoppers also spend 38% more in the category, compared to the average shopper.
Conveniently sized and priced
“Supermarket buyers are seeing that we bring innovation to their cereal shelves and are building the category rather than cannibalising existing sales,” he said.
“Customers can grab the high protein breakfast, on the go, wherever they are. It also plays into the hands for those who want the same ease and convenience at home.”
However, although the box size has increased, the directors have kept the price the same as the 60 g Porridge Pots and will be rolling out six flavor variants – Golden Syrup, Original Forest Fruits, Honey Nut & Raisin, Chocolate and Apple & Cinnamon – in UK supermarkets like ASDA, Morrisons, Co-op and even Ocado at the suggested RSP of 97p-£1.00 ($1.23-$1.26).
“The retail industry is full of ‘shrinkification’ where they charge the same price for less and as far as I’ve seen, we’re the only brand doing the opposite,” said Mauleverer.
“We’re delivering this with no extra cost in a bid to drive further incremental sales and building value for the consumer,” he continued.
The porridge range has also been reformulated to cut sugar levels by between 6% and 70%, while upping the protein by up to 10%, compared to the original product in the 60 g pots.
“There is growing acceptance of protein as a more everyday ingredient compared to when we first launched, when the assumption was that it was all about muscle building,” said Mauleverer.
The company also replaced sugar with milk powder and natural flavourings.
“Essentially, it’s now just a little less sweet, but makes up for this in its creaminess,” he said.
Leading the protein pack
Since the idea first spawned in a domestic kitchen in London, the FUEL10K brand has grown over 35% year-on-year to December 2016, expanding from 11 to 20 products since 2015, when the company was incorporated under FUEL10K Ltd.
Four more products were launched in the last quarter of 2016.
What’s behind a name?
The brand’s name comes from Malcolm Gladwell’s theory that to become brilliant at anything, you need to practice for 10,000 hours, Mauleverer explained.
In addition to the slow energy release ready-to-eat (RTE) Porridge Pots (just add hot water), the range of protein-boosted breakfasts includes Quark with Fruit, Liquid Breakfast drinks, RTE Granolas, Wheat Biscuits and Multigrain Flakes.
“We now account for nearly half of the 42 protein breakfast products on the market,” claimed Mauleverer.
“But, while we’re obviously delighted with our growth, we’re always mindful that we can’t stand still; the cereal giants are always quick to respond to what we do.
“However, we have the advantage of being small and self-funded, so we can move very fast and fluidly to keep those giants on their toes.”
Although Mauleverer insisted that FUEL10K is not a sports nutrition brand, rather a brand aimed at a more modern and younger than average cereal shopper, the company aims to reach the 16 million active consumers who play sport at least once a week (according to Sport England 2016).
As such, FUEL10K’s marketing strategy includes a greater presence at Tough Mudder throughout 2017, as well as being the official breakfast to The Human Race Triathlon and The Strathpuffer endurance cycle race around Lock Ness.
Sugar subtractions and protein additions:
- Original: Sugar was 27 g and is now 8.2g per 100 g, meaning a 70% reduction in total sugar. Protein was 19.2 g and has now been increased to 21.3 g per 100g.
- Golden Syrup: A 19% reduction in sugar, from 27.2 g to 22.1g per 100 g. Protein has been increased by 0.1 g per 100 g.
- Apple & Cinnamon: Another 19% reduction in sugar, from 28.2 g to 22.9 g per 100g. Protein increased by 0.3 g per 100 g.
- Forest Fruit: Sugar was 27.5 g and is now 22.5 g 100g, reducing the sugar content by 18%. Protein was 19.0 g and is now 19.5 g per 100g.
- Chocolate: An 8% reduction in total sugar, from 27.5 g to 25.2g per 100 g. Protein increased by 0.8g per 100, making it 20 g per 100 g
- Honey Nut & Raisin: Sugar was 27 g and is now 25.5 g, a 6% reduction in total sugar, while protein has been increased from 19.3 g to 19.6 g per 100 g