Weetabix to trial new, savoury flavours
Everyone knows Weetabix. Whether you’re a wait-until-it-turns-to-mush merchant or you eat it quickly while it still retains some semblance of the oval shapes, British people have known and loved Weetabix for, well, forever. Which is about as long as dried-on Weetabix stays on the bowl if you forget to rinse it/wash it up immediately.
However, Weetabix, which is based in Kettering, is a global company, despite the fact that 70% of its sales are in the UK and all its wheat is sourced in a 50 mile radius from the head office. Now, in an attempt to break through the red curtain, Weetabix are developing some new flavours in an attempt to appeal to the Chinese market.
Most of us have probably seen the chocolate or golden syrup varieties of Weetabix, and while we might scoff at the ridiculousness of putting chocolate with wheat and fixing something that ain’t broke, we can at least accept that some people somewhere might think that is an enticing taste combination. However, Weetabix’s research suggests that Chinese people might have an altogether different agenda for the breakfast munchings.
Weetabix boss Giles Turrell says “We have learned that they like savoury, not sweet, hot not cold, and fast because they are incredibly time-starved,” Doesn’t sound a lot like Weetabix and goes some way to explaining that the cereal market in China is a mere £180m, against the UK’s £1.2bn. But Weetabix aren’t deterred, citing Starbucks’ success in cracking a market that has been dominated by tea for ever.
So, Weetabix, which is 60% owned by Chinese food giant Bright Foods has now decided to test out some more unusual flavours in an attempt to attract the savoury hot market. Top of the list is green tea, although it’s not clear whether you’d add warm milk or hot water to your biscuits. Other suggestions for flavour-enhancements include sesame seeds or unsweetened cranberries. While time will tell what will float the Chinese breakfasters’ boats, we can’t see the new flavours catching on here.