Wholebake: 9Bar

We believe in long term partnerships built on trust and respect. Nowhere is this more evident than with our 12 year collaboration with Wholebake.

The story starts in 2002 when we began working with Wholebake on a range of seed bars they had developed. The 9 Bar range was predominantly being sold via the health food trade with a total sales revenue nearing £200k.

50g_original_bar

The Plan

The challenge to Product Chain was to maintain the core health food market whilst launching 9 bar into the major multiples. At the time the cereal bar market was in decline so we worked with Wholebake to differentiate the 9 Bar range with a unique proposition and visual identity. The 9 bar team did a great job. The new packaging was modern, eye-catching and had mass appeal. This enabled our sales experts to create a strong and persuasive product pitch to sell into key buyers.

40g_original_multipack

Channel Strategy

We developed a bespoke channel strategy for mainstream grocery, confident that this channel required a different approach to the health food trade. Our strategy paid off and we gained listings across all the major multiples.

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Growing Sales

Following the initial success of our sales plan we worked as a united team to develop compelling NPD including new pack formats as well as recipe variants. We analysed market data along the way to produce compelling evidence, persuading buyers to increase store listings and distribution.

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Results

By 2014 we had achieved 10,000 fixture facings in major multiples and sales continued to grow by as much as +65% yoy. By 2014, 9 Bar sales revenue had grown to over £4m from a base of £200k.

10,000

 

fixture facings in major multiples

Moving On

Our partnership with Wholebake came to an end when the company was sold to enable implementation of the next phase in their ambitious growth plan. We’re glad to say, however, that we still have a good relationship with the team at Wholebake and keep in touch regularly.

As the owner of the uniquely nutritious 9Bar brand, we were keen to expand in the UK snacking sector, but the level of investment in sales resources against uncertain returns was risky and very daunting and working with Product Chain gave us access to huge experience and knowledge at an affordable cost and with minimal risk.
Working closely with Emma and her colleagues for more than 10 years was a pleasure and they developed substantial business for us not only in grocery, but also food service, health food trade and convenience channels. The Product Chain team took away many of the headaches around supply chain, sales administration and cash collection, and they were at all times pragmatic, forthright, supportive yet challenging, and most importantly they were extremely passionate about growing our brand and became very much an integral part of team Wholebake and our success in growing 9Bar into a leading Free From brand.

Mark Gould, CEO, Wholebake (2003-present)

What did Product Chain deliver?

  • Managed sales strategy across major multiples & health food trade
  • Category management advice
  • Effective trade presentations
  • Gained store listings and managed negotiation process
  • Sales forecasting & analysis
  • Pricing & promotional planning
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