If you’ve popped into the free from aisle in January you may have noticed a newcomer to the fresh baked shelf – Newburn Bakehouse. But on closer inspection you will notice that this is not a newcomer at all – but Warburtons’ free from range under a new name! I was curious about why such a well-established brand like Warburtons were taking a departure from such a trusted, well-known name. Had there been mix ups in the supermarket? Were gluters picking up the GF bread and finding it tasted a bit unusual? Or worse, had coeliacs accidentally bought regular Warburtons? So like any nosy blogger, I decided to ask the Warburtons MD of Free From, Chris Hook who kindly answered my questions.
What is the rationale for the change of name to ‘Newburn Bakehouse’ for your gluten free range considering the strong brand heritage of Warburtons?
“A large consumer research project we did last year highlighted that by creating a specialist sub-brand, Warburtons Free-From would be in a stronger position to expand across new & exciting product areas, whilst appealing to a wider audience.
Consumers wanted the reassurance of a big food brand but some differentiation from the Warburtons core bakery brand. This is why we have launched with the name change ‘Newburn Bakehouse by Warburtons’”
What does the new brand stand for? What do you hope gluten free consumers will come to associate Newburn Bakehouse with?
“The brand stands for good quality, authentic with strong provenance and passion for baking gluten-free foods with a dedicated team of bakers, in a stand-alone gluten-free bakery.
We want consumers to associate Newburn Bakehouse with great tasting food that just so happens to be gluten-free. In summary: appetite appeal, delicious, sensory and indulgent.”
What can we expect to see in the future from Newburn Bakehouse?
“We are committed to introducing new gluten-free foods for every meal occasion – to appeal to everyone who follows the diet. In the near future we will be launching a fresh baguette and large seeded loaf.
Inside Newburn Bakehouse, our specialist bakery is our centre of excellence, where Warburtons master bakers combine their passion for baking, with generations of skill and experience to produce fresh gluten-free baked products.
We intend to launch a variety of products from here over the next 12 months.”
So it sounds like the new branding represents another big investment from Warburtons in the free from market, and also gives their dedicated team the independence to launch new products. An exciting time for coeliacs who love more choice on their shelves. Of course I expect self-confessed ‘rugby mad’ Chris was pleased at the opportunity to get well-know gluten free rugby player, Alex Corbisiero, along to launch the products too!
I’m very interested in the question of branding, so watch out in the next few days for my blog looking at what the different gluten free brands say to us, including interviews with two more leading free-from brands.