Natures Way Foods has announced it will no longer produce its brand of Lasting Leaf bagged salads, as of today.
Natures Way category and innovation director Sarah Baldock said Lasting Leaf no longer fits into the strategic direction for the business. “Natures Way Foods has taken the decision to no longer produce its brand of Lasting Leaf bagged salads,” she said.
“Lasting Leaf has been a successful venture for Natures Way Foods, offering shoppers a genuine branded range, in a very competitive own-label dominated market.”
She said the company will now focus on other development opportunities as well as its customers’ bagged salads ranges. “We will focus our expertise and resource on driving market and customer growth, as well as expanding the other categories in which we operate. By developing these, we will ensure the continued successful growth and expansion of NWF," she said.
According to an industry source, lack of brand investment and a flawed marketing proposition contributed to the removal of the Lasting Leaf brand.
The source said he was “unsurprised” at the news and added: “It was an inevitability as sales have been declining quite steadily over the past year or so.”
He said there are two main reasons why the Lasting Leaf brand was being dropped. “If you’re going to put a brand in the market you need money. Salad is a £600 million category – it’s a big market with a lot of people buying into it. To have any traction or impact you need significant investment.”
He added: “To make brands work you need to invest. There was nothing wrong with the Lasting Leaf brand but the opportunity wasn’t taken up.”
The source also said there was a flaw in the marketing proposition of Lasting Leaf, which said it would last “two days longer”. “Products have a shelf life printed on packs, so it begs the question, two days longer than what? It caused confusion in the consumer’s mind.”
The source added that 85 per cent of the salads market comes from private labels, and this would indicate that brands do work providing they have adequate investment.