Michael Bailey Deputy editor

Michael has been a business journalist for 12 years. He has extensive experience editing magazines covering funds management, commercial property and the travel industry. In 2011 he won a Citi Excellence in Financial Journalism award for a BRW cover story on economic indicators.

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One out of the lunchbox for Carman’s

Published 11 February 2013 12:25, Updated 10 April 2013 07:32

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One out of the lunchbox for Carman’s

What’s for lunch... Carolyn Cresswell says Carman’s new range of kids lunchbox snacks took two years to develop. Photo: Luis Ascui

Carolyn Creswell has convinced Woolworths to stock a range of kids’ lunchbox snacks, Carman’s Yummo’s, the culmination of two years’ research and development.

Creswell’s final pitch to Woolworths, which like Coles has been carrying Carman’s muesli lines since the late 1990s, happened on February 7 and its buyers confirmed they would stock Yummo’s just two days later – a turnaround time that would be the envy of most suppliers.

However Creswell’s company Carman’s has been working on Yummo’s for two years, and it scrambled over Christmas to accommodate Woolies’ feedback from late last year that some boxes of Yummo’s should contain two flavours instead of just one.

“Our normal muesli bar range has nuts in it, which you can’t send to school, so it was a major research project to develop something new,” Creswell says.

“Parents feel a lot of guilt around what they put in their child’s lunchbox – that came out of our research groups – so we wanted to develop something healthy, but also we don’t want it to still be there when the child comes home from school.”

An innovation of the Yummo range is three different bars based on a “wholegrain popcorn” bar, which Creswell says has not featured in the ‘lunchbox’ category before.

The incumbents Creswell will challenge with her new range are Nestle-owned Uncle Toby’s, and Kellog’s with its highly popular ‘LCMs’ bars based on rice bubbles.

Carman’s is targeting a 10 per cent share of the ‘lunchbox snack’ category within the next three years, and Creswell is hoping it will increase her company’s appeal to families with primary school aged children - a sector in which it’s been a relative underperformer.

Whereas in the past Creswell has developed products based on what she likes herself, she says Yummo’s presented the challenge of “appealing to the person who’s not actually going to eat the product”.

She did not want to rely on ‘pester power’ with the external packaging, but will include jokes on the wrappers themselves to make them kid-friendly. (Creswell is now looking for 60 of what she calls “dad jokes” to be immortalised on Yummo’s wrappers.)

Carman’s enjoys a 14 per cent share of the overall muesli bar market.

Creswell, the current Telstra Business Woman of the Year, finds out this Wednesday whether Coles will stock Yummo’s.

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