General Mills Bets on Influencers to Create Cult Appeal for the UK Launch of its US Snack Sensation, LÄRABAR

LÄRABAR, the cult US vegan snack brand and creator of the original fruit and nut bar, has finally hit UK shores this month. Headed up by a £700k marketing campaign, General Mills is launching its first ever dedicated influencer squad to raise awareness of the snack sensation that will launch with listings in Sainsbury’s and Amazon (Prime Now, Pantry and Fresh).

Made of up of micro-influencers, the ‘LÄRABAR Squad’ have been handpicked to authentically engage and create cult appeal in the UK for LÄRABAR, which has taken the Northern American market by storm with sales hitting $200m in 2018.

The influencer squad will directly target the brand’s core demographic of a more ‘mindful’ audience as part of the brand’s mission to help people eat well, get active and be present. This will play a central role in General Mills’ vision to become the UK’s number one snack bar manufacturer.

Set to propel the brand’s visibility through key online channels, the influential squad will create engaging Instagram content, be involved with NPD and support key brand partnerships and events. LÄRABAR will also help collaborate with the influencers’ own initiatives and passion points across yoga, fashion, nutrition and wellness, which are also key to the brand, and will ensure strong engagement.

The activation will be further supported by experiential and in-store sampling, shopper marketing, PR and social media activations, as well as a range of likeminded partnerships and collaborations to come throughout the year.

“A ground-breaking move and business first for General Mills, the LÄRABAR launch will see us deliberately change tact and invest heavily in an influencer-led marketing strategy, headed up by our micro-influencer LÄRABAR Squad. Launching LÄRABAR is not only our most ambitious launch in the real food space, but our first 100 per cent vegan snack bar launch, so driving brand awareness and authentic engagement with our target mindful audience is vital,” says Arjoon Bose, Head of Marketing of New Ventures, General Mills Europe.

“We realised for the campaign to successfully create the cult appeal we’re hoping for, it must be genuine and visible across the key online channels our mindful audience are engaging with daily. We worked hard to handpick and partner with micro-influencers who completely meet LÄRABAR’s values; naturally immersing themselves in mindfulness, health and wellness in their everyday lives, allowing us to engage with our target audience authentically. Our aim is to create the cult following we’ve been so successful with in the US – we’re excited to see the UK’s reaction to the original fruit and nut bar sensation and how they engage with our LÄRABAR Squad.”

Founded by female entrepreneur Lara Merriken in 2000, LÄRABAR is the fastest growing Wellness snack brand in the Nutrition category, having achieved 25% growth in the last year and nearly tripling market penetration over the past three years.  The brand is now a household name in the US, with a huge celebrity fan base.

Now setting its sights on the UK, the original fruit and nut bar will be the first 100% vegan and ‘real food’ brand launch for General Mills this side of the pond. With a mission to become UK’s most loved ‘real food’ bar of choice, LÄRABAR joins Fibre One and Nature Valley in the General Mills UK snacking portfolio; now #2 snack bar manufacturer in the category. The business doubled its UK retail sales to £80M between 2015 to 2018, with 13.7% value share but driving 45% of the absolute pound category growth.

The brand will debut with 3 SKUs; Apple Cinnamon, Banana Choc Chip and Peanut Butter Choc Chip, RRP £2.90 for a pack of three bars, available at Sainsbury’s and Amazon.

Source: General Mills

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