Gunstones Bakery is a subsidiary of Northern Foods that exclusively supplies M&S with a range of products including Hot Cross Buns. They had been tasked with creating new varieties and relaunching the entire range to M&S customers, but they had little or no control over the retail environment.

They asked Public to devise a way to increase the profile of the range and drive sales of this seasonal product.

What we did

We decided the best way to achieve success was to engage M&S store managers and their bakery teams with the new range before they hit the shelves.

We created a personalised Hot Cross Bun basket filled with the six varieties of buns. We also included a handy guide to tell them why they were so delicious, along with a history of the Hot Cross Bun and sales targets. We sent them direct to the store managers with the instruction: ‘Open immediately – Hot Cross Fun’.

The results

Two weeks before Easter, the key selling period for Hot Cross Buns and six weeks after the launch,  Gunstones reported a significant YOY increase in Hot Cross Bun sales.

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