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Following the successful launch of Uncle Tobys Steel Cut Oats in 2015 and in response to consumer demand for greater convenience, CPW has just launched Uncle Tobys Quick Steel Cut Oats. Steel cut oats are oat kernels that have been cut into two or three pieces by a metal blade, as distinct to rolled oats created by steaming oat kernels and then rolling them into flakes.
The major benefit of steel cut versus rolled oats is its lower glycaemic index rating, but it also boasts a nuttier flavour and heartier texture. The downside is the significant longer cook time – up to 30 minutes – or alternatively, soaking them overnight prior to cooking.
“Steel Cut Oats have proved very popular with a consumer segment we call ‘healthful foodies’. Our research tells us this group are looking for minimally processed food, but they don’t always have time to cook from scratch – they want health benefits as well as convenience,” said Irene Sirigos, brand manager for Uncle Tobys Oats.
The challenge was how to reduce the cook time and the need for overnight soaking, and therefore increase convenience without affecting the nutritional benefits of steel cut oats. The result – Uncle Tobys Quick Steel Cut Oats, which cook in three minutes in the microwave without sacrificing any of the nutritional benefits of the original Steel Cut Oats variety.
“It was a difficult process and the culmination of years of work, but being the leader in the oats category certainly helped us achieve our objective of convenience whilst retaining key nutritional attributes,” said Irene.
Irene believes food trends are driving demand for new products/ingredients amongst this ‘healthful foodies’ target market, which has underpinned the launch of Uncle Tobys Oats with Ancient Grains.
“Launching Oats with Ancient Grains involved gaining an understanding of the range of grains available, which ones have broad appeal and offering them in a convenient format,” she said.
Uncle Tobys Oats with Ancient Grains contains quinoa, rye and millet with rolled oats, and can be used in the same way as traditional oats. This new oats combination provides 1.7g soluble fibre per serve, high in whole grain, and low in sodium and sugar.
“Quinoa and millet were chosen due to their appeal and taste profile – we looked at global research that highlighted the current popularity of quinoa, and millet as an up-and-coming ancient grain,” said Irene.
Both oats varieties are available now at leading and independent retailers. Click here for more nutrition and product information.
O&G crunchy granola is a relatively new Uncle Tobys brand, driven by consumer insight and created to satisfy a specific segment of the Australia population – young adults aged 25-35 years.
Research at Uncle Tobys revealed that this demographic generally finds breakfast unsophisticated, bland and boring – they feel uninspired and are looking for taste first and foremost, but also convenience. Compared to other age groups, they are much less likely to consume breakfast cereal. They tend to be fairly health conscious, but taste is king, and they are keen on ‘customising’ their breakfast. They are the quintessential ‘café crowd’ – and they want to bring this experience to breakfast every day.
According to O&G brand manager, Penny Weir, O&G crunchy granola was created in response to these learnings, designed to be an exciting and inspiring breakfast choice.
“The initial research we did was actually into hot oats or porridge, and why this consumer segment doesn’t favour this breakfast option,” she said.
“We wanted to find out why they weren’t eating breakfast and what it was they were looking for.
“The end result was O&G – both our ready-to-eat crunchy granola and the O&G Chunky Oatmeal varieties as well. It is a product designed to mirror a ‘café style’ experience, complete with serving options on-pack to address the desire for customisation – serve with milk, yoghurt, or as a breakfast topper,” said Penny.
“While we designed O&G with this consumer segment in mind, we also know that granola in general is very popular at the moment, with O&G also popular with couples and families,” she said.
Last month saw the launch of two new varieties of O&G following the success of the original range: O&G crunchy granola Apple, Coconut and Quinoa; and O&G crunchy granola Cashew, Almond and Quinoa.
“After extensive online research into flavour combinations, additional research highlighting that quinoa is very much on trend and known for its nutritional properties and a high demand for fruit-free cereals, we developed clusters with the quinoa baked in,” said Penny.
The result is two new varieties, both of which are low GI, provide a source of protein and fibre, and high in whole grain. “It was about balancing taste and real food positioning against health and nutrition credentials, and we are really pleased with the end result,” said Penny.
For O&G crunchy granola Apple, Coconut and Quinoa and O&G crunchy granola Cashew, Almond and Quinoa are available now at major and independent retailers. Click here to view the rest of the O&G crunchy granola range, complete with nutritional information and health star rating.
The UNCLE TOBYS name and logo has significant historical significance, it was designed by Nellie Love, the niece of Clifford Love – the founder of UNCLE TOBYS, who was a keen artist and a student of literature. She suggested the name and designed the logo based on the great literacy character in the “Life of Times of Tristram Shandy” by Laurence Sterne, first published in 1759. In the book Uncle Toby is a gentle, uncomplicated lover of his fellow man. The original design of Uncle Toby standing with the Widow Wadman has seen little changes over the years, so has become a treasured representation of the UNCLE TOBYS heritage.