Sanitarium to streamline product range in response to changing trends

Sanitarium to streamline product range in response to changing trends

A new proposal could see Sanitarium cease production of its muesli, granola, flake, clusters and puff cereals by June 2025, as Kiwi breakfast eating trends shift consumer demand.

If confirmed, the proposal will see the company move to streamline its product ranges to focus on growing iconic Weet-Bix, Weet-Bix Bites and UP&GO brands.

Michael Barton, Sanitarium General Manager (New Zealand) says research shows over 20% of Kiwis consume something in the morning besides traditional flaked breakfast cereal, mainly a hot drink, or a portable liquid breakfast.

“Our sales for muesli, granola, clusters, Light ‘n’ Tasty and puffed cereals represent just 10% of sales and have been declining steadily over several years.

“The breakfast market is changing, and we have seen a global move away from some cereal formats. We need to align our production with evolving consumer appetites and demand trends.”

Barton says the granola, muesli, puff and flake cereal production lines, which Sanitarium started producing product on in the 1940s, would require a $28 million building and plant upgrade to sustain production which is not viable in view of changing consumer preferences and declining sales for this type of cereal format.

The proposed 15-month plan would see production of familiar brand names such as Sanitarium Muesli, Granola, Light ‘n’ Tasty, Honey Puffs, Weeties, Weet-Bix Clusters, Cluster Crisp and Puffed Wheat, cease by mid next year. However, the products will remain available in most major supermarkets or individual and bulk food services until then.

Popular products Skippy Cornflakes, Ricies, Weet-Bix and Marmite, will continue to be made at Sanitarium’s Auckland manufacturing facility.

“If the proposal proceeds, it would mean the loss of 49 roles across manufacturing, logistics and head office,” Barton said.

“Our immediate priority is to work through the consultation period with our staff ensuring they are fully supported through this unsettling and challenging time.

“We are like a family at Sanitarium and considering this proposal was tough. We are committed to supporting and caring for all our employees. Our plan considers the phased disestablishment of 49 roles over the next 15 months. If the proposal goes ahead, staff impacted by the change would receive full entitlements, financial and personal counselling support, along with career support and advice to transition to other employment, if they are unable to transfer to other roles within the company,” he says.

With almost 125 years of continuous operation, Sanitarium remains committed, as a local Kiwi business, to serving our consumers and our communities through affordable, healthy foods and through community support social initiatives.

Scroll to Top