LONDON: Weetabix, the breakfast cereal, believes that its management structure and workplace culture is central to its ability to successfully respond to the UK’s changing breakfast habits.

“We’re empowered to make decisions and we’ve got a pretty flat structure, so you genuinely get the opportunity to make things happen quickly,” Sally Abbott, the newly installed managing director at Weetabix, told Marketing Week.

That’s a useful facility in a world where, according to research from rival Nestlé, six in ten people eat a meal “on the go” every day and 70% of those spend less than ten minutes on breakfast.

When Weetabix launched a drinks product named On The Go back in 2014, the entire development process, from idea to having something in the shops, took just 11 months.

More recent launches, of Weetabix Protein and Protein Crunch cereals, have added £7.5m in revenue in the year to May 2017 and added more than one point to the brand’s market share.

“We develop a really clear strategy,” Abbott explained. “We’ve built a strong innovation process and then we build the right team around it, so that we can make our innovation happen quicker, faster and better.”

It helps, too, that the company operates a culture of “end-to-end marketing” in which it exposes marketers to all aspects of the business – something that Abbot believes has stood her in good stead in her step up from marketing director.

“My job [as MD] is to continue to make Weetabix a great place to work, because it’s the people who work here who give us that competitive advantage,” she said.

That includes “failing forward” – allowing people working at speed with ambitious ideas to make mistakes and learn from them.

“We’re a branded organisation and having a belief in the power of brands is vital to our financial success,” she stated. “Weetabix … genuinely gets the power of brands and puts the end consumer right at the heart of our business.”

Data sourced from Marketing Week, Big Hospitality; additional content by WARC staff