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Weetabix sales have surged thanks to a viral social media post about combining them with baked beans last week.

Sales of the brand’s original cereal were up 15% in Sainsbury’s alone last week, said the brand, after a divisive post showing the cereal bars slathered in baked beans went viral.

The tweet racked up over one billion views, becoming the number one trending topic on Twitter, and sparking headlines in national newspapers.

Many other big food and drink brands joined the fray on Twitter, including Nando’s, which asked “you okay hun?”.

Restaurant critic Grace Dent deemed it “the worst food I have ever seen with my eyes”.

Weetabix head of brand Gareth Turner said the business “certainly didn’t imagine we’d get such a big response on social media” and the post was “part of our wider campaign to encourage people to eat their Weetabix in different ways”.

A Heinz spokesman said the Beanz brand had “certainly gained a lot of positive attention” from the tweet, with the fmcg giant estimating it had made over 2 billion impressions.

Weetabix went so far as to partner with Sainsbury’s to merchandise Weetabix and Heinz Beanz together for Valentine’s Day at its Kiln Lane store in Epsom, dubbing the duo “the love story of the year”.

It comes on the back of a solid year in the mults for both brands. Weetabix sales were up £8.7m (6%) to £153.3m over the year to 5 September 2020, while Heinz Beanz sales grew by £25.9m (12.8%) to £229.2m [Nielsen].

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