care to share?

New products entering the single lines play into the impulse buys and self treats of busy consumers on the go. Now confectionery products are encouraging consumer to be even more interactive with facebook pages and online competitions. Who would have guessed a few years ago that you could be ‘friends’ with your favourite chocolate bar, all the time encouraging brand loyalty.

And in the sharing arena, it’s clear from the growth of sharing bags that the big night in is here to stay.

Chocolate

Graham Walker, Nestlé UK trade communications manager, says: “Whereas the boom in sharing bags may have begun with the economic downturn, as customers opted to stay in and save money, sharing occasions remain on the increase. For all sharing occasions, be it a trip to the cinema or a night in with friends and family, Nestlé Confectionery has a sharing bag to suit.

“Another success story for the year is the growth in chocolate blocks. In the convenience channel sales are up by 10%. Within the convenience channel this now means chocolate blocks are worth £160m.

“However, despite the rise in sharing occasion chocolate, chocolate singles are the heartland of all confectionery. Making up 36% of all confectionery sales in the convenience channel (£739m) and a massive 68% of singles confectionery, getting chocolate singles right is essential.”

A recent campaign from Nestlé is the KitKat Choose a Chunky Champion campaign. There are four flavours KitKat Chunky Orange, KitKat Chunky White Choc, KitKat Chunky Double Choc and KitKat Chunky Peanut Butter. Consumers are encouraged to try the flavours and then cast their vote on the dedicated facebook page.

Susan Nash, trade communications manager at Kraft Foods, says: “Kraft Foods made some exciting developments within chocolate over the last year which has contributed to strong sales within the category. Some NPD highlights include the introduction of Cadbury Flake Allure, the addition of Cadbury Twirl Bites to the bitesize portfolio and Cadbury Dairy Milk Bubbly. Cadbury is also the official treat provider of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and over the last two years has been immersed in its two-year campaign seeing the nation split into two teams, Spots and Stripes. Cadbury has invested a huge £50m in total behind the campaign.

“The chocolate bags sector is performing very well, experiencing +4.7% growth, and Cadbury branded chocolate bags alone are worth over £82.4m, up ahead of the category at +26%. Sharing bags perform well because they attract a variety of different shoppers and our range of Cadbury branded bags has something to suit an array of different tastes. The introduction of Cadbury Caramel Nibbles and Cadbury Crunchie Rocks last year brought different consumers to the brand and increased total bitesize penetration.”

Levi Boorer, customer development director for Ferrero, says: “The wholesale channel is absolutely vital to Ferrero and Ferrero is committed to working with its wholesale customers to ensure that they are maximising their sales in depot through stocking the best-selling lines and merchandising effectively.

“Stocking both Ferrero Rocher and Ferrero Collection is important, as they have distinct shopper sets 80% of Ferrero Collection purchasers don’t buy Ferrero Rocher. But, Ferrero Collection has driven re-appraisal of the Rocher brand as consumers are remembering what Rocher tastes like when buying Collection.”

Bep Dhaliwal, trade communications manager for Mars, says: “Wholesalers are advised to capitalise on key trends which retailers will be looking out for when stocking up. One example of this is the continuing focus on sharing, with 70% of chocolate being consumed when we’re with others, and retailers tailoring their offering for shoppers’ increasing purchases of treats to share in the evening with family and friends.

“The poor economic climate is still driving the Big Night In trend, and the cold winter evenings mean that shoppers are looking to swap a night out in a bar of restaurant for a night in with friends and family. Not only does this mean that bitesize and sharing products are essentials for all wholesalers, but that creating in-depot theatre drawing attention towards current trends and seasonal occasions is key to reminding retailers and maximising opportunities.

“Introducing exciting NPD is another great example of this and provides wholesalers with an opportunity to introduce theatre in-depot, such as the new Win A Million Moments campaign the biggest ever on-pack promotion from the Galaxy brand.”

The on-pack promotion gives consumers the chance to win and choose from a prize fund of over £13m of prizes. The prizes range from music downloads, manicures or lunch in Paris.

Mars has also reunited Joan Collins and Stephanie Beacham in an advertising campaign for Snickers with the strapline ‘You’re not you when you’re hungry’.

Sugar

Graham Walker says: “Sugar confectionery plays a key role in driving the convenience confectionery market. With total confectionery sales in the convenience channel at £2.1bn (+2%), sugar confectionery makes up a sizeable 32% with sales worth £685m last year (+2%).

“Sugar confectionery buyers shop in a fundamentally different way to that of chocolate shoppers. Whereas chocolate is purchased mainly on impulse, sugar confectionery is sought out by shoppers who have a particular occasion in mind. Occasions can vary from a long car journey, a big night in or a quick fix sugar boost.

“By offering traditional brands in a sharing bag format, such as Rowntree’s Fruit Pastilles and Rowntree’s Fruit Gums, Nestlé has experienced great success in the market. The range of £1 sharing bags has been specifically designed with the convenience channel in mind, for Rowntree’s Fruit Pastilles, Rowntree’s Fruit Gums and Rowntree’s Pick ‘n’ Mix.

“With sugar singles making up an indispensable 50% of total sales in the convenience channel, making sure the right range is stocked is essential.”

Nestlé has recently introduced a Rowntree’s Red Ones promotion to give consumers the chance to win £10,000 by finding all red sweets in their pack. The promotion is running on Rowntree’s Randoms, Rowntree’s Fruit Pastilles and Rowntree’s Sour Pastilles.

Jo Carr, trade marketing manager of Leaf Confectionery UK, says: “Chewits have traditionally performed very well in the wholesale channel, as the route through to the shelves of the independent convenience retailers. Furthermore, the Chewits Sweetshop range of products a collection of tubbed sweets and whips products is only available to retailers through the wholesale channel, so wholesalers are critical to this part of our Chewits product range. The range offers some firm favourites of the ‘pick ‘n’ mix’ variety, such as fizzy cola bottles, as well as some truly unique pieces with great novelty appeal like our giant tongues.

In recent years Leaf has invested in creating new flavours like Chewits Cola, Ice Cream and Xtreme Sour Apple and Tutti Frutti. Work has also been done on creating new formats such as the Chewits Bites bag, for sharing or to have in the car for long journeys.

Carr adds: “There are some key periods for sugar confectionery throughout the year, Halloween is very important to us for example, but also during the summer holidays, when children are out and about, Chewits represents a significant sales opportunity, so it’s important that Chewits is prominent and visible within the wholesale channel to support the sell out into the impulse channel during these periods.”

Mark Walker, head of sales at Swizzels Matlow, says: “Our products perform extremely well in this competitive market with our brand being an important influencing factor when deciding on which product to choose. Our well-loved and established products including; Double Lollies, Parma Violets and Rainbow Drops perform strongly within the wholesale channel.”

Swizzels Matlow has secured the licence for Vimto Original, Vimto Cherry and Tango Chew Bars and all three varieties will be launching in 2012.

Last year Swizzels Matlow secured the manufacturing licence from Warner Brothers to produce a collection of Scooby-Doo! treats. The selection includes a Chew Bar Apple amp; Cherry, Gruesome Gum Bag and Fiendish Fizzies Roll embossed on the front and back with Scooby Doo phrases.

Wrigley has added a new flavour to its 5 Gum range 5 Evolution.

Duncan McCulloch, sales director at Wrigley, says: “The unique sour-to-sweet citrus pear flavour is sure to go down a storm with those seeking more taste stimulation from their gum. We’re sure the innovative new flavour and supporting activity will allow 5 Gum to enhance reach into our target audience and generate increased sales.”

Wrigley has also added a Strawberry flavour to its Wrigley’s Extra range. McCulloch adds: “We remain dedicated to improving the overall health of the gum category using Extra, which has always been a driving force for the category. The hugely successful launch of Extra Ice last year enabled us to drive value and volume growth, by increasing chewing frequency and recruiting new chewers to the category. The launch of new Extra Strawberry flavour will help continue to drive this growth.”

Alison Brand, marketing director at Tangerine Confectionery, says: “Sharing formats has been a key area for Tangerine with rising sales for hanging bags and sharing formats such as Barratt I Love Sweets bag of bags. This is one of the fastest growing segments in the market, currently valued at around £31m

“We are seeing increased demand for many of our traditional sweets in bag formats, so we have redesigned and re-launched our unique Dolly Mix and Milk Bottle products, as well as introducing new strawberry Milkshakes. And due to popular consumers demand, we have reintroduced the novelty gums Milkteeth.

“We see sour variants and price-marked bags as the winning formats at present. To meet this trend we have launched £1 PMPs on Barratt bags, Lion bags, Butterkist bags, Taveners bags, Henry Goode bags and Princess bags.

“We certainly foresee that the traditional pick and mix trend will continue through 2012. Key areas to focus on are range and value. By value we mean adding value, either through merchandising or demonstrating the product value.”

Herwig Vennekens, managing director of Haribo UK, says: “Haribo has been helping to drive the growth of the gums and jellies sector, with sales increasing ahead of the total confectionery sector for the past couple of years. This clearly shows a trend towards softer eating treats and is evidence of an increasing number of consumers enjoying gums and jellies as a fun and tasty treat.

“Themed gums and jellies support seasonal sales in the run up to and during key occasions.

“We are finding that consumers are beginning their seasonal purchases early, starting with self-purchase themed handy packs and single serve options, before progressing to larger purchases that help them to mark or celebrate a specific occasion.”


WHOLESALER’S COMMENT

Own label confectionery is definitely making its mark on the category at the moment. Branded prices have taken a hike and this had left retailers with much tighter margins. Stocking a selection of own label confectionery helps retailers to boost their overall margin while offering their customers something that is different and good value.

The growth of pick and mix sweets has continued throughout 2011 and we fully expect this to be the case going forward as shoppers look to an affordable treat. Retro favourites remain strong as people enjoy remembering better times and childhood treats!

It is increasingly difficulty to sell single branded countlines given the heavy discounting of branded multipacks in other outlets. Retailers have seen price increases, margin reductions and heavy competition from larger stores.

What we look for from suppliers is support specifically for the independent sector in terms of unique product offerings, competitive pricing and promotions.


buyer’s comment

Value for money is the overriding focus currently across the confectionery sector, indeed across all the sectors that we are in. We are constantly engaged in working with brandholders to get the cash profit balance right, and our QuidzIn promotional initiative reflects this very well. This offers big brand deals priced at only £1 to the consumer and it is proving very successful. In this market we have to take a joint approach with our major brand holders using the business plans that reflect the current situation and the high quality of our relationships. We then need to use these to ensure our wholesalers continue to make their retail customers aware of all the opportunities that are available to them from Sugro.

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