Sweet success

The pound;1.1bn ice cream market is driven by a high level of new product development with ice cream versions of popular confectionery featuring very heavily in the retail sector. Masterfoods now has ice creams based on its own Mars, Snickers, Maltesers, Galaxy and Bounty, while Fredericks Dairies and Richmond Ice Cream have licensing agreements with Cadbury and Nestlé respectively.

Richmond Ice Cream is the UK’s largest volume manufacturer of ice cream. It is the main supplier of own label ice cream to the multiples, but also has a large branded business through licensing agreements with Nestlé and Ribena’s brand owner GlaxoSmithKline.

Richmond is kicking off the 2006 season with a combination of new products and promotions designed to create maximum excitement and drive sales in the wholesale sector.

“This year we have two new initiatives to help us boost sales,” says Martin Williams, field sales manager for Richmond’s wholesale division. “There is the Magnificent 7, an exciting collection of new products and proven best sellers, and our Nestlé confectionery Huge Value promotion which has proved a storming success in the multiples.”

The new products in the Magnificent 7 are a Smarties cone which builds on the success of the Smarties Pop Up – the best selling kids’ ice cream in, and an After Eight stick.

The other products in the Magnificent 7 are: the Fab lolly; Mr Men Milkies and Fruities; Ribena Ice, which will have new packaging for 2006; Rolo bar, and Rowntrees Fruit Pastille lolly.

Richmond’s pound;1 Huge Value promotional campaign launched last October helped Nestlé achieve its highest ever share of the individual ice cream sector – after just three months its share jumped from 1.4% to 8%.

The campaign features Rolo and After Eight ice cream sticks and cones, Smarties cones and Rolo, Yorkie and Toffee Crisp bars. There are 4x100ml cones, 3x100ml sticks and 4x60ml bars in the pound;1 flash-marked packs.

Building on this success, Richmond is launching a similar pound;2 Huge Value promotion with twice as many products in each pack.

Richmond says its Treats value range is another popular choice with wholesalers. For 2006 the Festival range has a new toffee limited edition while other products include Refresher Lollies, Strawberry Splits, 5-Ice and Berrypop.

Richmond tub products available in the sector include Napoli five litre tubs of scooping ice cream available in seven flavours and De Roma two and four litre tubs.

“I believe the combination of the Magnificent 7, the Huge Value Nestlé promotion, Treats value and quality and the tub products will help operators in the wholesale sector enjoy a successful selling season,” adds Williams.

A new sales force and refreshed POS will be backing Masterfoods’ ice cream range this year, which also features a new product in the Starburst range.

To help independent retailers maximise ice cream sales, the new team will be calling on 23,000 independent stores over a 12-week period.

In addition there will be new POS, with a new parasol icon communicating all the brands in Masterfoods’ ice cream portfolio. Mars branded freezers with free ice cream are also on offer.

The new launch in the impulse sector is Starburst lemon and lime, and is aimed at the adult refreshment market.

The ice cream range will also be backed with a pound;3.6m package including a targeted regional campaign and national sampling.

Andrea Taylor, Masterfoods trade relations manager, comments: “We are offering increased support for independent retailers with a dynamic field sales team ready to help with category expertise and enhanced POS to help maximise ice cream sales. With a combination of our new Starburst product, increased commitment to our leading brands and a close partnership with the impulse trade we are looking forward to a successful 2006.”

Fredericks Dairies, the UK’s number two branded ice cream manufacturer, has strengthened its Cadbury and Del Monte portfolio in the impulse sector with four new products, and says the range will benefit from a targeted trade and consumer PR campaign throughout 2006.

A new Cadbury Flake 99 Mint cone, exclusive to the impulse sector, will join the Cadbury Flake 99 cone range, and there will be a new Cadbury Crunchie Blast stick with popping candy encased in the Cadbury Dairy Milk coating.

Fredericks Del Monte Strawberry Fruit Double has achieved sales of pound;1.3m in its first year and, says the company, will continue to meet consumer demand for a healthy ice refreshment, which is a currently undeveloped area at the quality end of the sector. The premium quality strawberry product (49% fruit) and an impulse version of the high fruit content kid’s product, Fruitini (RSP: 80p), will join the well established Del Monte ices range, which achieved total sales of pound;6.3m last year.

Frank Frederick, Fredericks Dairies managing director says: “The launch of the new impulse range extensions demonstrates our commitment to providing new and innovative flavours to appeal to the consumer and maximise profit opportunities for retailers. We are excited by the success of both the Cadbury and Del Monte ranges and are confident that the range will inject excitement into the freezer and bring new consumers to the category to drive incremental sales. The recent additions display our commitment, enthusiasm and drive for innovation.”

The one leading manufacturer which does not have confectionery brands to call on is Unilever Ice Cream Frozen Food, but it too is introducing a raft of activity in 2006 with innovation on Wall’s Cornetto and the Wall’s Kids range, and it will focus its out of home activity on its Magnum brand.

The new products will be supported with a pound;6.5m support package, which includes new TV advertising campaigns for Wall’s Cornetto and Wall’s Soft Scoop.

Wall’s Cornetto Caramel is new for summer 2006 and will be available in a six-pack in-home and impulse wrap out of home. The Cornetto range will be supported with new TV, radio and cinema advertising breaking in May.

Wall’s will also be introducing a kids nutrition promise across all its multi-packs. The promise will help to educate parents on the nutritional contents of the range.

Mini Calippo Strawberry Tropical is new to the Wall’s Kids range and is available in six-pack and out of home single formats.

Additions to the Wall’s Kids out of home range include Spongebob Squarepants and the introduction of Ice Jet – a novelty lolly with an innovative water shooter for a lolly stick.

Anuj Lal, Wall’s business director at Unilever ICF says: “The Wall’s range appeals to a broad range of consumers. The new innovations to the Kids range will continue to inject fun and excitement into the ice cream market and drive sales.

“The launch of the Wall’s kids nutrition promise represents a significant move for us as it allows us to communicate directly to mums showing them that Wall’s cares about what their kids eat. This, combined with the massive pound;6.5m marketing spend, will enable us to cement our leading market position and drive increased category growth.”

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