Category Focus: Sweet Freedom!

For sugar confectionery brands, nostalgia combined with innovation is the way forward
For sugar confectionery brands, nostalgia combined with innovation is the way forward

Irish consumers may be more determined than ever to make healthy choices in all areas, but whether it’s a school treat, family occasion or simple indulgence, sugar confectionery will always have a place. For producers, the key to success is a combination of NPD and long-standing favourites


Brand Central

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15 April 2019

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The renewed focus among consumers – especially in the family segment – on healthy options is commendable, with a host of long-term effects, the importance of which cannot be overstated. At the same time, it is equally important, in social terms if nothing else, that indulgences still form a part of that balanced diet.

Whether it’s a post-lunch treat, something for the school lunchbox or a quick snack on-thego, a sweet treat can brighten up the day through a combination of flavour, fun and nostalgia.

Strong sales in the segment reflect an enduring enthusiasm, with sales topping €206m in 2017*. Sales in the segment are closely tied with impulse purchases, meaning NPD, inventive, eyecatching packaging and innovative flavours are vital. Read on to see what this coming spring and summer have in store in this area.

*(Source: Sugar confectionery in Ireland, August 2017 Euromonitor)

Minty fresh

The mint and gum category continues to see increased consumer demand for a range of fruit flavours, which is a trend that has developed over the past few years. Ferrero’s Tic Tac Lime & Orange and Strawberry Fields reflect that demand, delivering insight-driven NPD which ensures retailers have a comprehensive offering for shoppers. Tic Tac Lime & Orange is well-established in the market and growing, with value sales up by +63%.

The Cherry Cola variant is also growing at an exceptional rate in Ireland, up +57%, showing that retailers can capitalise on the trend towards fruit flavours. There has also been an increase in demand for stronger mint flavours, now the thirdbiggest flavour profile in the category. Fresh Mint product sales are up by +61%, with the new Intense Mint Tic Tac fitting the demand for stronger mint flavours perfectly.

The extra-strong flavour in Tic Tac Intense Mint differentiates it from the Fresh Mint product, while also capitalising on the number one requirement of shoppers in this category: refreshment. Its bold blue colour also helps the product to stand out on-shelf, making it an eyecatching option for impulse purchases in-store.

Intense Mint forms part of a multi-channel campaign, worth €77k in Ireland and launching ‘Mr Tic Tac’ across video-ondemand platforms and digital channels. The introduction of Tic Tac’s ‘Open Up’ campaign had an immediate impact on sales, driving the growth of the brand to the tune of a +47% volume uplift on the core range, growing Tic Tac’s overall share of the pocket confectionery market by +4.5%.



Success story

Pez – the Story so far (click image to enlarge)

Founded in Austria in 1927, Pez is one of the world’s oldest and most recognisable sweet brands, . Distribution of Pez in Ireland, with its iconic dispensers, was taken over recently by leading confectionery and snacking specialists Shelton Distributors. Click the image to learn about the brand’s journey over the past century.

Peter Hempel of Pez international GMBh said Pez looks forward to working with Shelton Distributors, whose existing portfolio matches its latest addition perfectly. Meanwhile, Shay Barber, sales director with Shelton Distributors, took the time to outline the new mission at hand in promoting and distributing Pez for the rest of 2019 and beyond.

Q: As the Pez campaign kicks off, what is the main message the brand wishes to convey to consumers and retailers alike?

A: Pez is a globally trusted, and fun brand, linked with quality contemporary licensed and fashionable children’s characters.

Q: How has the brand progressed since it was founded to now?

A: As our company timeline shows, since our foundation in 1927 and creation of the first dispenser in 1950, we have grown significantly to our present-day integration of licensed products and presence in more than 80 international markets.

Q: What does the future hold for Pez, in terms of NPD and marketing, are there any initiatives planned for the rest of the year?

A: Pez is an iconic brand, and has “grown up” with equally iconic figures in the worlds of art, fashion, music and movies. NPD will include limited edition collectibles, “surprise” lines, and seasonal gifting items. Pez Play is a special innovation, bringing Pez into the digital world, with six unique games which can be downloaded for free from the App Store. The games are unlocked by scanning a Pez candy barcode. Trade marketing
support provides bespoke, fun in-store POS stands and fixtures.

Q: What tips or preferences does Pez recommend to retailers to boost sales?

A: Pez recommends monitoring movie, TV and other media trends, and planning ahead to offer specific characters timed with major media launches. Pokémon, Pets 2, Hello kitty and Toy Story 4 will feature this season, while LOL Surprise and Angry Birds will launch in Q3, and Q4 will have three particularly strong campaigns: Peppa Pig, Paw Patrol and possibly the biggest release of 2019, Frozen 2 in November.

Sweet updates

Just in time for Easter, Ampersand is delighted to bring news of some updates to its popular Sonas Sweets confectionery range. The best-selling SKU in the
range, the Sonas Sweets €2 Mix-Up has been mixed-up some more with the addition of a wider and varied selection of fun and colourful sweets and jellies. There are now more soft, sugar and sour jellies along with an exciting range of unusual, funny sweets for children and classic favourites for adults added to the mix. The updated range is bright, colourful and attractive, and compliments the colourful Sonas Sweets branded bag. The Sonas Sweets Mix-Ups range has been carefully selected to ensure quality in the offering and a bag of treats that will have something for everyone.

The Mix-Up will also be constantly changing to keep things fresh and exciting for consumers. Sonas Sweets adheres to the highest standards of food safety, and compliance with legislation is assured for retailers and consumers alike. Sonas Sweets Mix-Ups are all hand-packed in re-sealable double laminate bags, which are fully compliant with traceability and best-before dates. You won’t find a better bag of sweets on the market!

To drive sales of Mix-Ups in-store, Ampersand has supporting POS in the form of dump bins and bright A3 laminated posters which highlight the colourful Sonas Sweet branding and the magic €2 pricepoint for these tasty treats.

There have also been some new lines added to the Sonas Sweets €1 hanging bag range, including Sonas Sweets Milk Teeth. The milk teeth selected were chosen from a range of different milk teeth offerings and are of the finest quality, dusted and delicious in strawberry and vanilla flavour.

Sonas Sweets new Super Sour Mix was also added to the €1 bag range for those who love the tangy combination of sweet and tart, and like to chase the powerful punch of a sour sweet. Sonas Sweets Super Sour Mix is deliciously mouth-watering and is a must-try for a taste explosion experience!

Ampersand has plans in place to further extend the Sonas Sweets range with some more exciting new lines coming down the line soon…watch this space for updates. To inquire about stocking Sonas Sweets or any of the new lines, get in touch with Ampersand on 01 413 0150 or email, or make contact via the website at



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