Hitting the sweet spot!
Recording sales of €204 million in 2016 – an impressive 3% increase in current value terms – Euromonitor reports that despite an increasing awareness of health and wellness trends and the role sugar plays in the diet of consumers, sales within sugar confectionery continue to increase. Below, we highlight the key players which are driving category growth
18 April 2017
The sugar confectionery segment – which consists of boiled sweets, jellies, toffees, mints and more – is performing well and experiencing growth*. In Ireland, the segment increased by 3% in 2016, with sales of €204m predicted to increase to €216m by 2021. The share between brands was in constant shift between established household names and competitive newcomers, and that is expected to continue as new manufacturers enter the fray.
Meanwhile, Ireland’s chewing gum market is also doing well, with a 5% growth and €70m sales recorded in 2016**. Sugar-free gum has been driving sales in recent years, including a 2% volume increase in the same year. However, by contrast, flavoured gum and bubble gum have seen a decline.
*(Source: Euromonitor – Sugar Confectionery in Ireland, August 2016)
**(Source: Euromonitor – Gum in Ireland, August 2016)
Ampersand has been distributing the Love Sweets brand since taking over the distribution from JFC Distribution last July. Love Sweets is a range of €1 and €2 premium, quality-bagged confectionery offering high margins to retailers and a superior sweet offering to consumers. The Love Sweets range is sourced from quality manufacturers within the EU to ensure that that only the highest quality sweets are available across the range and to ensure consumer satisfaction and repeat purchases in-store.
The Love Sweets range consists of €1 and €2 hanging bags and a €2 mix-up.
- €1 hanging bag: This range consists of 16 top selling confectionery lines that include sour, jelly and fizzy sweets with a €1 price-point. Each €1 bag is packed in bright and colourfully packaged 100g size bags that stand out in-store and are the perfect size for a treat.
- €2 hanging bag: A range of the old time favourite classics for adults. This range of premium quality sweets in 16 different variants has vibrant candy store packaging and offers a great €2 price to consumers and high margins to retailers.
- €2 mix-up: A range of sweets that both adults and children can enjoy. This product is a pre-packed range made up of a mix of the most popular sweets retailing at €2. This range is also packaged professionally in Love Sweets branded packs with nutritional and allergen information.
Ampersand has a selection of branded stands and dump bins to merchandise each of the ranges in-store and drive impulse sales. The stands when merchandised in-store are striking, creating huge impact and Ampersand is confident they will drive sales and footfall into the store as consumers purchase across the Love Sweets range.
Since Ampersand took over the distribution of the brand last year it has grown the brand and nationwide distribution of Love Sweets throughout the convenience sector through the various retail groups. Ampersand is long-established as a key distributor in the Irish convenience sector and its sales force provides direct sales and merchandising services to over 3,000 FMCG customers nationwide.
Pots of benefits of new format
This March Nestlé Confectionery’s much-loved mint brand Polo is launching a new format. Polo Pots are recyclable plastic pots each containing 44 mints and available in three best-selling varieties: Original, Sugar Free and Sugar Free Extra Strong.
Stock of Polo Pots has been available since 20 March and each pot has an RRP of €2.19.*
The pots have clear benefits for consumers and retailers alike. They are easy to open and close and keep the product protected inside. They also offer convenience for consumers
on-the-go as they fit nicely in a car holder, or are handy to keep on a desktop. For retailers, they are able to offer consumers who are willing to trade up the opportunity to do so.
This new launch comes on the back of a successful 2016 for Polo. Originally launched in 1948, the brand benefited last year from a full brand redesign which enhanced its standout on-shelf and also highlighted the iconic shape of the Polo sweet that consumers love.
According to a Nestlé UK and Ireland spokesperson: “The new recyclable Polo Pots will offer consumers the chance to buy our iconic Polo mint brand in packaging which is both convenient – especially ideal for on-the-go – and ensures the quality of the product inside is of the highest standard. The bigger pack size also provides retailers with the opportunity to trade consumers up thus generating incremental sales value.”
*(Pricing is at the sole discretion of the retailer).
Fastest growing manufacturer
Key brands within the Swizzels portfolio include: Love Hearts; Drumstick lollies; Fruity Pop; Refresher; Rainbow Drops; Double Lolly; Squashies; Bumper Bag; Lots of Lollies; and Chew Crew.
Swizzels is the fastest growing sugar confectionery manufacturer in the UK. Gums and jellies is the largest category within kids’ sugar confectionery, accounting for over half the category’s sales*. The Squashies range has seen 50% growth year-on-year, making it the fastest growing sugar confectionery brand. Swizzels has extended this popular range with the launch of new Drumstick Sour Cherry and Apple and Drumstick Bubblegum variants. Squashies are available in a variety of formats to cater for all occasions.
The bon bons category has experienced consistent double digit growth, and this is driven almost exclusively by Swizzels, which in the last year became the number one manufacturer of branded bon bons. Swizzels Drumstick and Refreshers Bon Bons are now the fastest growing bon bons brand on the market. The eye-catching graphics mean the packs have strong shelf impact and consumers will quickly recognise the products they love.
Swizzels is also relaunching its Drumstick and Refresher individually wrapped stick-pack chews with a new softer recipe, suitable for vegetarians and vegans. The bold new packaging and well-loved flavours will be sure to attract consumers of
The Drumstick brand will celebrate its 60th birthday during 2017. Sales of the total Drumstick range have more than doubled in the last two years*. Swizzels has introduced product extensions including the new 20c Drumstick Bubblegum lolly. Like all Swizzels confectionery, the Bubblegum flavour Drumsticks do not contain any artificial colouring. A Mega Drumstick Bubblegum lolly is also available, RRP 35c.
Retailers should keep abreast of trends, for example ensuring a good range of hanging bag and price-marked products. Attention should be paid to best-selling products and additional facing space given to those brands. Squashies Drumstick is now the fastest growing sugar confectionery brand on the market, growing 50% year-on-year*, and holds a higher rate of sale than many of the most widely distributed bagged sugar brands.
*(Source: IRI Total Marketplace data 52 weeks to 01.01.17)
For retailers, confectionery is a segment that sees peaks and troughs through the year – Easter, Halloween, and so on. However, it is a consistently popular segment, as snacking habits drive footfall and impulse purchases simultaneously. Bord Bia reports that the average person snacks 2.5 times per day, while 21% of these snacks are confectionery products*.
With numbers like these, it is vital for retailers to stock a wide range of confectionery, and for manufacturers to constantly innovate. Brand loyalty is low among confectionery, and in-store displays and promotions are often key drivers in decision making.
With this in mind, Tubs Sweets puts a strong focus on innovation in its new product development, and strives to stand out in its flavours and varieties as well as its packaging. Both of these combined offer consumers sufficient options for snacking and indulgence during key periods, and also give retailers the variety to drive sales and make margins year-round.
Tubs Sweets has had a very active and exciting past number of months, with a bright future on the horizon too.
The past year has seen enormous activity in Tubs Sweets, the Irish confectionery business owned by HR Foods alongside brands such as Mrs Crimble’s Gluten Free Bakery, Bewleys Tea & Coffee and Scotbar Cooking Chocolate.
Operations manager David Delamere is responsible for sourcing the sweets that are packed into Tubs. Keeping the range relevant and fresh is a constant challenge. Tubs Sweets has a range of about 30 different lines, from the hugely popular Raspberry Bonbons to traditional favourites such as Dolly Mixtures and Clove Rock. Delamere is constantly seeking out new flavours and concepts to add to the range, while he and the production team, led by Evelyn Tan, pack off up to 55,000 units per week.
As a brand, Tubs Sweets is highly recognisable from its hundreds of Tubs stands in place across the country. The brand has recently had a small refresh, with the lid artwork being updated slightly through the last three months of 2016. A more detailed brand refresh is planned for the first half of 2017.
Tubs Sweets has a strong link with the Make a Wish Foundation, making a contribution the foundation for every tub sold. Tubs Sweets is also active on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
*(Source: Bord Bia, Snacking in Ireland and UK, 2014)