Sweetness and light

While classic confectionery brands are rightfully proud of their rich (and delicious!) heritage, NPD and a tempting twist on an iconic brand remain essential to attract the Instagram generation and reinvigorate interest in the category, writes Gillian Hamill


Brand Central

17 September 2018 | 0

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Despite the growing obesity epidemic in Ireland, people cannot seem to shake their hankering for sugary treats. Societal pressures to be healthier have not stopped consumers from indulging their sweet tooth. More so than ever, people are opting for bite-sizes or sharing portions of decadent desserts as well as sugar or gluten-free alternatives, perceived as healthier. Chocolate confections, in particular, are predicted to maintain strong developments, partly due to such well established brands. While the clean eating movement may seem threatening to confectionery retailers, sellers can rest assured that even dieters indulge on cheat days and special occasions. In preparation for the upcoming holiday season, it will be especially important for retailers to focus on premium quality confections and innovative marketing tactics to stand out among the massive competition.

The new Chunky Salted Caramel Fudge KitKat delivers a sweet and salty combination that will excite consumers’ taste buds

Sweet (and salty) news

Nestlé Ireland is introducing a new flavour to join its popular KitKat Chunky range, the new KitKat Chunky Salted Caramel Fudge.

This yummy new bar is a combination of crispy wafer with a salted caramel fudge flavoured topping, covered in milk chocolate. Not only does the new KitKat taste great, it looks great too. The packaging has been inspired by a retro sweet shop design with turquoise stripes and appetising imagery to take consumers back in time to their childhood memories.

The launch forms part of the brand’s strategy to excite consumers by rotating new flavours each year. Previous limited edition variants loved by consumers included KitKat Chunky Cookie Dough and KitKat Chunky Double Caramel.

“KitKat fans love exciting new combinations and flavours from their favourite brand,” says Maria McKenna, marketing manager, Confectionery, “and with the ongoing popularity of salted caramel, we thought it was only right to bring this salty-sweet combination to KitKat Chunky. “Following the incredible success of previous KitKat Chunky flavoured variants, this year’s bar has all the credentials to be yet another smash hit,” she adds.

The KitKat Chunky Salted Caramel Fudge bar will be available in Irish stockists nationwide from this month onwards, with a RRP of €1.03.

The brand certainly has an impressive heritage. KitKat has been around for more than 80 years and continues to be hugely popular. KitKat Chunky was launched in 1999 and over the years it has been frequently innovated to deliver exciting flavours, such as Peanut Butter, Hazelnut, Coconut, Chocolate Fudge and many more.

Indulgent boxed chocolates launch

A further major innovation for 2018 from Nestlé Confectionery’s flagship brand KitKat is KitKat Senses. This new boxed chocolates launch sees KitKat move into a more indulgent, sharing format.

KitKat Senses is a box of 20 individually-wrapped, bite-size chocolates. There are three different flavours: Hazelnut, Double Chocolate and Salted Caramel. Each is the combination of tasty KitKat chocolate and wafer with either a layer of indulgent praline and crunchy pieces of hazelnut (Hazelnut), salted caramel filling infused with crunchy caramel flakes (Salted Caramel) or rich chocolate ganache and crunchy cocoa nibs (Double Chocolate). The boxes will be available in two varieties, a mixed box which contains all three flavours as well as a hazelnut only box. Both have an RRP of €5.99 and have been available since mid-March.

KitKat Senses has been designed to appeal to younger consumers who are looking for something visually inspiring to share on their Instagram feed

The launch taps into a major consumer trend which sees the number of special and shared occasions with family and friends growing. Food is very often at the heart of these occasions, with people sharing prosecco, crisps and dips, bread and olives etc. Here, there is a fantastic opportunity for confectionery to play a role. The ideal confectionery offering

should make both a great gift for the host, as well as being good to share.

Current boxed chocolates brands on the market under-index with younger shoppers as they are typically used for more traditional gifting and appeal to older shoppers. However, a younger adult audience is keen to try something new and different; something visually inspiring that looks great on the table and therefore great on their Instagram feed! This target audience wants to make sure their chocolate gift is a crowd pleaser, and are looking for products from a quality, trusted brand. They are also prepared to spend to get the right product. KitKat Senses is designed to answer each of these needs. Once popped open, each box can be turned into a sharing platter making it ideal for dipping into with friends and family.

The launch has been supported by a media campaign including new TV advertising as well as national sampling to drive trial and social media activity.

Discover a new chocolate experience

KitKat Ruby is made with Ruby chocolate, a type of chocolate created by Swiss chocolatier Barry Callebaut

Nestlé’s new version of its iconic four-finger KitKat has arrived in Ireland, available exclusively at Tesco Ireland.

Chocolate lovers rejoice; KitKat Ruby is made with a chocolate called Ruby, commonly known as the fourth type of chocolate after dark, milk and white.

KitKat Ruby offers a brand new taste experience. The crispy four-finger wafer bar is coated with Ruby chocolate, derived from Ruby cocoa beans, which has an intense berry-fruitiness taste without the addition of any flavour or colour.

Ruby chocolate was created by Swiss chocolatier Barry Callebaut which spent over a decade developing this innovative flavour, creating a fourth kind of chocolate.

Follow KitKat on Twitter/Instagram @KITKAT, or Facebook @KitKatUK.

By using cutting-edge new technology, Milkybar Wowsomes contains 30% less sugar than similar chocolate products

High tech choc a world-first

Nestlé UK and Ireland has unveiled Milkybar Wowsomes, the first chocolate bar in the world to use Nestlé’s innovative sugar reduction technique.

Nestlé researchers made a scientific breakthrough when they transformed the structure of sugar through a newly developed process using only natural ingredients. Inspired by candy floss, experts created aerated, porous particles of sugar that dissolve more quickly in the mouth. This allows someone to perceive the same level of sweetness as before while consuming less sugar.

With the help of this new technology, Milkybar Wowsomes has 30% less sugar than similar chocolate products and contains no artificial sweeteners, preservatives, colours or flavourings. Milkybar Wowsomes has milk as its number one ingredient, contains crispy oat cereal pieces, is a source of fibre and is gluten free. The range has products in a number of different sizes for different occasions and the largest-sized bars are 18g and have 95 calories each.

“It is with great pride that UK & Ireland becomes the first market in the world to use this exciting technology to create such a great tasting confectionery product,” says Stefano Agostini, Nestlé UK & Ireland CEO.

In total, over the past three years, Nestlé has removed more than 60 billion calories and 2.6 billion teaspoons of sugar from across its food and drinks portfolio.

While the new technology is the most obvious new development for the brand, this is also the first time in Milkybar’s 81-year history that it has contained both milk and white chocolate in the same bar.

The iconic Polo mint is celebrating its 70th anniversary by launching Instagram and Facebook accounts where consumers can take a look at the brand’s history

A ‘hole’ lot of history!

The UK and Ireland’s most iconic mint is celebrating its 70th anniversary. Polo, ‘the mint with the hole’ was conceived by the confectionery legend, George Harris, who was the great man behind some of Rowntree’s biggest brands in the 1930s including KitKat, Smarties, Aero, Black Magic and Dairy Box – a golden age of confectionery.

The idea for the mint was developed in the late 1930s, but due to the Second World War and sugar rationing it was shelved. However, in 1948 George Harris was determined to resurrect the idea. Before the war, he had been inspired by the US brand Life Savers (a mint with a hole designed to look like a life-saving rubber ring) and had decided to make something similar. Company legend has it that he chose the name Polo because it derived from Polar and he thought that this implied the cool freshness of mint.

For many, it is the TV and print ads from the 1980s/90s that people remember. The TV ads included the Mint with a Halo and Conveyor Belt, often with the unmistakable voice of Peter Sallis.

In 1995, Polo famously announced, on 1 April, that “in accordance with EEC Council Regulation (EC) 631/95” the brand would no longer be producing mints with holes.

This year, still in mint condition, to mark its 70th anniversary the brand has launched its Instagram and Facebook accounts where fans can find interesting facts from Polo’s history and latest news about their favourite mints. 

Bring the magic home

With a mission to create magical family moments for its shoppers, Lindt continues to ‘Bring the Magic Home’ this Christmas with lots of exciting creations to choose from. Lovingly created by the Lindt master chocolatiers, shoppers can look forward to seeing the adorable Lindt Teddy as well as a selection of new products to the Lindt range this season.

Leading the innovation this year is the delightful Lindt Snowmen. The 40g Lindt hollow figures are an ideal stocking filler and with an array of three colours – shoppers will have their choice of novelty. Also new to the range this year is the Lindt Christmas Sharing Pack 166g. Containing a selection of Lindt’s most iconic Christmas novelties, this milk chocolate selection is perfect for the party season, to share with the family or as the perfect gift for your little ones.

Fittingly, Lindt’s message to retailers this Christmas is to bring the magic home for shoppers, with the Lindt Christmas collection. The 40g Lindt Snowmen figures are an ideal stocking filler, available in three colours.

Biggest ever ‘Blissmas’ launch

Maintaining its position as the number one boxed chocolate brand, Lindt Lindor continues to outperform the market with double digit growth and a market share of 12.6%. Lindor’s success comes not only from the much loved classic Lindor Milk recipe but through continual innovations to the market, guaranteed to excite and delight your shoppers.

And this autumn sees the launch of the latest addition to the Lindor cornet range and it’s the most anticipated one yet! The same smooth melting milk recipe is offered, with the added infusion of mint. The new Lindt Lindor Mint is an ideal blend of milk chocolate and rich mint flavour, skilfully created by the Lindt master chocolatiers. A much-loved recipe among Irish consumers, Lindor Mint is set to be the biggest new launch for the Lindor brand in recent years.

And that’s not all for 2018; also launching this autumn is the new Lindor Gift Box 287g. A beautifully crafted, gift-wrapped box embellished with a red bow and containing the classic Lindor milk truffles, this ready-made gift is perfect for giving this Christmas.

As the market leaders, this Christmas Lindt will deliver a massively up-weighted national support plan behind the Lindor brand, with Lindor TV advertising returning to screens and a strong push in-store with premium point of sale and display.

With a format for every occasion, the brand recommends giving shoppers the gift of bliss this Christmas!

Lindt Lindor 200g retails at €6.99 and the Lindor Gift Box 287g retails at €12.

*(Source: AC Nielsen 52 weeks; Market Pralines – Data to 15 July 2018 – MAT)

Lindt’s Santa Grotto offers a beautifully decorated selection of favourites

Sitting in the top spot

Once again Ireland’s favourite chocolate brand, Cadbury Dairy Milk has gained the top spot in the confectionery category. Worth over €60 million and growing, the brand has almost a 20% share of the chocolate category.

Cadbury Dairy Milk holds nearly a 20% share of the chocolate category

Growth, fuelled by significant media investment, innovation and customer support, looks set to continue into 2019 and continued investment in Cadbury’s partnership with the Premier League, a three-year deal that will see the entire Cadbury portfolio benefit.

Always pushing boundaries, Cadbury Dairy Milk continues to excite consumers with award-winning campaigns, most recently with the Cadbury Dairy Milk generosity campaign celebrating its generous nature with a glass and a half in every one* spanning across digital, PR, outdoor and experiential.

The jewel in the crown is the shopper favourite Cadbury Dairy Milk plain 53g bar, manufactured in Ireland; the number one bestselling impulse SKU in the market and worth €6.5m. That’s €2.3m more than the next best seller!

Consumer focused innovation has proven a recipe for success for Cadbury Dairy Milk and this coupled with investment in exciting consumer communication and customer support means the brand is sure to feature in the top lists well into the future.

*(The equivalent of 426ml of fresh liquid milk in every 227g of milk chocolate)

**(Source: Nielsen Total Scantrack ROI excluding Dunnes and discounters 52 w/e 17.06.18)

Family-owned and fabulous

Butlers Chocolates, Ireland’s premier, family-owned chocolatier, is delighted to have been selected as this year’s chocolate partner for the National Lottery’s Hampers, Sweets and Treats scratch card game, launching in October. Butlers Chocolates are beautifully presented in a luxury red and gold gift-wrap paper with co-ordinated festive red ribbon and swing tag.

Butlers 225g Ballotin, which is the chocolate prize in the game, features a collection of 20 alcohol-free truffles and pralines and caramels in milk, dark and white chocolate, beautifully presented in a luxury red and gold gift-wrap paper with co-ordinated festive red ribbon and swing tag. Inside, the selection comprises 10 varieties of decadent chocolates including; Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel, White Chocolate Crème Vanille and Milk Chocolate Honeycomb Crisp.

The Hampers, Sweets and Treats game provides an excellent opportunity for retailers to maximise revenue from the National Lottery. Not only will retailers make a margin on the ticket, but they can also make a margin on the chocolate selection, so retailers should stock up on these Irish premium chocolates in plenty of time to make the most of the festive season ahead!

Butlers 225g Chocolate Ballotin is distributed by Richmond Marketing, with display stands and POS available on request.

Call 01 6233222 or email sales@richmondmarketing.com for more details or to place an order.

A bite of life

Mars Ireland has announced the launch of an exciting new product to Ireland’s second-largest confectionery brand, Maltesers*.

Maltesers Bites, a tasty new bitesize treat, has the same ingredients as regular Maltesers but in a fun and playful format, offering consumers a chocolate bite with the brand’s signature crunchy texture.

One of the biggest FMCG launches of 2018, Maltesers Bites will have a higher ratio of Maltesers’ signature chocolate to malt than core Maltesers. This will provide a more indulgent bitesize eating experience for consumers, while still retaining the brand’s characteristics of being deliciously crunchy.

Maltesers Bites will also help introduce a younger demographic to the Maltesers brand, with the bitesize format most popular with those aged 16-44. As part of the brand’s strategy to attract younger audiences, the Maltesers Bites launch will be backed by an incredible support package nationwide. The creatives will leverage the playfulness of Maltesers to give shoppers a new way to look on the light side!

Now available nationwide, Maltesers Bites will be supported with a full suite of complimentary point of sale to create a 360-degree shopper journey, including digital channels and outside of store advertising.

“We are extremely excited to be launching this new brand extension to Maltesers, one of Ireland’s biggest heritage brands,” says Aoife O’Hanlon, Maltesers Bites brand manager, Mars Ireland. “Maltesers Bites will reintroduce the brand to younger consumers and help drive category growth.”

*(Source: Nielsen Total Scantrack June 2018)

Fulfil your goals

The latest addition to the Fulfil range of protein bars is Chocolate Salted Caramel

Following on from the successful launch of Chocolate Hazelnut Whip earlier this year, Fulfil continues to innovate the protein category with new tasty bars bringing the range up to 13 with the latest addition, Chocolate Salted Caramel. This new flavour is the definition of indulgence – wrapped in smooth milk chocolate surrounding a soft salted caramel centre and topped with crunchy crispies, whilst still maintaining the positive credentials of 20g protein, less than 3g sugar and nine vitamins, in each bar.

Chocolate Salted Caramel was developed via feedback from consumers online and through flavour labs, once more upholding Fulfil’s reputation of keeping consumers at the very heart of its innovation process. Fulfil remains Ireland’s number one protein bar with 76% market share*. Chocolate Salted Caramel is now available nationwide.

See more on Instagram.com/fulfil_nutrition and Facebook.com/FulfilNutrition.

*(Source: Nielsen Scantrack Data Jul 2018)

Iconic Irish 2018 re-launch

Cleeve’s confectionery, the much loved and well-known Irish brand returned to the shelves in 2018 after 30 years. Best known for slab toffee which was produced in Limerick from the late 1800s, the product was exported all over the world and is fondly remembered as being an integral part of Ireland’s confectionery industry for most of the 20th century.

With a Willy Wonka likeness and retro feel, Cleeve’s Confectionery offers a range of hanging bags and bars

Now in 2018, the new confectionery line features a range of hanging bags and bars.

Hanging bags

Original Toffee pieces return as a hanging bag, as well as Original Chocolate Caramels, Original Fudge, Lucky Numbers assortment and Original Iced Caramels (all hanging bags: RRP €2).

The Iced Caramels sweet is a unique product, produced only in Ireland by Cleeve’s which is now located in Newbridge, Co. Kildare. Iced Caramels’ complicated manufacturing process has been practised by Cleeve’s since 1990. Prior to this it was produced by Clarnico Murray who subsequently sold to Cadburys and since 1990, the Cleeve’s factory has produced Iced Caramels under the Clarnico brand for Cadbury, then since 2007 under the Lemon’s brand and now in 2018 under its own Cleeve’s brand.


The range of bars includes Original Macaroon (RRP €1), Sea Salt Caramel Crisp (RRP €1) and Choffo (RRP €0.80) and new to the range is Mint Crisp (RRP €1) which hit the shelves in August.

The Cleeve’s branding gives a nod to its vintage roots; the logo very similar to the original from 120 years ago. The bright colours of the hanging bags pop, they can be placed on hooks or are shelf-ready in their box. The bars have a Willy Wonka likeness to them and a retro look to appeal to all ages.

All of Cleeve’s products are produced in Newbridge and carry the Guaranteed Irish logo to reflect that they are manufactured in Ireland, something of a rarity in the confectionery industry these days.

Cleeve’s is exclusively distributed by Ampersand, an FMCG distributor based on the Naas Road. Ampersand is an expert in the convenience sector and has steadily extended its snacking and confectionery portfolio in the last five years.

Cleeve’s is definitely a brand to re-live nostalgic memories with the older generations, and to create new memories with the younger ones.

If you are interested in stocking Cleeve’s, call the Ampersand sales line on 01-4130100 or email info@ampersandsales.ie.

Creating smiles

€2 mix-up bags and €1 hanging bags are both available within the Sonas Sweets range

The word Sonas comes from the Irish word meaning happiness, which is fitting as the brand reckons its confectionery range is sure to create smiles!

Sonas Sweets have been developed and distributed by Ampersand which has been working within the confectionery area for the last few years. 2018 saw Ampersand create its own brand of sweets, after seeing the demand in Ireland. The company wanted to produce a quality range that was fully compliant, with vibrant packaging, and that gives a nod to its Irish heritage.

The Sonas Sweets range includes €2 mix-up bags and €1 hanging bags with 17 different varieties. The sweets are all of the favourites including jellies, sour sweets, bonbons and liquorice pencils.

The 100g hanging bags are a perfect treat-sized portion priced at €1. The 230g mix-up bags are great for sharing and on-the-go convenience, ideal for school bags or car journeys and as the bags can be resealed it means they don’t have to be eaten in one sitting. They are hand-packed in Ireland, with a re-sealable tab using a double laminate bag which ensures no bag rips. All Sonas Sweets products are fully traceable and compliant with EU regulations.

To stock Sonas Sweets, contact Ampersand on 01-4130100 or info@ampersandsales.ie.

Swizzels’ classic inventions remain hugely popular

Standing the test of time

British sweet manufacturer Swizzels celebrates its 90th anniversary this year. The ingenious sweet inventors have been producing sweets since 1928 with some of the company’s earliest creations still being enjoyed today, along with a whole host of new inventions.

‘‘Swizzels is proud to be the UK’s fastest growing sugar confectionery manufacturer,” says Jeremy Dee, managing director of Swizzels, “and the largest independent family-owned sugar confectionery business in the UK*.”

Swizzels’ classic inventions have stood the test of time and continue to appeal to lifelong fans as well as new generations. Fizzers, first launched in the 1930s, together with Love Hearts, Refreshers and Parma Violets have been in production for decades and remain hugely popular. Love Hearts messaging has evolved through the years to reflect the changing language of love; the most recent addition being emoji Love Hearts, which were introduced into packs last year to broaden and increase appeal to younger audiences.

While these iconic, retro brands have remained largely traditional both in recipe and packaging, the ongoing popularity of Drumstick – first launched as a lolly in 1957 – was, in part, the inspiration behind one of Swizzels’ most successful modern creations: Squashies. Launched in 2012, Squashies is now Swizzels’ bestselling range, worth £39m and in +27% growth year-on-year*. Perfect for sharing, the range sees the classic and much-loved Drumstick and Refreshers sweets transformed into softer foam gum versions. In 2018, Squashies has grown to become the third bestselling sugar confectionery brand in the UK and is currently selling at a rate of one bag every second*.

With these big brands in high demand, Fizzers, Refreshers, Love Hearts, Parma Violets and Drumstick all feature in Swizzels’ best-loved variety ranges, including Loadsa. The Loadsa Sweets, LoadsaLollies and Loadsa Chews packs are ideal for sharing occasions – particularly trick or treating at Halloween. The non-themed packaging is also great for all-year-round sales.’’

*(Source: IRI Total Marketplace data, defined sugar confectionery, 52 weeks to 15.07.18)

Lily O’Brien’s Winter Deserts Collection (€10) of festive flavours comes in new elegantly designed, navy and metallic rose-gold packaging

Share bag, the delicious dilemma

The latest chapter of the Lily O’Brien’s story introduces an innovative brand look and feel, with its new brand platform; ‘Share Wisely’. The new positioning for the brand plays on the delicious dilemma consumers face with chocolate, between spoiling others and treating ourselves. Lily O’Brien’s chocolates are great shared, and great kept all to yourself. It can be a tough decision, but it’s up to you to make the call.

The Share Wisely campaign will be brought to life in a full above-the-line (ATL) marketing campaign launching this month across the UK and Ireland. The campaign will introduce the Share Wisely dilemma to consumers through digital, social, experiential, sponsorship, print and PR.

Coinciding with the launch of Lily O’Brien’s Share Wisely platform is an all-new range of mouth-watering re-sealable luxury Share Bags (€2.99), which are almost too good to share. Created for the ‘treating’ market, the Share Bags include unique new recipes including Mega Milk, 70% Dark Belgian and Crunchy Almond added to the existing Creamy Caramels with Sea Salt.

Lily O’Brien’s Share Bags include unique new recipes including Mega Milk, 70% Dark Belgian and Crunchy Almond added to the existing Creamy Caramels with Sea Salt

Ahead of Christmas, Lily O’Brien’s has introduced an all-new decadent Winter Deserts Collection (€10) of festive flavours, including Winter Berry Eton Mess, Apple Pie Crunch, Triple Chocolate Shot and Spiced Latte, all wrapped up in new elegantly designed, navy and metallic rose-gold packaging.

Also available are crowd favourites, the tasty Festive Treats House (€10), Festive Créme Brulee Tower (€5) and the Winter Wonderland Chocolate Collection (€15). Available in-store and online at lilyobriens.ie.

Developed in 1992 as the brainchild of Mary Ann O’Brien, Lily O’Brien’s has now become an award winning, firm favourite in homes across Ireland and indeed further afield. Recent award short-listings include; Blas na hÉireann Irish Food Awards and the Irish Quality Food Awards 2018.


 Haribo Supermix jelly and foam sweets now include lemon meringue and peach flavoured little jelly men

Bursting with fruity flavour, Fruitilicious offers 30% less sugar with the same great taste


More choice for consumers

Haribo and Maoam have become firm family favourites over recent years, with a core range of products that include Starmix, Tangfastics, Supermix and Giant Strawbs, Maoam Stripes, Pinballs and Joystixx.

While these core ranges continue to appeal to those that prefer to purchase from brands they know and trust, key trends for 2018 have shown that choice, sugar-reduced and soft-to-eat treats will be innovations that are expected from manufacturers in the next 12 months.

Providing a range of pack formats to meet with the growing number of shopper missions, Haribo has smaller sized packs along with a variety of portion-controlled options.

This approach has proven to be highly successful and is why the brand continues to put the spotlight on mini bags in its ‘Little Bags of Happy’ TV campaign, which was on air from January to March and July to September.

Following extensive research and kick-starting the line-up of new products from Haribo for 2018 was Fruitilicious. A treat bursting with fruity flavour, Fruitilicious offers 30% less sugar and delivers the same great taste that consumers have come to love and expect from the brand.

Haribo has also updated its popular Supermix product to offer a new mix, focussing on four iconic shapes available in more vibrant colours and creamier flavours.

Appealing to consumers that prefer Haribo’s mix of soft to eat treats, Supermix will now offer lemon meringue and peach flavoured little jelly men, with vanilla also featuring in the sheep and ice cream sweet pieces. These jelly and foam treats will also be available in popular flavours; raspberry, blackcurrant and apple, in vibrant pink, purple and green colours.

This tasty mix is supported with a new, impactful and eye-catching bag design, providing greater shelf appeal whilst reiterating the new mix through an on-pack flash.

Innovation is certainly a key focus for the brand, with further exciting announcements planned throughout the year. For further details about both brands, visit www.haribo.co.uk

Thorntons Pearls are a new luxurious premium option in the boxed chocolate category, available in two flavours, Salted Caramel and Nutty Crunch

Sparkling sales across portfolio

Ferrero will be launching an array of new products across its brands this Christmas, including novelties, figures and advent calendars, which will be supported by a multi-channel campaign worth €256,000.

“Ferrero had a successful Christmas in 2017, our sales of boxed chocolate in Ireland alone amounted to €3.2m*,” says Levi Boorer, customer development director at Ferrero. “It is important as a leading confectionery manufacturer to offer retailers products and ranges that help them to cater for the different types of festive shopping needs. Whether it’s to gift, to share or simply to treat and enjoy with loved ones, we know shoppers love Ferrero products and that they are a staple at Christmas.

“However, before going into Christmas plans, we are thrilled to share the news of our new all-year round product for Thorntons,” he adds. “We are particularly excited as this NPD range will expand the Thorntons’ footprint into the sharing category, bolstering its heartland in gifting.”

This September, Thorntons is introducing new Thorntons Pearls, a luxurious premium option in the boxed chocolate category.

Expertly refined with Thorntons chocolate-making craftsmanship, the first bite through the delicate chocolate shell unveils one of two tempting flavours, Salted Caramel or Nutty Crunch (both 167g with an MRSP of €6.00).

  • Salted Caramel: Delicately flavoured with a hint of sea salt, this rich and gooey caramel centre is sure to provide a real taste of opulence with each mouthful.
  • Nutty Crunch: Made with the finest quality roasted hazelnuts and elegantly enriched with crispy wafer pieces, every bite of this decadent praline centre delivers pure luxury.

Aimed at younger consumers of boxed chocolate (with a sweet spot of 25-34 year old women), the Thorntons Pearls range is perfect for the sharing occasion, which is worth €21m**. The premium part of the sharing occasion sector is growing even faster, making Thorntons Pearls the perfect indulgence.

“65% of consumers told us they would buy Thorntons Pearls in addition to their current repertoire and 91% stated that Pearls are good for sharing***,” Boorer adds. Thorntons Pearls will be supported by PR and social to drive trial and engagement.

*(Source: Nielsen 17 weeks to 31.12.17)

**(Source: Nielsen, 52 weeks to 17.7.18 twist wraps)

***(Source: MMR Research, 200 respondents – Thorntons Pearls – September 2017)

Adult seasonal confectionery

The Thorntons Seasonal Collection Boxes will feature a new design for Christmas 2018

The festive period is regularly a successful one for Ferrero, and last year was no different. Christmas 2017 saw Ferrero’s entire seasonal portfolio grow to be worth €3m, with Kinder Surprise 100g the largest seasonal SKU*.

Ferrero Rocher T24 remains the number four all-year round boxed SKU across the total market**, while Ferrero Novelties also proved to be popular in 2017, with the Grand Ferrero Rocher 125g becoming the eighth biggest SKU in the novelties category***.

Ferrero Rocher T24 remains the number four all-year round boxed SKU across the total market

Raffaello’s support will continue to focus on highlighting the sweet, smooth and nutty flavours of the product through digital, social and sampling.

Thorntons has a strong affiliation with shoppers over the seasonal period, which can be greatly attributed to a strong performance from figures and advent calendars. Continuing to drive growth, the brand is also innovating its seasonal portfolio, to drive relevancy for shoppers.

As shoppers continue to look for new and seasonally relevant products from brands they know and trust, Thorntons is introducing a new figure to its novelties line-up. Joining the popular Jolly Reindeer figure (200g) and The Snowman figure (60g and 200g) is the new Cheeky Elf, carefully crafted to capture the intricate detail that goes into every product. According to research, 80% of shoppers agree that the Thorntons Cheeky Elf stands out from other chocolate figures****.

Thorntons is innovating its seasonal portfolio, to drive relevancy for shoppers

Research shows 80% of shoppers agree that the Thorntons Cheeky Elf stands out from other chocolate figures

To add further buzz and excitement, Thorntons will run an on-pack promotion across the Cheeky Elf 200g packs, offering shoppers the chance to win a magical trip to Lapland. To be in with a chance of winning, entrants must purchase a Thorntons Cheeky Elf and share a picture of it in a hiding place using #ThorntonsElf.

Thorntons is also introducing packaging redesigns across the Continental range, including Continental Dark, to hero the variety of premium, handcrafted chocolates within.

The Thorntons Christmas Selection Boxes will also feature a new design for Christmas 2018. The much-loved boxed chocolates will include limited edition flavours, among popular favourites such as the chocolate star and solid-chocolate Thorntons Christmas tree.

The Thorntons Seasonal Collection Boxes – Thorntons Snowflake and Snowball Collection, Thorntons Marzipan Collection and Thorntons Star Collection – will feature a new design for Christmas 2018. The Thorntons Star Collection will also include four new chocolates: a Milk Salted Fudge Star, a Dark Chocolate Truffle Star, a Milk Roast Almond and Hazelnut Star and a White Gingerbread Star.

*(Source: Nielsen 17 weeks to 31.12.17)

**(Source: Nielsen, Boxed Chocolate, Total Coverage, MAT WE 30.06.18)

***(Source: Nielson, Total Coverage, Sales £, Christmas 2017 vs YA: 18 Weeks to 30.12.17)

****(Source: Onems research, 300 respondents – Chocolate figures study – August 2017)

Kinder is the number two kids chocolate all-year round line

Something for the entire family

As the number two kids chocolate all-year round (AYR) line*, Kinder is also adding new Kinder Surprise hollow figures. The new 36g figures will join Kinder’s existing range of novelties, including the Surprise Santa Figure, which will feature a new Surprise toy to drive seasonal relevancy.

“Childhood is magical in so many ways and the excitement grows during festive occasions when imaginations run wild,” Boorer continues. “Kinder is there to bring this wonder to life and to make those shared moments more memorable.”

Following sales of Kinder Joy, which grew by +3.7% last Christmas**, the spoonable favourite will return this Christmas with new collectable winter eggs. Available in three colours and four different designs, the range will include eight seasonally relevant toys, perfect for hanging on the Christmas tree.

Keeping on top of consumer trends, Kinder is also adding another character to its Fluffy Toy range with the launch of the Kinder Unicorn. With 61% of parents finding the toy relevant for Christmas***, the Unicorn will join the Polar Bear and Reindeer, to create a three-strong range.

*(Source: Nielsen MAT 15.07.18)

**(Source: Nielsen 18 weeks to 31.12.17)

***(Source: Toluna Omnibus – Nov 2017 – N=600 Mums (kids 3-12, kids confectionery. buyers); n=150 per toy cell)

Advent calendars

Advent calendars was the fastest growing sector at Christmas 2017 (+41%), with Kinder accounting for 26% of category growth, following the launch of its first advent calendar last year*. Returning for its second year, Kinder is looking to maintain its number one spot in kids advent calendars** with two new additions – the Kinder Mini Mix Advent Calendar (351g) and a Kinder Surprise Egg Advent Calendar (431g).

With the premium advent segment experiencing strong growth, Thorntons is continuing to push its four-strong advent calendar range, which includes a mix perfect for all the family. The four Thorntons advent calendars for 2018 are: the Thorntons Continental 280g, Santa 93g, The Snowman 93g and The Snowman and The Snowdog 180g. Thorntons is also adding an element of surprise to traditional advent calendars, with some chocolates containing a fondant filling.

“By investing in NPD supported by media activity, we believe we can provide retailers with the perfect gift this Christmas in the form of fantastic sales,” says Levi Boorer. “We are really proud of our brands’ scale, and we’re committed to developing an all year round range that also caters for the explosion of special occasions during the festive season.”

*(Source: Kids Seasonal Nielsen 18 weeks to 31.12.17)

**(Source: Seasonal S1 Christmas Review 2018, data to 30.12.2017)

Milestone 50th anniversary

To celebrate 50 years of Kinder, Ferrero is running a master brand promotion that gives families the chance to win a host of amazing prizes. The first promotional campaign to feature all Kinder products will run from August through to November, with the on-pack promotion and dedicated website content helping shoppers to join in with the iconic brand’s birthday celebrations.

“Kinder is all about providing unique products and experiences that enhance moments of joy,” says Levi Boorer. “Our portfolio-wide promotion aims to bring this to life by offering families the chance to win a number of amazing prizes, including: ‘A Night with the Dinosaurs’ at the Natural History Museum and the chance to ‘Live Like Royalty’ for four nights at Hampton Court Palace.

The brand’s 50th birthday demonstrates its longevity, “underlining how consistent it has been at providing people with surprise and excitement through the years,” according to Boorer.

Last year was successful for Kinder with total sales amounting to €15.6m to move the brand into the top three most popular confectionery brands in Ireland. Kinder Kids – which includes the Surprise, Chocolate and Happy Hippo ranges – also continued its evolution and has seen its penetration grow in each of the last three years. Elsewhere, Kinder Surprise continues to hold the number one spot in kid’s confectionery, worth €4.2m*.

“By incorporating the full portfolio, this promotion seeks to get all our Kinder fans to join in with the celebrations. Retailers are invited to order their in-store display solutions from our dedicated trade website, www.yourperfectstore.co.uk,” Boorer adds.

*(Source: Kantar Worldpanel Top 100 Master Brands for 2018)

Intensely minty

Ferrero is introducing a new product to its Tic Tac range, with ‘Intense Mint’ set to appeal to consumers demanding an extra-strong mint – the third-most popular flavour* territory in the category.

The extra-strong flavour in Tic Tac Intense Mint clearly differentiates the new product from the ever-present Fresh Mint product, while also capitalising on the number one requirement of shoppers in this category, ‘refreshment’**. The bold blue colour of the pills will help the product to stand out on shelf, making it an eye-catching option for impulse purchases in store.

As part of the launch, Intense Mint will feature alongside the rest of the core Tic Tac range in a brand new campaign, featuring a new creative and positioning. With the tagline – ‘Open Up’ – the light-hearted creative shows Mr Tic Tac taking viewers on a personal tour of the possible connections that can be made – using only a pack of Tic Tacs and a little confidence. The digital campaign, which kicks off this month, will span video on demand, YouTube and social media.

‘Open Up’ will be further amplified in-store, with new display solutions and pre-filled units available to order from Ferrero’s dedicated retailer hub: www.yourperfectstore.co.uk.

The timing of the campaign also capitalises on the rise in popularity of Tic Tac, which has seen sales value increase significantly for all products in the core range in recent weeks. The Fresh Mint SKU has seen sales value increase by +25.9%, equating to a volume increase of +23.6%*** and further underlining the growing popularity of Tic Tac products in Ireland.

“Tic Tac is available in a number of flavours and formats to suit consumer needs, including Fresh Mint, Lime & Orange and Cherry Cola Mixers,” says Levi Boorer. “The portfolio has experienced positive growth in recent weeks and the Fresh Mint variant in particular has seen sales increase by almost +26%***.”

Ferrero Ireland, based in Cork, has been manufacturing Tic Tac since 1975 for Ireland, and exports to 40 other markets worldwide. The leading edge production facility, home to approximately 250 employees, demonstrates the Ferrero commitment to quality, best practice, and continual improvement.

*(Source: Nielsen, Pocket Sugar, Value Sales MAT w.e. 30.12.17)

**(Source: Visuality Consumer Research, Total Confectionery, December 2016)

***(Source: Nielsen, Total Scantrack ROI, Total Sugar, 12 we 15.07.18)

The Lir Discovery collection includes exciting new flavours alongside classic favourites like Praline and Coffee

Inspired by an Irish legend

Lir, the legendary Irish chocolatier, is inspired by another Irish legend, the Children of Lir, an epic tale of love, beauty, magic, passion and transformation. Some 30 years ago, Lir started out in humble fashion on the kitchen table of co-founder, Connie Doody, with a simple vision of creating joy and happiness for lovers of fine, chocolate confections.

Since those early days, Lir has been devoted to the magic and the craft of turning the finest chocolate from around the world into hand-finished and hand-decorated works of art that are based on both traditional recipes and gloriously unfamiliar new combinations.

As part of the brand’s 30th birthday celebrations, Lir’s master chocolatier has created the beautiful Discovery collection.  The new range brings together Lir’s chocolate exteriors with mouth-watering interiors, using ingredients sourced around the world, from Ireland to Madagascar and Tahiti.

The Discovery collection includes exciting new flavours, such as Persian Lime Truffle, Raspberry and Pistachio Duo, Dark Chocolate Torte and Chewy Pecan Caramel, alongside classic, much-loved favourites like Praline and Coffee. The tasty Sea Salted Caramel was also recently awarded a highly-coveted Great Taste Award 2018 from the Guild of Fine Food.

In addition to the ‘Discovery’ collection, Lir has also created a delightful ‘Dessert Collection’ and three irresistible flavours of cocoa-dusted truffles: Salted Caramel, Marc de Champagne and Milk Chocolate. The Discovery Collection has an RRP of €13.00 (180g) and €24.00 (360g). The Dessert Collection’s RRP is €9.00 (145g) while the Truffles (168g) are priced at €9.50. The Lir Collection is available in selected Tesco and SuperValu stores nationwide. From October 2018, customers can also purchase directly from the Lir online store at www.lirchocolates.com.




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