The sweetest thing

As the Halloween and Christmas retail periods approach, a renewed focus on sugar content, healthy alternatives and a responsible attitude to sweets and chocolate goes hand-in-hand with the traditional indulgences in this round-up of the newest innovation and best-loved classics of both segments


Brand Central

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14 September 2017

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Changes across the board

Clear labelling allows consumers to see what ingredients take precedence in Nestlé products

Clear labelling allows consumers to see what ingredients take precedence in Nestlé products

Earlier this year, Nestlé announced that it would reduce sugar by 10% across its confectionery portfolio through a range of methods that included reformulation.  Within weeks, its flagship brand KitKat launched a new recipe adding extra milk and extra cocoa to the chocolate.  With 20% extra milk and 13% extra cocoa, this move allowed the company take some of the sugar out of the recipe compared to the previous version it replaced.  With no new ingredients added, no artificial colours, sweeteners or preservatives, it meant KitKat still tasted just as great as before.

Randoms pouches now contain significantly reduced levels of sugar

Randoms pouches now contain significantly reduced levels of sugar

This move was quickly followed by the announcement that Nestlé’s family favourite white chocolate brand, Milkybar was also reformulating to increase the amount of milk in its recipe. The percentage of milk in the new recipe increased from 26% to 37.5% to make milk the brand’s number one ingredient, a message that was communicated on-pack and via a TV, outdoor and digital advertising campaign. Increasing the milk content also allowed the company to make a further sugar reduction.  White chocolate fans will also be delighted to hear that a Milkybar sharing bag format is also being added to the range from next month.

Nestlé continued further with its commitment through the launch of new 30% less sugar versions of two of its best-selling products, Rowntree’s Fruit Pastilles and Rowntree’s Randoms. As part of the recipe change, the sugar removed has been replaced by increasing the fibre content. These brand new versions are being offered alongside the existing, classic products to promote greater choice within confectionery.  Clearly branded as Rowntree’s Fruit Pastilles 30% Less Sugar and Rowntree’s Randoms 30% Less Sugar, they will be available in sharing bag formats and also, for a limited period, in a single bag format.  The Rowntree’s 30% Less Sugar range is the result of over two years’ research and development that saw the company trial as many as 76 different versions to ensure that the final product was just as good as the full sugar versions. Prior to launch, 9,000 consumers got the chance to try the new products as part of a large-scale blind taste test led through social media. Blank packaged product samples were sent to consumers asking for feedback using the hashtag #RowntreesTasteTest.  The consumers did not know that the sweets were different to the regular range and the response was overwhelmingly positive describing the sweets as ‘juicy’, ‘fruity’ and ‘chewy’. When the new range launched, Nestlé supported it with a campaign advertising the fact that while it was “30% Less Sugar it was still 100% Fruity”.

These innovations are all part of a number of Nestlé’s initiatives to improve its products through a range of methods and make incremental sugar reductions in different ways that, when added up, are a positive step overall to removing sugar from the nation’s diet while maintaining the taste.

Other new news from Nestlé Confectionery this year includes the launch of the much loved mint brand Polo in a new format – Polo Pots.  Available in three best-selling varieties: Original, Sugar Free and Sugar Free Extra Strong, these new recyclable pots offer consumers the chance to buy the iconic brand in a format that is convenient – especially for those ‘on the go’. This month will also see Nestlé’s Yorkie brand launch a new protein chocolate format, again another innovation that will be welcomed by those looking for a convenient on-the-go format.

KitKat is also set to excite consumers with the upcoming launch of a new flavour variant to its chunky range – KitKat Chunky New York Cheesecake. Combining smooth milk chocolate, and crispy wafer, topped off with a creamy tasting layer of New York Cheesecake filling, it will be a taste of New York in a bar. This follows on the launch earlier this year of a Peanut Butter variant of its popular KitKat Bites format with a white chocolate version to follow in the next few weeks.

Nestlé’s Walnut Whip brand recently whipped up a social media storm with the news that it was launching three new variants – Delicate Vanilla, Delicious Caramel and Delightful Mint – with many mistakenly assuming they would be replacing the well-loved classic. However, the company was quick to assure consumers that the new formats were being launched to offer consumers more choice as they were now extending the range to make some variants available without the eponymous walnut.

Next month also sees the launch of an exciting new on-pack promotion as Nestlé Confectionery teams up with digital movie retailer Sky Store for a promotion that rewards consumers with a €7.99 Buy & Keep movie voucher in return for collecting four promotional packs.

Q&A with Maria McKenna, confectionery marketing manager, Nestlé Ireland

Q: Earlier this year, Nestlé Ireland announced the company would strip out 10% of sugar from its confectionery range. What feedback have you received on this move?

Nestlé aims to further reduce its sugar content, says Maria McKenna

Nestlé aims to further reduce its sugar content, says Maria McKenna

A: Our announcement to reduce sugar by 10% across confectionery is another step in our journey to continually improve our products, ensuring they are the best they can be for our consumers. As the leading wellness and nutrition company, Nestlé has always been to the fore in terms of such product improvements. Retailers and consumers alike have responded extremely positively to this latest initiative, as they know that while we continually innovate and reformulate to improve our products we always remain committed to ensuring that this can never be to the detriment of taste.

Q: Nestlé attracted attention recently with the news that you would introduce new variations of the ‘Walnut Whip’ without the walnut. Why did you decide to launch these new products?

A: Walnut Whip is an iconic brand among Irish consumers; it has been on the market for over a century, since 1910 in fact. We are launching the new variants to offer our customers more choice, both with and without the walnut. Some media expressed concern that they would not be able to buy the traditional Walnut Whip in Irish stores, but we can reassure them that they will still be available in a single pack all year round and in a six-pack carton at Christmas!

Q: What other innovations has Nestlé launched to respond to consumer trends?

A: On a global level, Nestlé operates the largest R&D network of any food company in the world. It has 40 R&D Centre worldwide with over 5,000 people involved. We invest significantly in R&D to expand and optimise our product ranges in anticipation and response to consumer needs and desires and each year we bring new formats and flavour variations to the market. We know Irish customers really enjoy experiencing new and different flavours in their confectionery choices and the challenge is to invent new and interesting products that continue to excite and please.

Q: How do you ensure your brands stay front of mind with consumers through your marketing campaigns?

A: In the marketing of products today, there are a range of different channels that can be used to ensure we target the right message to the right audience at a time that is most appropriate. We use a multi-platform marketing approach that involves scheduling our campaigns across television, out of home media and digital channels. While marketing our products is an important aspect of our business operations, we also have a responsibility to act ethically, in the sense that we do not advertise our products to children. On-pack promotions are also another way of ensuring brands stay front of mind with consumers and we have recently teamed up with digital movie retailer Sky Store for a promotion that rewards consumers with a €7.99 Buy & Keep movie voucher in return for collecting four promotional packs from our range of best-selling sharing bags.

Q: Nestlé staff aim to raise €70K for Down Syndrome Ireland. How is this project progressing?

A: Nestlé in Ireland launched its partnership with Down Syndrome Ireland earlier this year. This partnership will see 700 employees across our two sites raising funds to benefit the services and supports provided by DSI for families with Down syndrome. DSI supports over 3,500 members across Ireland through its specialist services in healthcare, education, early development, speech and language therapy and independence. The funds that we will raise will go towards a new Multi-Sensory and Family Room in the charity’s national support office in Ballymount, Dublin as well as providing speech and language therapy and other parents and children supports in Limerick. To date, we have organised a number of different events in our effort to reach our ambitious fundraising target. Currently we are in the midst of planning a Shop Wars event, which will see two teams of Nestlé employees compete as they take over the running of two DSI charity shops in Dublin for a day.

Luxury prizes

This attractive stand will catch customers’ eye and add to the festive atmosphere in any store

This attractive stand will catch customers’ eye and add to the festive atmosphere in any store

The National Lottery is set to launch its Hampers, Sweets & Treats scratchcard game this October, and has selected Butlers Chocolates as its official partner for the game.

The ballotin box is available as a prize in the National Lottery’s upcoming festive scratch card game

The ballotin box is available as a prize in the National Lottery’s upcoming festive scratch card game

Butlers 225g Ballotin, which is the game’s chocolate prize, 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 red ribbon and swing tag. The selection includes 10 varieties of tasty chocolates including; Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel, White Chocolate Crème Vanille and Milk Chocolate Honeycomb Crisp.

The Hampers, Sweets & 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 box of chocolates, so it is recommended that retailers should stock up on these delicious Irish premium chocolates in plenty of time to make the most of the festive season ahead!

Butlers 225g Chocolate Ballotin will be distributed by Richmond Marketing. Display stands and POS are available on request. Call 01 6233222 or email for more details or to place an order.

Niall McGrath, co-founder of Fulfil

Niall McGrath, co-founder of Fulfil

Q&A with Niall McGrath, co-founder of Fulfil

McGrath says the brand’s lifestyle approach is what sets it apart in the health and fitness category

Q: Health and fitness, both in physical terms and also with regard to nutrition and diet, has become a major area in recent years. Is Fulfil a product of this change, or did the company pre-empt it?

A: While we would love to think we began the trend the honest answer is that we recognised the trend, and worked to produce a product which not only satisfied current demand but also appealed to consumers with our packaging, tastes and positioning which helped to grow the category.

Q: What sales and marketing strategies have you employed in order to harness the popularity of the health and fitness segment?

A: From early on, we took an innovative approach in how we positioned and marketed the product versus the players which were there before. They used quite a ‘hardcore’ approach to their sales and marketing strategies which were very focused on the ‘muscle-segment’. Our approach has been to offer a lifestyle brand which is in keeping with modern lifestyles rather than simply for those looking for bulging muscles.

Fulfil is challenging the assumption that healthy bars can't also be indulgent

Fulfil is challenging the assumption that healthy bars can’t also be indulgent

Q: The Fulfil brand has developed alongside its community, including asking the public for flavour feedback and propositions; how has that relationship developed, and what innovations have been tested and/or launched?

A: We have now rolled out seven new variants of bars which were suggested by consumers via social media and refined via our Fulfil Flavour Labs. The flavours include Dark Chocolate & Mint, Milk Chocolate & Mint, White Chocolate & Cookie Dough and finally Milk Chocolate & Cookie Dough. We were so delighted with the response that we did it again; in the past few weeks we launched Orange Chocolate and Triple Chocolate Deluxe varieties!

Q: With autumn in full effect and winter approaching, does this affect Fulfil’s position or strategy?

A: At our pop-up café, we decided to echo what consumers were doing with the bars on Instagram (putting them in smoothies, melting them onto frozen yogurt and eating them with a coffee) and this was how we served the product in our temporary set-up. We had queues of over an hour at lunchtime at the pop-up and consumers were inundating us to ask when we were doing another store. We thought about this, decided to open a permanent Fulfil Café on Westmoreland St. beside the new Luas stop.  We hope that this will not only be successful commercially but also be a springboard for taking our consumer-driven new product development initiatives to the next level.

Q: Setting aside immediate plans, what is on the horizon for Fulfil? What does the company have planned for 2018 and beyond?

A: We will, with consumers, continue to excite and inspire the category. We will achieve this by supporting our current range while developing the range and leading the category, while continuing to expand the brand into international markets.

Q: Separate to the health benefits, what steps are made to emerge from the healthy and nutritious realm and into an area of “treats” and indulgence?

A: Our biggest consumers are 15-34s who are ‘abstaining’ from purchasing high sugar products and are looking for a healthier option. We need to help develop the healthy snacking category using data and insights to illustrate how it can emerge from the back of the store to beside the till. One only needs to read the latest ‘State of the Nation’ report from Nielsen to ask the question: ‘why shouldn’t every retail store in this day and age have a healthy snacking bay next to its confectionery bay, giving the millennial consumers what it is they are demanding?’ That is what is happening in the US and Nordic retailers and this is the message we are delivering to Irish retailers.

Sweet history

Cadbury’s 53g eight square bar is an immensely popular offering for party season

Cadbury’s 53g eight square bar is an immensely popular offering for party season

Ireland’s confectionery market is comprised of almost 77% chocolate products. Mondelēz, meanwhile, holds more than 45% share of the segment, and is home to some of the country’s favourite brands including Cadbury’s Dairy Milk, Crème Egg Milk Tray, Roses, Toblerone and more.

Cadbury’s iconic factory in Coolock celebrated 60 years earlier this year, delivering consumer favourites to Irish customers as well as chocolate lovers worldwide. While consumer tastes and shopping habits have changed in the past 60 years, the Cadbury brand in Ireland has constantly adapted to suit these needs. This is why Cadbury believes its Dairy Milk brand could be considered as the icon of the chocolate category.

Cadbury Dairy Milk is Ireland’s number one chocolate brand, worth almost €60m in value sales and growing. That represents almost a 20% share of the total chocolate category. Growth, fuelled by significant media investment, innovation and customer support is set to continue into 2018 and beyond with the recent announcement that Cadbury has partnered with the Premier League in a three year deal that will see the entire Cadbury portfolio benefit.

The Retro Pack offers consumers a selection of Cadbury's iconic varieties

The Retro Pack offers consumers a selection of Cadbury’s iconic varieties

This partnership officially launched in August with a high reach media investment to announce the association across outdoor and digital. To celebrate the launch football legends Robbie Fowler, Niall Quinn, Shay Given and Jason McAteer were on hand along with the Premier League Trophy spreading the joy of chocolate and the Premier League to consumers and media outlets including a special live event partnering with sports media group, Second Captains.

Always pushing boundaries, Cadbury Dairy Milk continues to excite consumers with award winning campaigns most recently with the Cadbury Dairy Milk Taste campaign celebrating its fresh milk credentials with a highly visible campaign in June spanning across digital, PR, outdoor and experiential.

The Oreo Mint 120g is one of Dairy Milk's newest offerings

The Oreo Mint 120g is one of Dairy Milk’s newest offerings

Earlier in the year the Cadbury Dairy Milk portfolio welcomed two new editions – Cadbury Dairy Milk Oreo Mint and Peanut Butter. The combination of the number one chocolate brand and global number one biscuit brand has already proved a massive hit with shoppers. The jewel in the crown, however, is the shopper’s favourite Cadbury Dairy Milk plain eight-square bar manufactured in Ireland – the number one bestselling impulse SKU in the market with a value of €6.3m! That’s €1.5m more than the next best seller. Impulse chocolate is the largest sector in the chocolate category accounting for over 40% of chocolate sales. With seven of the top 10 SKUs, Mondelēz is the number one manufacturer in the sector holding over 50% share MAT.

Consumer-focused innovation has proved a recipe for success for Cadbury Dairy Milk and this coupled with investment in exciting consumer communication and customer support warrants the range being a must-stock for all retailers.

Seasonal chocolate

With Christmas just around the corner, Mondelēz is gearing up for another exciting season. Christmas chocolate sales accounted for over €31m in value sales in 2016 with Mondelēz commanding a 37.8% share and recording an impressive +8.8% increase in unit sales**.

In 2017 Cadbury will once again signpost the start of the season with a packed calendar of consumer communications, PR, POS solutions and in-store support ensuring its range is the first choice for shoppers. While traditional chocolate treats across selection boxes, advent calendars, boxed and novelties remain must-stock lines for retailers, this year Mondelēz will again introduce new products across the Cadbury, Green & Black’s and Toblerone portfolios that will assist retailers in capitalising on lucrative impulse purchases during the Christmas period.

The advice for retailers to maximise sales this season is to ensure visibility of seasonal chocolate formats, maximising the use of secondary store features using seasonal point of sale solutions and following proven merchandising principals for the confectionery aisle from early in the season.

*(Source: Nielsen 52 week data to August 2017)

**(Source: Nielsen 2016 Christmas Review)

Extra bite this Halloween

Haribo TangfasTricks offer a surprise, with sours hidden among the sweets

Haribo TangfasTricks offer a surprise, with sours hidden among the sweets

This Halloween, Haribo Scaremix and Tangfastricks return with a spook-tacular makeover. On shelf in new look packaging, these popular treats originally launched in 2016 to deliver extra bite during Halloween and to offer a seasonal twist for Starmix and Tangfastics. They join Haribo Trick or Treat multipacks to create an exciting line-up of sweets that cater for novelty sharing, parties and trick or treating; the important purchase occasions for retailers during the season.

“Haribo is synonymous with Halloween,” says Claire Caley, seasonal brand manager at Haribo UK. “Our success stems from a range that combines core, all-year-round products with themed, fun treats that shoppers recognise and trust to deliver for trick or treaters and for Halloween parties.”

The Trick or Treat multipack offers a range of choice for consumers with a sweet tooth

The Trick or Treat multipack offers a range of choice for consumers with a sweet tooth

Within Scaremix the Haribo Egg has become a Toffee Apple eyeball, while the Heart takes on new spooky colours to match its blackcurrant and bubble gum flavours. Boo Bears and Dracula Rings have also been added to the mix alongside a blood orange brew for the Bottle.

Consumers should also watch out for Tangfastricks. What looks like a treat, could be a trick with this naughty and nice bag that not only contains standard tangy pieces, but also hot and super-sour ones! Watch out, approximately one in three pieces in every bag will be a trick!

Offering great value and volume, which are important considerations when stocking up for Halloween trick or treating, is Haribo Trick or Treat multipack. Featuring a selection of Halloween themed gums and jellies the Haribo Trick or Treat multipacks contain either 11 or 35 pre-portioned bags.

For more information about Haribo’s Halloween Range, contact the sales team on (0)42 933 0580.

Bring the magic home!

The Lindt Excellence advent box allows consumers to enjoy the countdown to Christmas, one bite at a time

The Lindt Excellence advent box allows consumers to enjoy the countdown to Christmas, one bite at a time

This year, just in time for Christmas, Lindt is helping to bring the magic home with the launch of some of its most exciting new products, to which shoppers are certain to respond. Lovingly created by the Lindt master chocolatiers, shoppers can look forward to creating magical family moments with the adorable Lindt Teddy and a collection of new creations to add to the Lindt Teddy range.

Leading the new line up, and following the Christmas Jumper tradition, the Lindt Teddy with Christmas Jumper 200g is now available in festive green. Also new to the Lindt Christmas range, the limited edition Lindt Teddy Red and Pink 100g ensures there is a perfect gift for everyone in the family.

Lindor’s Christmas Tree promises to provide a blissful festive treat for all the family

Lindor’s Christmas Tree promises to provide a blissful festive treat for all the family

For dark chocolate lovers looking for a bit of sophistication this season, Lindt is introducing the Lindt Excellence Advent Calendar. This offering is unique to the market, with two tasty thin and intense squares of Irelands number one dark chocolate brand – Excellence – to enjoy every day in the countdown to Christmas*.

Blissmas gift!

Lindt Lindor Milk will front a range of luxurious chocolate flavours

Lindt Lindor Milk will front a range of luxurious chocolate flavours

Boasting double digit growth of +16% and a market share of 11.3%, Lindt Lindor maintains its position as Ireland’s number one premium boxed chocolate brand*. With a wide range of flavours and attractive formats, Lindt Lindor is guaranteed to cater to all your customers’ needs this Christmas.

Lindt’s Teddy, complete with Christmas jumper, will charm consumers this year

Lindt’s Teddy, complete with Christmas jumper, will charm consumers this year

From the limited edition Lindor Hazelnut to the classic Lindor Milk recipe, the Lindor Cornet range will excite and engage customers with a delicious range of flavours. As ever, Lindt continues to bring innovation to the market, most recently with the launch of the Lindor Christmas Tree – the perfect gift for loved ones.

On the back of a strong performance in the market, Lindt plans to deliver a massively upweighted national support plan behind the Lindor brand this Christmas, with Lindor TV advertising returning to screens and a strong push in-store with premium point of sale and display.

Lindt Lindor 200g retails at €6.99 and the Lindor Christmas Tree 125g retails at €6.

*(Source: Nielsen 52 weeks to 16th July 2017 – MAT)

Loving life!

The €1 and €2 offering means there is a Love Sweets pack for everyone

The €1 and €2 offering means there is a Love Sweets pack for everyone

Ampersand has been distributing the Love Sweets brand since it took over the distribution from JFC Distribution last year. 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.  Love Sweets’ range is sourced from quality manufacturers within the EU to ensure 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 is attractively packaged, and jam-packed with flavour

The Love Sweets range is attractively packaged, and jam-packed with flavour

The Love Sweets range consists of a range of €1 and €2 Hanging Bags and a €2 mix-up:

  • €1 Hanging Bag: This range consists of 16 top selling confectionery lines including sour, jelly and fizzy sweets with a magical €1 price-point. Each €1 bag is a bright and colourfully packaged 100g size bag that stands 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 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 very striking, creating huge impact and 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, the brand and nationwide distribution of Love Sweets has grown throughout the convenience sector and 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.

For more information call the Ampersand sales service team on (01) 4130150 or contact through or

Indulgence all wrapped up

There is no better time to treat friends and family than Christmas, says Lily O’Brien’s

There is no better time to treat friends and family than Christmas, says Lily O’Brien’s

Chocolate lovers can indulge themselves and their loved ones this festive season with Lily O’Brien’s stunning Christmas collection. Based in Newbridge, Co. Kildare, Ireland’s premium chocolatier provides a wide range of chocolate offerings, from gorgeous gift boxes with a twist to the ultimate luxury hampers. In short, there is a Lily O’Brien’s chocolate treat to suit every chocolate lover’s taste this Christmas. Each and every one of Lily O’Brien’s mouth-watering chocolates are hand crafted with passion, using the highest quality ingredients.

The Christmas collection of sumptuous chocolate gifts in stunning seasonal packaging make for perfect presents, both big and small. This collection has a beautiful balance of festive flavours such as Orange & Cinnamon, Apple Cider Caramel and Spiced Christmas Latte as well as much loved all year round recipes. The super-premium packaging has been inspired by Christmas villages, evoking nostalgia for a simpler time from childhood and representing a sense of community and neighbourhood.

The Exquisite Edition is an all-new super-premium collection inspired by flavours of the world

The Exquisite Edition is an all-new super-premium collection inspired by flavours of the world

The new Lily O’Brien’s lines for Christmas 2017 include:

  • Chocolate Connoisseurs Christmas House Collection; €12, 128g: 12 chocolates, beautifully presented in a Christmas house, with festive recipe chocolates
  • Festive Spiced Latte Christmas Village House; €4.50, 95g: Eight chocolates, smooth and creamy double roasted Arabica bean latte truffle partnered with ground cinnamon and festive spices
  • Festive Treats Collection; €9.95, 225g: 16 chocolates, including two Christmas-themed chocolate recipes
  • Winter Wonderland Collection; €14.95, 230g: 20 chocolates in a scrumptious assortment of 12 unique recipes
  • Deliciously Decadent Chocolate Collection; €18, 410g: 40 chocolates, a beautiful collection of mouth-watering recipes, including some newly developed Christmas-themed chocolates
  • Festive Crème Brûlée Cracker Tower; €4.95, 122g: 10 chocolates, a seasonal twist on a dessert classic to create a wonderful balance between foodie-inspired innovation and the appeal of an all-time classic
  • Petit Indulgence Gift Collection; €13.95, 200g: 20 chocolates, beautifully presented in festive design & pre-wrapped for convenient gifting
  • Petit Indulgence Keepsake Star; €6, 96g: 10 chocolates, an ideal Christmas gift or stocking filler. Beautifully presented in a stylishly festive packaged star
  • Sea Salted Caramel Christmas Tree; €4.95, 108g: Eight chocolates, a beautiful Christmas tree filled with delicious sea salted caramels – an ideal gift during the Christmas period
  • Chocolate Indulgence Christmas Keepsake Box; €35, 720g: 60 chocolates, beautiful festive round keepsake box. Truly Impressive gift over Christmas period.

These varieties will be stocked in retail outlets nationwide, Dublin Airport, online at, at the factory store in Newbridge and also at the Christmas Shop in Kildare Village, which will be returning from 12 October 2017.

“There’s no better time of year to spoil friends and family than Christmas,” says Hilary Hughes, Lily O’Brien’s international marketing manager, “so we have created a gift worthy range that will make any recipient’s eyes widen! My personal favourite is our large round Chocolate Indulgence Christmas Keepsake Box, it is filled with decadent festive chocolates and looks so impressive to hand over to any dinner party host.”

A journey of taste like no other

For 2017, Lily O’Brien’s has also launched an all new super-premium collection, the Lily O’Brien’s Exquisite Edition 138g (€8.49) and 300g (€17.99). Designed and crafted with true chocolate lovers in mind, the collection combines exotic ingredients from far-flung locations along with simple riches from the Irish countryside. The Exquisite Edition delivers a journey of taste like no other, which will inspire and excite with every bite.

Jennifer Power, chocolate marketing manager, Mars Multisales Ireland

Jennifer Power, chocolate marketing manager, Mars Multisales Ireland

Cosmic success

In conversation with Jennifer Power, chocolate marketing manager, Mars Multisales Ireland

Q: What are the best performing brands in Mars Ireland’s confectionery portfolio and how are these currently performing in sales terms within Ireland?

A: A key driver of growth for both Mars and the category has come from expanding the high performing seasonal portfolio across the Maltesers, Galaxy and M&Ms brands. In addition to having a bigger range, best-in-class activations around key occasions, and delivering more footfall drivers such as in-store Maltesers box personalisation, have been very successful for both Mars and our retail partners.

Within Bitesize, M&Ms has grown considerably this year on the back of two huge through-the-line campaigns. In March, we welcomed back Miss Green to Ireland. We also introduced a brand-new event celebrating M&Ms heritage around 4 July, which has really resonated with Irish consumers.

Galaxy Swirlers is one of many new directions for the much-loved chocolate brand

Galaxy Swirlers is one of many new directions for the much-loved chocolate brand

Q: Earlier this year, Mars pledged to end deforestation in cocoa supply chains. Can you tell us more about how the company intends to achieve this goal?

A: Mars is committed to identifying the best ways to end deforestation and forest degradation in the global cocoa supply chain. It is critical that we ensure cocoa is a sustainable crop, produced in a way that ensures its long-term future and allows those who help produce it to thrive. Our focus is to promote improved agricultural practices so that farmers can produce more cocoa off of less land and transform their livelihoods and that of their families.

However, we know that sustainable cocoa is too big a challenge for any one company to address. That is why, through the launch of the Cocoa and Forests Initiative (CFI) in March, we are partnering with others in the industry to try and drive change at a global scale. The hard work is underway to identify how to effectively tackle this complex issue. More information on CFI is available at

Q: How have you capitalised on the latest trends within confectionery in order to drive sales growth?

A: Millennials, and consumers across the board, are looking for more healthy options in their lives without having to compromise on taste. Launching this month, Goodness Knows is a really exciting new brand from Mars that will tap into the growing snacking market and is very much on trend. Goodness Knows, available in three flavours, combines fruit, whole nuts and rolled oats, and is dipped in dark chocolate. It is broken down into four squares containing 40 calories each, making it easier for consumers to save some for later should they want to snack throughout the day. Having fruit and nuts as the main ingredients really appeals to consumers looking for products with a more natural positioning.

If that wasn’t exciting enough, Galaxy has created new biscuit-filled chocolate bars that fit perfectly with Ireland’s growing coffee culture. Galaxy Swirlers are finger-shaped bars that can be conveniently broken down into 10 fingers. They appeal strongly to consumers who love to share with family and friends and enjoy chocolate with a hot drink, and are set to drive a new wave of shoppers to the block category.

Q: How heavily is Mars investing in the current marketing campaigns for its confectionery portfolio?

A: Our confectionery brands continue to resonate strongly with Irish consumers. We invest significantly behind our brands in all areas of the marketing mix to drive mass reach and to also keep them relevant and salient.

Q: There has been a move in certain retailers, such as Tesco and Lidl, to remove confectionery from checkouts, in favour of healthier alternatives. What is your view on this and how significantly has it affected confectionery sales?

A: At Mars we support consumers having choice and good information about the products they buy. As a food manufacturer, we know the important role we can play in helping consumers to make informed choices. We are proud to be leaders on clear and consistent labelling, responsible marketing and improving the nutritional profile of our products and believe that we are empowering consumers to make the decisions that are right for them and their families. Fundamentally, wherever consumers choose our products, in aisle or at checkout, they can feel confident in enjoying them as part of a balanced diet and healthy active lifestyle.

Q: What tips would you give retailers to drive sales within the confectionery category?

A: Confectionary purchasing is emotional and impulsive, therefore getting promotions and in store display right are key to driving growth and profit. By having more innovative points of interruption via a mix of promotions, in-store display solutions, right range on shelf and by leveraging big brand activations, brands like Galaxy, Maltesers, M&Ms, Snickers and Skittles become unmissable when the consumer steps into store.

Loads of choice

Halloween is a hugely popular time for the confectionery industry as consumers seek out the perfect party treats and sweets for trick or treating. Swizzels is the second-biggest sugar confectionery brand in the UK, outperforming the market at Halloween to achieve a 15% market share*. Seven of the top 10 Halloween sugar confectionery lines are from Swizzels, including the variety bags such as the Trick or Treat range.

Swizzels has a large range of variety pack products that are ideal for sharing over the Halloween season – all individually wrapped, offering a varied selection of Swizzels’ most popular treats. Not to mention they are great value for money.

The Swizzels Loadsa range ticks both boxes when it comes to value and variety. The Loadsa range packaging has recently undergone a redesign which includes a clear window to showcase the treats inside, and a flash clearly stating how many individual sweets are in each pack. These new additions plus the €1 price point on the packs guarantee to catch the eye of shoppers on the hunt for sweet treats to share with friends and family.

Another great option for Halloween is Swizzels’ Trick or Sweet bag, containing a selection of traditional Swizzels favourites such as Double Lollies, Parma Violets, Refresher Bars, Love Hearts, as well as the Sour Apple Refreshers chew bar with an added tangy taste. The assortment of classic Swizzels sweets caters to all ages and the Halloween-themed wrappers are great for anyone looking for eye-catching treats to share at parties. The spooky Halloween packaging design will also grab the attention of shoppers as they browse.

Swizzels classic Party Mix Tub and Sweet Shop Favourites tin both also contain the perfect assortment of individually wrapped chews and lollipops to suit all tastes and are great for sharing at Halloween parties or with trick or treaters.

Swizzels also has an exciting ‘Halloween Sorted’ campaign planned, including a website dedicated to ensuring consumers have a successful Halloween. It is full of fun activities, tips for safe trick or treating and details of the full Halloween range. Watch this space!”

*(Source: IRI: 5 weeks value to 06.11.2016)

Raising the bar

Nutramino's mini bar range is rich in protein, and perfectly sized for consumers on-the-go

Nutramino’s mini bar range is rich in protein, and perfectly sized for consumers on-the-go

Glanbia-owned Nutramino’s new mini-sized range has been the hit of summer 2017, and continues to fuel the nation with protein-rich, on-the-go snacks. The new range includes four great-tasting bars with up to 15g of high quality protein, each variant all wrapped up with a delicious taste and texture.

The new bar is compact in size, made with quality ingredients in a smaller size with flavours consumers know and love. The mini-sized range is available in four flavours; Sweet Coconut, Creamy Caramel, Dark Chocolate & Orange and Crispy Vanilla & Caramel. Each flavour is quite different to the next, offering variety for every taste bud preference.

The sleek new wrapper design is unmistakeably Nutramino in style with a striking on-shelf presence; making it a natural choice for consumers when deciding which brand to pick up and enjoy. The bars are the ultimate convenience products with a taste that rivals any classic chocolate bar, but with more protein and less sugar – so what’s not to love!

Nutramino has a loyal fan base of gym-goers, high performance sports people, athletes and those across all fitness levels with an active lifestyle who can conveniently find the range across the country.

Nutramino wants to make it easy for fans to hit their daily protein goals with a brand they trust. The mini bar range will be available in Topaz, SuperValu, Dunne, Tesco, Applegreen Forecourts Spar, Mace and Centra stores.

To learn more about the Nutramino range visit, @NutraminoIreland on Twitter and @NutraminoIRL on Twitter.













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