The number of new co-branded products in sugar confectionery and gum looks set to increase once again in 2012, and includes the recent launch of two new Vimto brand confectionery products in the UK. Nevertheless, teaming up with other brands represents a relatively small part of overall global sugar confectionery and gum product development, averaging around one per cent of new products across the category in the five year period from 2007 to 2011. In addition, co-brand launch activity in sugar confectionery lagged behind that of other areas in food and drink in 2011, notably desserts and ice cream, chocolate confectionery and carbonated soft drinks.
Mixed assortments and boiled sweets are very much the lead categories in sugar confectionery co-brands. There appears to be considerable potential to incorporate the strength of related brands in areas where co-brands have been slow to develop, such as gum, medicated confectionery and pastilles, gums, jellies and chews. Also worth noting is that co-branding appears under used in Europe, and has centred on the Americas and Japan. The US alone accounts for a third of all confectionery co-brands launched from 2007-2011 according to GNPD data, followed by Japan and Mexico.
There appears to be considerable potential for building on distinct flavour profiles carried by different soft drink brands. In the UK, Vimto is especially popular in carbonates and cordials, and brand owner Nichols continues to widen the number of confectionery lines flavoured with Vimto, most recently with new fruit chews made by Leaf and Tangerine Confectionery’s Vimto Bon Bon. The range already includes Candy Spray made by Ireland’s Rose Confectionery and Fizzy Rip Roll, a Vimto flavoured candy belt made by Thorneycroft that sold well following its 2009 launch.
Other strong national drinks brands can also draw on consumer familiarity with flavours, for example, leading confectioner Mederer has teamed up with Wild for a range of five different flavour Trolli brand gums based on the Libella range, showcased at ISM 2012 in Cologne, Germany.
Likewise, Jelly Belly now carries a whole range of different flavour confectionery lines based on the flavours of leading brands marketed by Dr Pepper Snapple – 7 Up, Crush, A&W, Dr Pepper and, since September 2011, Jelly Belly Snapple. Jelly bean flavours of the main carbonated drink elements in the portfolio, including 7 Up, have recently been repackaged in distinctive Soda Pop Shoppe plastic bottles. Meanwhile, the Jelly Belly brand itself is now used in drinks made by Japan’s Ohayo Dairy, including Ohayo Jelly Belly very cherry drink launched in March 2012.
Some drink brands convey an element of function as well as flavour, and GlaxoSmithKline has stretched Lucozade Sport into confectionery in partnership with the Jelly Bean Factory in the UK. The beans can be eaten before and during exercise to fuel muscles and maintain performance for longer. Similarly, several drinks with functional positioning sold in Japan have been extended into the confectionery area, for example Kabaya’s Pureral Kyoho grape gummies contain Kyoho branded grape juice and collagen and hyaluronic acid for beauty benefits.
Partnering with food brands
Nevertheless, stretching sugar confectionery brands into drinks is comparatively rare, with most products inclined towards related areas in food.
Chupa Chups has collaborated with parent company Perfetti Van Melle’s FruitTella chewy sweets, used as a filling for the lollipops in the Dutch market. In a similar vein, Haribo has combined its classic Tagada strawberry confectionery flavour with Chamallows marshmallows in the French market.
The performance of Chamallows Tagada in the French market shows the potential strength of combining popular confectionery lines, with the product generating some €3.3 million in the two years from January 2010 in the supermarket and hypermarket channel alone. Haribo’s distinctive Tagada brand strawberry flavour has also proved popular in other areas of the market, notably mousses and desserts in France.
By Marcia Mogelonsky, global food analyst at Mintel