Kids’ stuff – ‘My market’ interview with Sarah Burrow

Britain’s sales and marketing professionals explain how they see the convenience scene

Sarah Burrow, marketing director, international confectionery, Bazooka Candy Brands

This issue:
Sarah Burrow, marketing director, international confectionery, Bazooka Candy Brands

You’re very involved in licensed products with the Moshi Monsters confectionery range. What do see as the main attraction?

Sugar confectionery responds extremely well to new products, brands and flavours. It’s no surprise that licensing continues to be big news, adding fun and entertaining elements that kids are drawn to.
It’s becoming more and more prevalent in the category. Mums often look for brands their kids recognise.
We teamed up with Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment to create limited-edition Despicable Me 2 products, which have gone down a treat with kids.
We’ve also been delighted with our Moshi Monsters licence. It allowed us not only to enter the soft confectionery market, but also exposed us to the brand’s worldwide audience of over 80 million children.
Retailers can maximise interest in their licensed confectionery by placing the ranges in high-visibility areas such as on till tops – tapping into the impulse nature of confectionery purchases and using brand recognition as a sales driver.

Those of us of a certain age grew up with Bazooka gum but it seemed to slip off the radar. What happened?

As you rightly say, it’s actually been around 10 years since the Bazooka bubblegum was sold in Europe, but have no fear, it’s back and better than ever! Bazooka is the name above our door and we felt this was the perfect time to bring the Bazooka name to the forefront.
Not only are we launching Bazooka bubblegum in September, we’re introducing some brand new chew products to the mix too, and what’s more they’re all at pocket money prices.

You researched young teens pretty extensively ahead of the Bazooka launch. What can you tell us about the teens that we might not know?
How have your findings influenced your product development and launch activity?

Not only do they want to have access to the latest gadgets and embrace technology, they want to be the first to share what they see. Freedom of expression is really important to them, as is freedom from their parents … unsurprisingly!
The research impacted the launch in a number of ways, from the types of sweets, to the flavours on offer. We were planning to launch just Bazooka flavour across the products, but kids told us that they wanted a taste variation to keep things interesting and fun, so of course, we were delighted to be able to give them what they wanted.
We worked tirelessly to get the product packaging just right, again, the kids told us ‘the bolder the better’ for the blue to grab their attention, so we worked with renowned street artist, Ronzo, to do just that.
How do you see the impulse channel?

Kids buy most of their sweets on their way to or from school, that was the case years ago, and it’s the case today. Given the impulse nature of the purchase (51% of kids’ sugar sales come through the channel), you can understand why we’ve increased emphasis on this area of the business.
In terms of the products we’re launching, again, they’re perfect for impulse as 84% of bubblegum and 52% of chews are sold through the channel.

The new Bazooka products include added value items in or on packs and social media games. Has social media been a game-changer?

It’s great to be able to speak directly to your fans and followers to gain insights and make changes they want to see. Caution should be taken, though, as things can quickly escalate across social channels – it’s important to establish and maintain a tone of voice when communicating online.

What do you see as some of the key trends in confectionery? Which products, brands or opportunities do you think will be especially important to impulse units in the near future?

The incorporation of technology, which is at the heart of our new launch, is certainly a trend that we expect to continue. The rise in sour treats shows no signs of slowing, and similarly, exotic and mysterious flavours are surging in popularity.

• Sarah Burrow has worked with Bazooka Candy Brands for two and a half years, arriving at the children’s confectionery producer after spells with Heinz, United Biscuits and other firms.
She was keen to work and develop ideas with kids ”They’re brutally honest and that’s what I love about them,” she said.