Take it to the limit

Limited editions, new flavours, pack sizes, promotions and PMPs are all part of the plan to generate excitement for the UK’s biggest chocolate brands in the months ahead.

THE nation’s biggest-selling chocolate brands are steeped in history. Cadbury’s Dairy Milk has been around since 1905, Mars Bar was created in 1932 and KitKat in 1935.

By this point, you might think such established products should practically sell themselves. But maintaining customers’ enthusiasm for the big brands is a year-round job, involving a combination of limited-editions, fresh packaging, new products and cross-branding.

In the words of Bep Dhaliwal, trade communications manager for Mars Chocolate UK: “Chocolate confectionery is a very mature category and typically, the top 10 chocolate brands are ones that have been around for decades.

Mars Xtra Choc Feb 15

“Our core products are critical, but because these brands have been around for a long time, it’s nice to have something new and exciting about them, to reawaken interest.

“At the moment we’ve got our limited-edition Mars Xtra Choc out, which is helping to create a bit of excitement in the market. It brings in new consumers and gives our regular consumers something a little different for a while.”

Mars Chocolate has also launched a new, permanent addition to the Galaxy range, Galaxy Salted Caramel.

Inspired by the current food trend of combining sweet and savoury, the new variant is available in a single 48g bar and a large 135g bar.

Galaxy salted caramel Feb 15

The launch is supported by a host of point of sale materials, such as dumpbins, floor-standing display units, counter-top units, hook-over news units, and posters and wobblers, as well as a £12m advertising spend through 2015, with 44 weeks on TV.

“The salted caramel food trend is here to stay and we’re confident that the new bars are going to be popular among consumers wanting to try something different,” said Dhaliwal. “We know that six out of 10 consumers prefer Galaxy, with consumers telling us that the Galaxy Salted Caramel bar tastes really good.”

Nestle Confectionery is aiming to create some buzz around its flagship brand KitKat with its ‘Celebrate the Breaks’ marketing campaign, which includes new products and promotional activity.

The campaign, which highlights the different kinds of breaks people enjoy, launched last month with TV and digital advertising worth £10m – more than double the brand’s spend in 2014.

The brand will also make use of social media with the hashtag #mybreak, which will be moulded into the chocolate of the KitKat bars.

KitKat Toffee Treat Feb 15

New KitKat Toffee Treat is now available as a limited-edition four-finger pack and
a permanent two-finger

A Nestle UK spokesperson said: “With huge media investment, and a raft of exciting and innovative activity, the Celebrate the Breaks campaign from KitKat is going to be extremely valuable to the confectionery category in 2015, driving additional sales and profits.”

The team behind Cadbury Dairy Milk has also looked to mid-morning snack breaks for inspiration.

The latest new countline for the brand is Cadbury Dairy Milk Oat Crunch. The 30g bar brings together oaty biscuits with Cadbury Dairy Milk and is supported by a £4.5m marketing investment.

Dairy Milk Oat Crunch Feb 15

“As the number one chocolate brand, we are constantly innovating and identifying unique opportunities to expand chocolate occasions and drive category growth,” said Matthew Williams, marketing director at Mondelez International.

“Cadbury Dairy Milk Oat Crunch is set to revolutionise the mid-morning snacking occasion. With small portions, portable format, a great oaty taste, which is synonymous with the morning. And at just 150 calories per serving, we believe it will meet consumer needs during the day.”

Elizabeth Shaw Amaretto Flutes Feb 15Mondelez is also launching two new chocolate bag PMPs and is extending availability of one of its Christmas lines to all year round.

Cadbury Dairy Milk Giant Buttons and Bitsa Wispa have launched in new 80g £1 PMPs, while Terry’s Chocolate Orange Milk Chocolate Minis, formerly a seasonal limited edition, will be available all year round from this month.

Limited editions are “very important” according to Hayley Coggins, junior product manager at Elizabeth Shaw. “They keep current consumers interested in the brand and also allow a product to be trialled.

“We have extended our range from the original honeycomb Mint Crisps that were first introduced in 1881 to now offering a wide range of products that appeals to a younger audience. This includes Flutes, batons of flavoured chocolate, including Orange and Amaretto flavours.”