Bags of Haribo sweets should probably come with a health warning nothing to do with sugar or calories but more to do with the fact that they’ll attract a lot of attention. Open a bag of Haribos in a confined space and you’ll soon be surrounded by people asking for the fried egg or whether they are the fizzy ones. According to Nielsen Scantrack data, the Haribo brand is currently enjoying 8.3% value market growth, ahead of the 2% enjoyed by the rest of the gums and jellies market.

Its best sellers in forecourts are Star Mix, Super Mix and Tangfastics, and these are the lines that are supported by year-round media activity which helps keep them front of mind with consumers.

Herwig Vennekens, managing director of Haribo, says the availability of price-marked packs also helps sales. "They are a simple mechanic and easy to understand compared to many of the other promotional mechanisms the consumer is faced with in store. Bigger pack formats, in particular, stand out at a rounded price point."

Price-marks are available across the Haribo range. Chamallows, for example, has seen particular success with price-marked packs in encouraging new consumers to trial the brand.

The confectionery company is obviously keen to attract new consumers and has done this not just by introducing new sweets but also new packs with new price points. A range of 100g packs was recently launched and new for 2012 is a 80g range of Favourites that has a recommended retail price (rrp) of just 50p. The line up includes Rhubarb & Custard Splats, Little Jelly Men, Eggstras, Giant Strawbs and Yellow Bellies.

Bags of sweets are definitely big business, and specialist cash and carry chain Hancocks has seen a 65% rise in sales of sharing bags.

Purchasing director Jonathan Summerley says: "Sharing bags are of utmost importance in forecourts and this category is showing tremendous growth at the moment. The bags are generally better value and a much better format for sharing in the car. While branded bags such as Haribo can prove popular, offering a selection of own-label sharing bags can please those looking for the best value."

He advises that particularly good deals branded or own label should be placed near the till or the queuing area. "Hancocks offers a good selection of £1 bags that would work extremely well for this purpose."

Sugar confectionery is obviously particularly popular with kids but not always their mums. However, Summerley says that sweets with claims about natural fruit juice content will often sway purchases for parents. "Moshi Monsters gummy sweets have been very successful in recent months. By assuring mums with their ’no added flavourings or colourings’ status and 25% real fruit juice, younger children can embrace the popular Moshi Monsters brand."

Bazooka Candy Brands launched Moshi Monsters fruity yummy gummies in 45g price-marked packs of 50p earlier in the year. The company’s internal data reveals that they have reached sales of £500,000 already. New 120g and 160g bags will be added to the range shortly.

"The rise of Moshi Monsters as a global brand has been one of the most impressive in recent times. With the online social-gaming network already attracting more than 50 million users around the world, this gives just a brief idea of the brand’s potential," explains Bazooka’s marketing director Sarah Sibley.

Recently Nestlé Confectionery announced that it had removed all artificial colours, flavours and preservatives from its entire confectionery range.

The company’s latest sugar launch is of Rowntree’s Fruit Bottles. They are said to offer a "fruity new twist on old favourites such as milk bottles and cola bottles" and provide nostalgic appeal for mums who remember the sweets they enjoyed in their childhoods.

With 25% fruit juice and no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives, Rowntree’s Fruit Bottles come in two pack formats: the 45g impulse bag (rrp 48p) and a 150g sharing bag (rrp £1.29). The launch will benefit from Rowntree’s £3.5m-worth of media support this year.

Range refresh

Tangerine Confectionery marketing director, Alison Brand, says sugar confectionery ranges need to be refreshed regularly so that consumer interest is retained. And Tangerine is definitely doing its bit in adding interest to the category. One recent launch is of Barratt British Mix soft, fruity gums in British themed shapes, from a red telephone box to Big Ben. "British Mix provides a fantastic sales opportunity around the key British events happening this summer," says Brand.

Tangerine has also joined forces with Vimto to produce and market its Bon Bon sweets. The chewy bon bons are softer than traditional versions, fitting well with the trend for softer eating confectionery.

Made from the secret Vimto recipe and containing real fruit juice, Vimto Bon Bons are available in a 165g bag or jar format.

Tangerine has also been busy bringing old favourites back to market. Highland Toffee has been relaunched with recipe improvements while the Wham bar from the 1980s is back with new flavours and formats including minis and sharing bags.

Sticking with old favourites, Love Hearts is Swizzels Matlow’s number-one performing brand within the convenience sector with 29% year-on-year value growth (Nielsen data). Second is Parma Violets, with 6% growth; and third is Drumsticks with growth of 20%.

However, the company keeps coming out with new sweets. To cash in on the popularity of jelly sweets, Squashies will be launched later this year. In a clever move, these new gums replicate the flavours of Love Hearts, Drumstick Lollies, Double Lollies and New Refreshers. "This is our first foray into developing gum versions of our household brands," explains Swizzels Matlow head of sales Mark Walker. "Research has shown consumers love the concept and the products."

Also new but available now is the Swizzels football range including special edition treat bags; and the Champions range of Union Jack adorned bags. In addition, the company has the licence to manufacture and sell a range of chew bars under the Vimto and Tango brands.

Meanwhile, must stocks for forecourts from the Perfetti Van Melle range are Mentos rolls and Fruittella sticks.

Mentos rolls are available in three core flavour variants. The mint roll is the best seller worldwide; the fruit roll has strawberry, orange and lemon chewy sweets inside; while the rainbow roll contains seven different flavours (grape, strawberry, orange, watermelon, pineapple, raspberry and apple). Interestingly, these flavours are placed in the same order as the colours on the wrapper so consumers always know what they’ll get next.

From Fruittella there are the classic stick packs, with strawberry the number-one seller. Perfetti Van Melle marketing director Mark Stangroom advises forecourts to also stock the summer fruits stick and the new cola lemon stick.

New from Perfetti Van Melle is Fruittella Juicy Chews bag which contains a classic mix of strawberry, orange and lemon twist-wrapped chewy sweets. Rrp is £1.49. Also in chews, there’s the Fruittella Sporty Family bag with individual chew strips each featuring a sporty family member. And Chupa Chups has a new 20-count bag of mini lollipops. The ’Best Of’ bag contains a variety of fruity, creamy and cola flavours. During the summer, this bag will feature a tie-up with the Ice Age 4 film.

Both Mentos and Fruittella are supported by national TV advertising this year plus there will be extensive national sampling campaigns over the summer.

Finally, according to brand owner Ferrero, Tic Tac is experiencing its highest level of volume sales since the brand was launched in the 1970s. Although originally known for its mint flavours, Tic Tac has branched out successfully into fruit.

Ferrero customer development director Levi Boorer says: "Fruit is now the largest segment of pocket confectionery as well as the fastest growing, and sales are particularly high among 16-24-year-olds."

The latest flavour to join the range is strawberry fields. Says Boorer: "Fruity variants have been highly successful for Tic Tac, with last summer’s limited editions driving incremental growth by attracting younger shoppers. The halo effect boosted standard Tic Tac sales by 89% (Nielsen). Strawberry fields is well placed to further refresh the category, by capturing the traditional taste of the British summer."

He is encouraging retailers to merchandise Tic Tac in a highly visible area with impactful displays to maximise the impulsive nature of most of the brand’s purchases.

"Pocket confectionery is one of the most impulsive categories in the confectionery market, with seven out of 10 purchases being unplanned, which makes merchandising the right products at till points and on the fixture the secret to unlocking sales in this area.

"But if a display is cluttered, or there is no secondary siting near the till point, there is no question that sales are lost. We have been working with our customers to help simplify the main pocket confectionery display by supplying branded counter display units, which has seen sales increase by up to 161% in some stores."

Retailer View

Michelle Marchbank, Wigtown Service Station, Dumfries and Galloway

"The newest confectionery line we’ve had in was Nestlé Fruit Bottles and they sold well because they were on promotion.

"We’ve recently moved our promotional aisle so customers can see it as soon as they come through the door. On that we’ve always got drinks, crisps and sweets. We don’t usually have price-marked packs of sweets but we run ’two for a price’ offers.

"We get children coming in from a nearby housing estate so we have a dedicated children’s section with things like wee packets of Dolly Mixtures and Chewits."

Sweet Bites

l Hancocks has loads of lollies for summer including Candy Pirate Pops rrp 79p; Garden Critter Pops rrp 39p; and Jungle Mallow Lollies rrp £1. In addition, novel sweet filled tins are available again following sell-out success last summer. They are Wobbling Tins (filled with beach mix) rrp £3.99; and Beach Hut Tins (filled with vanilla fudge) rrp £4.99.

l Werther’s Original butter candies are now available in £1 price-marked bags for convenience outlets.

l Walkers Nonsuch’s Banana Split Éclair toffees have been added to the company’s popular 150g bag range. The bags come in a shelf-ready display boxes of 12 bags.

l Guzzle Puzzles now come in 180g sharing bags which include two new flavour combinations: apple + lime = lemonade; and apple + raspberry = blackcurrant .

l Bazooka Candy Brands has launched the limited edition Big Baby Pop in a tutti frutti flavour. The bottle-shaped candy consists of a fruity flavoured lollipop and dipping powder. Also new is Ring Pop Twisters. Apparently this offers all the benefits of the original Ring Pop range but with added excitement as each product pouch features one of nine different twisters.

l Skittles is currently running its biggest ever on-pack promotion where consumers have to find one of 500 golden Skittles. With a £50,000 prize pot up for grabs, consumers who are lucky enough to find a golden Skittle will win nearly £50, with more prizes available on-line. The activity is supported on TV from this month.