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Mentos launches Chewy & Fresh mints

Mentos is launching a range of chewy mints this May – Chewy & Fresh – ahead of the summer refreshment sales spike.

Vimto adds to revitalised range of lollipops

Soft drink brand Vimto has collaborated with confectionery distributor IB Group to launch Vimto Remix Sodapops.

Peppersmith brings out plastic-free packaging

Vegan-friendly mint and chewing gum brand Peppersmith unveiling newly rebranded plastic free packaging in mid-May across all products for a fresh contemporary look.

Cadbury's Premier League tie-up prepares for end of season

Cadbury is getting ready to kick off its second end-of-season Premier League promotion.

Mars Wrigley Confectionery UK launches Galaxy Darker Milk

Mars Wrigley Confectionery UK has announced the launch of two new Galaxy Darker Milk variants – Galaxy Darker Milk and Galaxy Darker Milk with Roasted Hazelnuts.

Rowntree's boosts Randoms but drops Tooty Frooties

New variants of Rowntree’s Randoms are being introduced to coincide with its tenth birthday and a major refresh of the Rowntree’s brand, but Tooty Frooties is being ditched.

Premium promise

Trading up to more premium lines is a big consumer trend in the chocolate market.

Nestlé UK introduces on-pack promotion using QR code

Nestlé UK and Ireland is introducing ’80 Awesome things to do’, a new on-pack promotion on some of its leading confectionery brands, which gives families fun and engaging activity ideas to do together.

Nestlé UK rolls out Ruby Chocolate KitKat

Nestlé UK has announced that its KitKat made with Ruby chocolate will launch nationwide this month.

Maynards Bassetts unveils sour soft jelly product

Confectionery brand Maynards Bassetts has announced its first sour Soft Jelly product – Soft Jellies Fizzy Fish.

Orange returns to Bournville chocolate range

Cadbury's Bournville Orange is available once again and is now part of the permanent range. The bar, which combines a strong cocoa taste with real orange fruit pieces, was first launched in 1927 and was brought back for a limited time in 2009. It is now being brought back to market to tap into the trend for orange chocolate. It is available in a 100g £1 price-marked pack and non-pricemarked packs with an rrp of £1.49.

Cracked Egg Muffin in time for Easter

Aryzta Food Solutions has launched a Cracked Egg Muffin under its Otis brand.It is supplied frozen for thaw and serve and comprises a chocolate chip muffin with a vanilla cream centre, finished with a white chocolate cream cracked egg decoration. It comes in cases of 28, rrp £1.49. Pos, including posters and shelf barkers, is available for retailers to drive interest and footfall to the bakery fixture.

Premier League Cadbury Legends promo is back

The Premier League Cadbury Legends promotion is back. Running through to March 31, it gives consumers the chance to win thousands of prizes when they purchase a Cadbury Dairy Milk bar. The campaign is supported by a £1.1m campaign. The photo shows last year's winner, Natalie Hardie, who won, and met Thierry Henry.

Ferrero ramps up its spring occasions range

The Thorntons Easter range includes three new luxury eggs White Chocolate & Raspberry, Milk Chocolate Almond & Hazelnut and Dark Chocolate & Orange. All feature strong colours and a premium look designed to appeal to younger, more affluent shoppers.

Mondelez unveils Cadbury Dairy Milk Oreo Sandwich PMP

Mondelz International is launching a £1 price-marked pack (PMP) of Cadbury Dairy Milk Oreo Sandwich this month.

Trebor unveils sugar-free sub-range

Mint brand Trebor has unveiled its first sugar-free hard-boiled sub-range, Trebor Cool Drops.

Maryland sugar free cookies

Burton’s Biscuits introduces Maryland Sugar Free Cookies

Burton’s Biscuit Company has followed up its sugar-reduction programme on core Maryland and the introduction of less than 100 calorie packs across its Minis range, with the launch of Maryland Sugar Free Cookies.

Minions return to the Kinder Surprise stable

The Minions licence is returning to the Kinder Surprise range with seven new toys up for grabs.

KitKat kicks off 2019 with on-pack promotion

Nestlé Confectionery’s flagship brand KitKat is to kick off 2019 with an on-pack promotion giving consumers the chance to win a special break.

Cadbury Darkmilk moves into convenience sector

Cadbury Darkmilk, launched last year in Tesco, is now available to convenience retailers in an impulse format.

Haribo unveils Hunt the Double Yolker campaign

Haribo has unveiled a seasonal campaign inviting shoppers to Hunt the Double Yolker in limited edition bags of Starmix.

Mars Wrigley Confectionery introduces new M&M's Eggs

Mars Wrigley Confectionery has launched new M&M’s Eggs ready for Easter 2019.

Montezumas reveals Easter range additions

Montezuma’s Easter 2019 range includes three new products: a milk chocolate alternative Like No Udder egg and two giant chocolate bunnies named Bertie and Betsy.

Cracking on

Easter just wouldn't be the same without chocolate eggs and the manufacturer that leads the field in these eggs is Mondelez with a 44% share of the market. Indeed 82% of the UK population ate a Mondelez Easter product last Easter with Cadbury Creme Egg being the number one brand (IRI data).

Ferrero reveals plans for early 2019

Ferrero has unveiled plans for a range of initiatives early in 2019. Levi Boorer, customer development director, explained: “Mother’s Day and Easter fall later in 2019, extending the trading period and giving a greater window for seasonal sales. Ferrero has a wide range of seasonal and limited edition products joining the core line-up to appeal to each occasion individually, and we are investing in media campaigns to support retailers at Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Easter.”

Cadbury's extends Darkmilk into impulse territory

Cadbury’s is extending its Darkmilk range with two new additions and price-marked packs (PMPs) aimed at the impulse sector.

product news: Cadbury unveils Secret Santa campaign

Cadbury has unveiled a new Christmas campaign to celebrate the ritual of Secret Santa gifting.

product news: Fox's Glacier extends life of limited edition

Fox’s Glacier, which this year celebrates its 100th anniversary, has decided to continue selling its Glacier Tropical, saying it is bowing to retailer demand to extend the run of the limited edition brand.

product news: Swizzels reveals latest sweet creation

Sweet manufacturer Swizzels has revealed its newest sweet creation, invented by a consumer, which is set to go into production next year.

product news: Werther's runs Caramel Shop advert

The Werther’s Original Christmas Caramel Shop box contains a variety of Werther’s caramels including Butter Candies, Creamy Filling, Éclairs and new Soft Caramel.

product news: Tangerine Confectionery launches multipacks

Tangerine Confectionery has launched a new range of multipacks designed to target the family market with portion-controlled mini bags of classic favourites.

product news: Blockhead wins listing with MFG

The energy gum brand Blockhead has announced the addition of three new partnerships with major national retailers: MFG, Booker Retail Partners, and Costcutter.

product news: Ferrero offers store makeover prize

Ferrero is giving retailers the chance to win a store makeover, worth £4,000.

Santa's sales winners

Whether it's a tub of your favourite twistwraps, an extra large Toblerone or a Chocolate Orange, Christmas just wouldn't be the same without chocolate. No wonder then that it's the most important time of the year for chocolate sales.

Extra-strong menthol mint innovation from Smint

Smint has launched an extra strong menthol power mint – Smint Xtrm with Menthol and Eucalyptus. The new sugar-free variant aims to provide invigorating freshness and an instant feeling of relief in the throat and nose, with the launch well-timed for the looming winter cold season.

Advent calendar joins Celebrations festive line-up

Celebrations has launched its first-ever advent calendar so customers can 'celebrate' every day in the lead up to Christmas.

Product news: Fox's Glacier range spiced up for Autumn

Big Bear Confectionery is adding a new limited-edition product into its Fox’s Glacier range of boiled sweets this autumn.

Sweetness and light

There's no doubt that sugar confectionery manufacturers have been working hard to keep consumers happy with new formulations with less sugar. According to Mintel, 53% of sweet buyers would buy a reduced sugar version of their favourite sweet brand if available. However, Kantar data reveals that consumers are unwilling to compromise on taste, which is the number one purchase driver for confectionery.

Getting singled out

Nine out of 10 people eat chocolate, with 57% of them doing so more than once a week.

Spring's the thing

When looking at what to stock for next Easter, it's good to reflect on what sold well last time around. The vast majority of you will have epos data which you can use to help with your ordering, however, it's also good to look at what else sold well across the marketplace in case you're missing out.

Countdown to Christmas

Would you like to guess how much was spent on Christmas confectionery last year? Well, if you said around £800m you would be right because, according to IRI data, we in the UK spent £824m on chocolate and sweets last Christmas. A lot of that spend goes on gifting and sharing items but it seems we also like to treat ourselves. Confectionery giant Mondelez (with a 27% share of the Christmas market EPOS Tracker data) says it all kicks off in October when shoppers begin looking to buy festive treats for themselves and their family to build excitement at the start of the season. The company therefore says this is the biggest opportunity in the convenience channel because of the impulsive nature of these sales. Displaying products such as the Cadbury Dairy Milk (CDM) Mousse Snowman helps to signpost the Christmas season and kick-start early sales. Four million CDM Mousse Snowman were sold in 2016, making the product worth £1.9m. However, Mars Chocolate claims the number one-selling treat with its Maltesers Merryteaser Reindeer and at number two is the Maltesers Merryteaser Mini-Reindeer sharing bag, which the company says can be an impulsive purchase or a top-up gift.

Sweets are still a treat

Sugar has beaten fat to become the nutrient consumers are most concerned about. Bad news for the sugar confectionery industry, you might think but according to Mintel's latest sugar confectionery report, sweets are still doing okay as half of users think they are alright to eat in small amounts.

Building blocks

Such is our love of chocolate that any changes to favourite brands make headline news. Remember the chocolate recipe change in Creme Eggs? Or the less triangular bars of Toblerone? Last month the newspapers (and websites) were full of stories about how chocolate manufacturers were going to make their bars smaller in a bid to meet new targets on sugar.

Sweet not sour

The one good thing about sugar confectionery with regard to the whole sugar debate is that consumers know what they're getting. Unlike some soft drinks or so-called healthy cereal bars, the sugar in confectionery is not hidden away it's there right in front of you and to eat it or not is up to the consumer. And eat it they do as, according to Mintel, despite the negative attention attracted by sugar, 42% of consumers said the healthiness of sweets does not concern them, echoing the majority view that it's fine to eat sugary food as an occasional treat. The research firm found that four in five (79%) people ate sweets last year, the same number as 2014. And women, 16-24-year olds, parents and larger households show above-average consumption.

Naughty but nice

The media's attention on sugar and how bad it is for you could be viewed as a nightmare for the chocolate market but, according to Mintel, only a minority of consumers are limiting their intake because of its sugar content.

Early birds

Some of your customers might groan at the sight of Easter eggs out so soon after Christmas, but it seems getting your Easter range out early is key to more sales. Indeed according to Kantar Worldpanel data, last year 8.3 million households bought Easter confectionery early in the season and 80% of them went on to buy it again later on. Retailers are therefore advised to stock up on Easter impulse lines now, but they need to remember that 50% of all sales are still made later in the season, highlighting the importance of availability right up to Easter Sunday.

Candy crush

There's much debate about the sugar in our diets in the mass media yet still UK consumers are 'sweet' on sweets and those consumers are not just kids. Indeed, according to Mintel's latest Sugar and Gum Confectionery report, four out of five adults had eaten sweets in the six months to September 2014. The research firm found that under-25s were the core users, with 86% of 16- to 24-year olds having eaten sweets in this period, with 71% of those eating them at least once a week.

Choc stars

You might think that chocolate sells itself but according to Bep Dhaliwal, trade communications manager, at Mars Chocolate UK, there's more you can do to help increase sales. "It's a mature category that delivers good returns but you can help increase your shoppers' basket spend," she says. Dhaliwal believes good category merchandising coupled with product availability can tempt shoppers to pick up more chocolate.

Xmas stars

Seasonal impulse confectionery should be the key focus for convenience retailers at Christmas. Nestlé UK & Ireland spokesperson, James Maxton, explains: "With 66% of sales incremental to all-year-round singles confectionery, it is the novelty of these products that attracts shoppers. They also act as a signpost for the Christmas season in store and therefore visibility, especially in the early part of the season, is key to maximising sales." Last year, according to Kantar World Panel data, three million extra shoppers bought into seasonal impulse, resulting in 20% value growth for the category. Shoppers also bought more packs (up 10.2%), more frequently (up 8.5%) and spent more money (up 3.6% per pack).

Sweet spot

The warmer weather is generally good news for sugar confectionery as consumers swap melt-prone chocolate for sweets. And one brand that performs particularly well in forecourts is Haribo, whose Starmix, Tangfastics and Super Mix continue to be the brand's best sellers, worth over £3.9m within forecourts alone (IRI data).

Haribo marketing manager, Katy Clark, says: "Starmix and Tangfastics are also positioned as the sector's top-selling hanging bags, a format that's perfect for sharing and ideal for journeys."

She says sweets have universal appeal: "Mintel data states that almost nine in 10 UK adults have eaten sweets in the past six months, that's 47 million consumers (IRI). Importantly consumers that enjoy sweet treats also enjoy variety, so stocking an extensive range meets consumer demand and creates strong sales opportunities within forecourts."

Sour continues to be a key trend within the market. Clark says that last year sales of Tangfastics soared and continue to sell well, with the latest IRI data showing year-on-year growth of 13%. And it looks like there are more sales in sight via a new line.

During the summer Haribo is extending its winning Tangfastics formula into the marshmallows category with the launch of Tangfastics Chamallows a mallow with a Tangfastics coating that delivers a 'burst of tangy flavour'. 

According to IRI, the original Chamallows line is already a best seller within forecourts.

Meanwhile, Haribo is known for its continued brand support. This year it is spending its largest investment to date and as such its TV advertising is expected to be seen over 824 million times. There will also be radio, cinema and video-on- demand advertising.

The company started the year with a new creative for Starmix, which focuses on dramatising the child-like enthusiasm people have for the products. Clark says this has been a great success with positive feedback from consumers.

Haribo's Big Bag Tour will also return this summer, where over one million products will be sampled and consumers will be invited to 'explore the mix' and experience what it is like to step inside the brand's top selling treats: Starmix, Tangfastics and Super Mix.

Firm favourites

Two absolute must-stocks for forecourts are Skittles and Starburst. That's because, according to Nielsen data, Skittles is one of the fastest-growing major fruit confectionery brands, worth £38m and delivering growth of 15% year-on-year which is three times faster than the total category.

A pack of Skittles is sold every second in the UK, and on a daily basis, over 11.2m Skittles are eaten. As a result, two of the top five best-selling singles fruit SKUs in independent and symbol stores are Skittles.

Meanwhile, Starburst is worth £23m. Almost a quarter of a million Starburst chews are eaten every day, with Starburst original the fifth biggest single countline in independents.

Over at Mondelez International, sugar bags are worth more than £109.5m and growing at 3.8% (Nielsen), with brand favourites including Maynards and Bassetts. The company's trade communication manager, Susan Nash, says retailers should take advantage of innovation in the marketplace, especially from market leaders such as Mondelez who invest in research, development, technology and marketing.

The firm's latest innovation comes from Maynards. New Discovery Patch Animals are fruit-flavour jelly and foam sweets. Every pack features an interactive world map with fun facts. There is also an app that goes with the sweets.

Supported by a UK media investment of £3m this year including TV, out of home (close to stores), digital and in-store activity, Mondelez says the launch of Discovery Patch Animals aims to attract new families to the category.

The Fruittella range from Perfetti Van Melle (PVM) has grown and diversified over the years but in terms of countlines, the original strawberry stick is still the best seller. But consumers do like new things. Fruittella Magics is a case in point. This is a sweet that changes flavour as you chew it, going from orange to strawberry or raspberry to lemon, and PVM says it has had a significant impact on sales since launch.

Mixing up flavours is definitely a growing trend as the latest Rowntree's Fruit Pastilles launch Froosions has two flavours in one sweet.

Available in both a single tube (rrp 51p) and a sharing bag (rrp £1.29), the sweets combine two flavours together, such as blackcurrant & apple, lemon & lime and pineapple & orange.

Nestlé UK and Ireland senior corporate communications manager, James Maxton, says: "New Rowntree's Fruit Pastilles Froosions are certain to boost confectionery category sales as a result of additional consumer excitement and interest driven by innovation from a much loved brand. Retailers looking to maximise sales should display Froosions off-shelf at launch so shoppers cannot miss it, as well as siting next to Rowntree's Fruit Pastilles on the main confectionery fixture for long term sales."

The key Fruittella launch for this summer is Fruit Letters, where outer wrappers of Fruittella sticks are rebranded with the 'Fruit Letters' logo and the individual chew wrappers each have a letter of the alphabet printed on them. This playful product allows consumers to make their own words and phrases either by themselves or with friends. The Fruittella Fruit Letters activity will run across all single stick pack flavours and multipacks, and will be supported by media activity.

Elsewhere, PVM is focusing on the pocket money opportunity for independent forecourt and convenience retailers within sugar confectionery. There will be particular emphasis on the Chupa Chups range and the variety that it gives to retailers, enabling them to offer multi-buy promotions to their customers and replicate deals that have been proven to work very well in the multiple sector. The company says products such as new Chupa Chups Shootz, Melody Pops, XXL Lollipops, Crazy Dips, Babol Tutti Frutti and Cotton Candy, all with recommended retail prices between 33p and 40p, can be combined in multi-buy promotions of '2 for 50p'. Chupa Chups is also catering for the lower-priced end of the market with the launch of Chupa Chups Stix individually wrapped cherry sweets with a soft centre filling that retail at 10p.

Retro revival

Adrian Hipkiss, brand marketing manager at Candyland, reports that nostalgic, traditional confectionery has seen a revival within the market as consumers look to enjoy products from days gone by. "Our range of iconic lines, including Sherbet Fountain, Dip Dabs, Refreshers, Black Jacks, Fruit Salads and Wham Assorted Minis, all sell extremely well," he says.

"It's an incredibly nostalgic market and transports consumers back to their youth as they look to indulge in flavours of years gone by." He says they also provide parents with the reassurance of a tried and trusted product.

Hipkiss believes good visual merchandising is key to supporting confectionery sales. "Impulse lines should be positioned in a prime location with items clearly visible and attractively displayed.

A Candyland pos solution is available to help with colour blocking and dressing the shelving area, which allows all the products to be displayed together and to stand out.

"Consumer first impressions are formed within a short time frame, and retailers boasting strong visual merchandising are able to communicate latest trends, while assisting shoppers in making a buying decision and create an exciting and enticing buying environment."

Classic reinvention

Candyland brand owner Tangerine has recently reinvented a selection of confectionery classics to make them relevant to today's consumer.

The Candyland Wham products have demonstrated strong growth in the market (a 7.5% year-on-year increase) and to take advantage of the popularity of chew products, the original Wham bars have been reinvented into an easier-to-consume format.

The new Candyland Wham Cosmic Chews are individually wrapped in a stick format (36g, rrp 39p) and are packed with the tongue-tingling Wham crystals as featured in the original bars.

"We have also taken top performing kids' singles line, Dip Dab (worth £3m in the total market), and combined it with the classic Refresher product (worth £2.2m in the total market) to bring a new, reinvigorated sherbet product to the market with a completely new flavour twist," says Hipkiss.

The result is the Refreshers Dip Dab, which features a raspberry flavoured sherbet with a lemon, lime, orange and raspberry fizzy lollipop all flavours originally found in the traditional Refresher sweets.

But there are new products too in the form of soft gums. "After conducting consumer research and identifying a demand for traditional, sweet shop-style products, the new soft gums were developed using popular, iconic hard boiled sweet flavours: Pear Drops, Rhubarb & Custards and Kola Kubes," explains Hipkiss.

They are available in two pack sizes, a 160g sharing pack (rrp £1.39) and 70g impulse bags (rrp 65p). The 70g bags will be added to the existing Candyland '2 for £1' range.

There's also a new sour flavoured bon bon which capitalises on the trend for tangy treats. New sour raspberry bon bons are a striking blue colour and are actually the brand's first ever blue sweets.

Swizzels Matlow has extended its Squashies range with Love Hearts, Double Lollies, Refreshers and Drumsticks all now transformed into a soft, chewy gum format.

Squashies are available as countlines, hanging bags and £1 price-marked packs to ensure that all eating occasions are catered for. Mark Walker, sales director at Swizzels Matlow, reports that the Squashies range is showing strong growth with almost 50 million packs sold.

"Squashies countline bags are perfect for an impulse purchase and the £1 price-marked packs have great impact on shelf. Sharing bags of confectionery such as Squashies are becoming increasing popular for family and friends hosting a 'big night in'."

There's no doubt that the big night in is a key occasion for sugar sales and 'gaming' is a key part of those big nights in. There are currently 33.6m active gamers in the UK growing at the rate of 9% year-on-year who are spending an eye-watering 55m hours on game consoles every day.

Skittles entertained gamers earlier this year when it teamed up with the popular fruit-slicing game to launch Fruit Ninja vs. Skittles. Within five days of its launch, it was number one in the iTunes download chart and has since been downloaded over four million times.

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Weekly retail fuel prices: 15 April 2019
RegionDieselLPGSuper ULUL
East Midlands131.9880.90137.50125.32
North East130.83137.71124.52
North West131.63135.44124.59
Northern Ireland129.55131.04123.66
South East132.9559.90138.51126.32
South West132.2957.90137.05125.42
West Midlands131.7971.90136.78125.40
Yorkshire & Humber131.32137.91124.87

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