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product news: RetroScents aims to rekindle sweet memories

RetroScents, the manufacturer of in-car air fresheners and fragranced accessories, is aiming to rekindle sweet memories after signing a licensing deal Tangerine, the supplier and manufacturer of sugar confectionery and branded popcorn.

product news: Premier Foods adds new cake bars

Premier Foods is launching new Cadbury Roses Cake Bars ahead of the festive season, with classic favourites and best sellers also returning from Cadbury Cakes and Mr Kipling. Mr Kipling will see a packaging refresh across its range, while Iced Topped Mince Pies will now also be available in a handy twin pack.

product news: Elizabeth Shaw does the Twist

Elizabeth Shaw is launching Twists, described as an indulgent selection of individually wrapped hazelnut treats enrobed in milk chocolate and praline, topped with crisp rice and coated in milk chocolate.

product news: Mars Chocolate puts new brand on TV

The first TV advert for goodnessKnows, Mars Chocolate UK’s newest brand, aired for the first time on Sunday November 5 as part of the brand’s Done some bad? Done some good campaign.

Product news: New fun range from Maynards Bassetts

Maynards Bassetts is bringing more light-hearted fun to the candy bags category with the launch of a new range - its first since the launch of the brand in 2016.

Product news: Ferrero Rocher back on TV with 'golden moments'

Ferrero Rocher is back on TV with a new £3.5m campaign over Christmas and spring to support the brand across these seasonal occasions.

product news: Jenny Wren introduces sub-£10 Christmas Box

Jenny Wren, the Kentish chocolate firm, has introduced its first Christmas box for what it calls the “neglected” sub-£10 gifting category.

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.

product news: Curly Wurly and Picnic add new packs

Curly Wurly and Picnic are now available in medium-sized bags. New Curly Wurly Squirlies and Cadbury Picnic Bites follow the likes of Cadbury Fudge, which was successfully extended into the medium bitesize category in February.

product news: Big Bear Confectionery adds limited edition

Big Bear Confectionery has announced a new limited-edition variant to be introduced to its Fox’s Glacier range: Fox’s Glacier Berries.

product news: Yorkie adds protein-enriched variant

Nestlé Confectionery’s Yorkie brand is tapping into a growing trend in the confectionery market with the launch of the new Yorkie Pro protein enriched chocolate bar.

product news: Tangerine brings Softies range back to TV

Tangerine Confectionery is bringing the Softies range back to screens this autumn as part of a £1m investment in its branded sugar portfolio.

product news: Nestlé Confectionery reveals festive plans

Nestlé Confectionery has unveiled its Christmas offering for 2017. Leading its range are the Smarties Little Choc Penguin (a chocolate shell with mini Smarties inside) and the white chocolate Milkybar Polar Bear Cub (both RRP 65p). Each features four new designs on its foil packaging, giving them added personality and enabling shoppers to choose their favourite.

product news: Maoam pop-up sets off on tour

Maoam has launched Maoam Zone – a pop-up party that delivers a festival feel for consumers as part of a nationwide sampling campaign.

product news: Naturya launches healthy snack bars

Naturya has teamed up with two Michelin Star trained chefs, David Jones and Jonny Bingham, to create a range of organic, nutrient-rich, nutritionally balanced snack bars, which have just been launched into the forecourt sector.

product news: Vimto teams up with Millions

Soft drink brand Vimto is teaming up with Millions, the tiny chewy sweets, to create Vimto Millions.

product news: Mars Chocolate finds new female icon

Mars Chocolate UK has launched a new advert for the Galaxy brand, ending its use of the Audrey Hepburn adverts it has been using for the past four years.

product news: Trebor puts Softmints in a pot

Trebor has launched its Softmints in a pot format, with the 100g pots available in peppermint and spearmint Softmint variants.

product news: Mentos launches limited-edition new look

Mentos is launching a new look for three months as a limited edition product.

product news: Jelly Beans partners super heroes

Jelly Belly Candy Company and Warner Bros Consumer Products, on behalf of DC Entertainment, have partnered to create specially branded bags of Jelly Beans featuring Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman.

product news: Ferrero reveals Christmas plans

Ferrero says it will be investing £8.2m this Christmas while launching new products across its brands, including advent calendars and new boxed chocolate products.

product news: McVitie's adds to Digestives Nibbles range

McVitie’s has added to its Digestives Nibbles range with McVitie’s Digestives Nibbles Milk Chocolate Orange.

Jameson's Ruffles extend with a peppermint variety

Tangerine Confectionery is extending the Jameson's brand with the launch of Peppermint Ruffles.

Mars' new launch spreads goodness across the UK

Mars Chocolate UK has unveiled a new treat called goodnessKNOWS, its biggest brand launch in the UK since Celebrations. It comprises four snackable squares crammed with fruit, whole nuts, rolled oats and dipped in dark chocolate. It's described as a 'tasty, high-quality and shareable treat' that can be eaten all at once, or broken up through the day.

Jelly Babies go Tropical with its latest flavour

Maynards Bassetts Jelly Babies are available in a Tropical variant containing mango, banana and pineapple flavours. As with original Jelly Babies, the new sweets are made from real fruit juice with natural colours and flavours.

product news: Wrigley extends Halloween range

This August, Wrigley is extending its seasonal range to five Halloween SKUs.

product news: Mondelez previews Christmas offer

This year Mondelez International has bigger plans than ever for Christmas with the return of the Milk Tray Man, a £10m spend for its Cadvent campaign, NPD in both chocolate and candy, and for the first time, it will offer Cadbury biscuits within its portfolio.

product news: Kerry Foods exploits movie link-up

As part of its partnership with Sony Pictures Animation’s film The Emoji Movie, released nationwide on August 4, Kerry Foods is set to hit screens with a new 10 second creative across its Yollies brand on kids TV channels, cinema, digital and video on demand.

product news: Wrigley introduces Starburst Strawberry

Following its launch in the US earlier this year, Wrigley is introducing the Starburst Strawberry to the UK from the 17 July.

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.

product news: Cadbury brings back Tiffin permanently

Cadbury Dairy Milk will be bringing back an old favourite – Cadbury Dairy Milk Tiffin – as a permanent addition to the range to help drive excitement and growth within the tablets category.

product news: Mars Chocolate launches M&Ms Peanut & Hazelnut

Mars Chocolate UK has announced the launch of M&Ms Peanut & Hazelnut, a limited edition variant that combines the most popular M&Ms variant with one of the most popular flavours in the UK.

product news: Kinder Bueno adds coconut special edition

Ferrero is launching a coconut variant of Kinder Bueno as a special edition product.

product news: DSL introduces new air freshener range

Forecourt promotions company DSL Group has joined forces with confectionary giant Millions to launch a new range of branded air fresheners.

product news: Mentos lines up four new launches

The mint and gum brand Mentos has four new launches lined up for this summer.

product news: Tangerine adds to Vimto range

Tangerine Confectionery has launched a new addition to the Vimto range: Vimto Remix Bon Bons.

product news: Kinder Bueno extends into bite size sector

Ferrero is tapping into the £1.15bn sharing bag opportunity this spring with the launch of Kinder Bueno Mini (MRSP: £2.00); the classic Kinder Bueno in bite-sized, individually wrapped portions.

product news: Tangerine invests £1m in sugar portfolio

Tangerine Confectionery is investing £1m in its branded sugar portfolio.

product news: Nestlé ups milk in Milkybar

Nestlé Confectionery has increased the amount of milk in its Milkybar recipe, making it the brand’s number one ingredient, but it claims the taste will remain the same.

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.

Block busters

Nights in sharing choccie in front of the latest TV box set have kept the chocolate market buoyant but so too has innovation.

Creme of the crop

Christmas is still a few weeks away yet canny retailers are already thinking about Easter, which is still months away. Many shoppers know Christmas is over as soon as they see Cadbury Creme Eggs out on display and for many stores that's at the end of December. Indeed specialist confectionery cash and carry chain Hancocks has been stocking Creme Eggs since last month to ensure its customers can display them straight after Christmas.

Novelty value

From popping candy frogs to robins and even white chocolate polar bears, there really is something for everyone this Christmas. The confectionery manufacturers seem to have pulled out all the stops to ensure this Christmas will be a cracker.

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Weekly retail fuel prices: 13 November 2017
RegionDieselLPGSuper ULUL
East Midlands122.51131.19120.13
North East122.2163.40130.26120.15
North West122.3953.80130.05119.91
Northern Ireland121.09125.70118.82
South East123.2069.90130.92120.88
South West122.77128.85120.30
West Midlands122.0958.90130.41119.94
Yorkshire & Humber122.3453.70132.45119.99

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