In the UK, medicated confectionery products are traditionally bought for the cold and flu season, which runs from September to March. However, Kraft Foods is looking to extend sales of its Halls brand beyond this period by invigorating consumers with a new proposition, product and pack design, as well as a £1.3m marketing campaign.
Kraft reckons there is an opportunity to extend usage occasions for Halls Mentholyptus to times when consumers need the "power of a deep breath" in order to tackle everyday challenges, such as facing a crowded commute to work, a first date or a tough presentation.
According to Kantar Worldpanel data, more than half of Halls’ sales are currently driven by consumers who buy the confectionery year round, which Kraft says shows the potential to double Halls’ sales in five years.
A new variant joins the line-up this month: Halls Mentholyptus assorted citrus, which contains three mild menthol flavours (orange, lemon and lime) that Kraft says makes it more relevant for everyday consumption, in addition to the traditional cold and flu season.
There is also a new look for Halls Mentholyptus and Soothers to improve stand-out on shelf. And each pack will feature a ’menthol power meter’ with a different strength for every occasion from one (mild) to five (strong) to help consumers to choose the right product for their particular need.
To help retailers drive impulse sales, there is a new counter-display solution which enables them to have both Halls Mentholyptus (extra strong and assorted citrus) and Halls Soothers together at the till.
To help consumers understand the new brand positioning, Kraft is investing £1.3m in marketing support for Halls throughout September and October, including press and outdoor advertising positioned near locations such as London train stations, where consumers may require a ’breath of fresh air’, as well as radio sponsorship and tailored point-of-sale. There is also a sampling campaign.
Laura Cristea, Halls assistant brand manager at Kraft Foods, comments: "Halls is already an extremely popular brand in the UK, but sales are limited due to the very short season. Extending this season will not only drive sales for the brand, but also help retailers to maintain its relevance all year round."
Kraft is not the only company repositioning products as suitable for year-round consumption.
Wrigley’s recently unveiled a multi-million pound campaign to reposition its Airwaves as an all-year-round portable ’pocket pick-me-up’.
The gum itself has been enhanced to deliver a "more intense, longer-lasting flavour experience", plus there is a new blackcurrant variant, designed to appeal to younger chewers. Support for Airwaves comes from TV and outdoor advertising as well as sampling.
Daniela Campari, marketing director at Wrigley, says: "This major repositioning is going to unleash the full potential of Airwaves, which is already the number one brand in a number of other global markets. Airwaves is the ultimate mental refreshment brand. There’s nothing quite like it!"
Finally, Strepsils is currently backed by a ’Seasonal Affected Throat’ campaign, which is designed to grow the throat care category ’out-of-season’. One million pounds has been invested in radio and digital activity to raise awareness of the brand. Strepsils’ brand owner Reckitt Benckiser ran its first ’Seasonal Affected Throat’ campaign last year and aims to increase category penetration to 5% in the summer months by 2014, which would mean an additional £4m for the throat care category.