Sweets for my sweet


An SLR category-by-category management guide starts this month with the essentials for turning the sweet smell of sugar confectionery into the sweet smell of success.

Read any of the newspapers on your stand in the store and you’ll know that sugar is in the firing line from the health lobby. This black and white picture makes great headlines but the reality is somewhat more nuanced with sugar confectionery continuing to play a very sensible role in a balanced diet for the vast majority of shoppers.

The blunt tool of making sugar content an issue of taxation has been fought tooth and nail by an array of major manufacturers, keen to counter the hype with solid research and statistics – but come what may in terms of legislation, there will always be a place for a treat for shoppers.

Ignoring that legislation is not an option, of course, but understanding the role that sugar confectionery can play as part of a wider diet is important to understanding the category and the demand it drives.

Increasing tax burdens will potentially drive prices up but manufacturers in the sugar category have long been aware that trends, habits and fashions change constantly, and have always succeeded in keeping up in the past.

Demand for lower sugar products has grown but the often overlooked reality is that manufacturers have already made huge strides in improving the health credentials of their products without the need for punitive legislation. It’s one of the consequences of supply and demand.

One step ahead

Staying ahead of game, then, remains key for retailers and manufacturers alike and dedicated retailers will actively seek out the category management insights provided by supportive manufacturers.

One such manufacturer is Wrigley who have just launched a new Starburst Very Berry variant. Research commissioned for the company, carried out by Nielsen, suggests berry flavours are bang on trend and have a proven track record of driving growth in to the sugar confectionery category. As flavour is very much on trend above sweetness, Starburst Very Berry would help retailers to profit from that shift in shopper preferences.

Dan Newell, Wrigley Confections Marketing Manager, noted that berry flavours continue to perform well in the UK, and represent a huge sales opportunity for retailers. “We have combined some of the most popular berry flavours to create a pack that’s bursting with real berry fruit juice.” He added that Wrigley of course consider Starburst Very Berry a must stock.

NPD is always key to the sugar confectionery category and retailers shouldn’t be afraid to delete slower-selling lines to make room for the new kid on the block. The impulse nature of the category means it pays dividends to take advantage of promotional placement. Packaging is invariably designed to make the most of this market, so explore options for eye-catching displays, all over the store.