Gummies on the Go
February 1, 2004
Gummies on the Go
These lovable, gelatin-mix treats have to keep moving and shaking.
Those bears and fish are fine for the older generation of gummi hounds, in fact, they prefer them, but the younger set is constantly sniffing out what’s new, and therefore, keeping this category squiggling right along. Gummies saw its best sales increases a few years ago — and they were only in the single digits; more recently it’s been fighting to even stay on the plus side. Nevertheless, the gummi sector is a mainstay of candy that won’t allow itself to get staid.
If retailers want to stay on top of this popular non-chocolate segment, they must recognize the need to merchandise to both spectrums of the market: the older, more traditional consumer, and the “let’s get wilder than worms” kids. This category is similar to sours in that way; however, it has a much more loyal following with the older generation, and therefore, must cater to it more heavily than in sours. Kids are good consumers in both categories and deserve the merchandising follow-through in both.
Consumers of all ages consider this type of bagged candy “movie candy,” and thus have proven through multiple purchases that they respond well to any promotion that couples it with other “take-along” treats.
Manufacturers have wisely picked up on this “on-the-go” trend, and have offered cup-like packaging found in other areas of the candy business, such as miniature chocolates. The idea is that the candy can be conveniently placed in car or theater cup holders, and also re-close more efficiently. This type of packaging mustn’t be left for the convenience store channel alone; studies show that consumers are willing to pay more for it in any retail outlet.
The produce section can be a great cross-merchandising area with “real fruit juice” gummies. The target consumer here is obviously the moms, who might even pick up this healthier sweet snack for their own take-along treat, as well as putting it in their kids’ school lunches.
Sour gummies, marshmallow gummies, fruit and crème gummies, play-value gummies, uniquely molded packaging for gummies, fuller-flavored gummies, chocolate-coated gummies, double-layered gummies, stretched gummies — these innovative category versions are already realities and are expected to only gain strength looking ahead. Gummies are a confectionery phenomenon in that they always seem to defy any downtown in numbers and land on their squishy, fast-moving feet.
Go for the brands.
Taking the economy into account, branding right now is the most important thing when selecting gummies. When money is tight, consumers typically spend it on treats they know are good — sometimes that’s even where they afford themselves more luxury. So stick with the tried and true brands of the category, and leave room for perhaps just one or two value options.
Do something special in the summer.
The popularity of gummies doesn’t really slow down for any month, but there are some steady spikes in the summer due to the fact that chocolate melts more easily at that time. Therefore, this is a no-brainer time of the year to really promote and highlight the category.
Go after those great new gummies.
If consumers aren’t buying more gummies in your stores, it probably means they’re bored with the old shapes. Keep the standbys, but make sure you add some excitement to the mix as well.