Cap Goes Back To “Children At Play” Roots
By Renee Covino
Cap Candy, a division of Hasbro Toys, is literally “playing up” its original strength in the kid candy business, now under the direction of Bob Nations, vice president of global marketing and sales, and Julie Nunn, director of marketing.
Cap, a name that was created as an acronym for Children At Play, is “refocusing its efforts around that theme,” and will even include the words “children at play” in its logo, according to Nations, whose role was expanded in November to include the general management of the company.
“We decided to use our Hasbro toy affiliation much more to its strengths,” adds Nunn.
The effort is, in part, a timely response to the child obesity issue. “The most important thing we sell is a play experience that happens to have a small quantity of candy,” says Nations. “With regard to the obesity issue in our industry, it makes perfect sense to emphasize the activities and experiential fun with modest treats, rather than pure candy,” Nunn maintains.
New products with that emphasis will be incorporated into the Cap line, but “our products take 12-18 months to come to market, so we won’t see the results until next year,” reports Nations. “But the criteria are that they will encourage the child to play. We don’t want sedentary kids.”
“Good-for-you types of candy” will be researched by Cap as another means to address responsible candy marketing, according to Nations. This includes options that are fruit-juice fortified, under 200 calories, and under 10 grams of sugar. Wrappers will also reflect calorie counts, such as the company’s little lollipops, which are 50 calories.
Cap Candy will continue to be licensed-focused in its “children at play” strategy, as it has always been. “But we’re not going after licenses just because they’re hot; they have to make sense for candy and Cap’s strategy,” says Nunn. “Our classic Harry Potter license fits this perfectly and we’ll continue with that through 2007.”
Other big licenses from Cap this year will include “Transformers,” the movie, and “Spider-Man 3.”
Twelve leaders in the candy industry were honored this spring when they were inducted into the Candy Hall of Fame. Inductees, seated left to right, are: Bill Wiltsie, Sr., Wiltsie & Co., Inc.; Susan Smith, National Confectioners Association; Brian Jackson, Jackson Associates; Elaine Gonzalez, Chocolate Artistry; and Rick LaRue, Goetze’s Candy Co., Inc. (retired). Standing left to right are: Bernie Nadel, Ferrero USA, Inc. (retired); Bill Raleigh, SPI Polyols Inc.; Bob Pontes, Auburn Merchandise Distributors, Inc.; Tony Sweet, Sweet Candy Co.; John L. Asher, Jr., Asher’s Chocolates; and Ross Bainbridge, Bainbridge Associates, LLC. Not pictured: Russ Albers, Jelly Belly Candy Co.
Also honored posthumously were: Oliver Chase, inventor of the first American candy making machine and founder of NECCO, and Sam Born, founder of Just Born Inc. and inventor of a machine to automatically insert sticks into lollipops.
The Science of Gum Chewing Studied
To expand on research from around the world suggesting chewing gum may offer health, wellness and lifestyle benefits, The Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company, Chicago, has established the Wrigley Science Institute (WSI) to study whether chewing gum may aid in weight management, stress relief and increasing alertness and concentration.
Gilbert A. Leveille, Ph.D., will lead an advisory panel of top scientists, including researchers from the United States, United Kingdom and China.
During 2006, the Institute expects to support at least 10 groundbreaking research studies. Three to four U.S. and U.K. studies probe the role chewing gum may play in appetite control and weight management; three U.K. and Asian studies focus on the role chewing gum may have in increasing focus and concentration, and three studies in the United States and United Kingdom assess how chewing may help reduce stress.
Existing research suggests that the act of chewing gum increases blood flow to the brain by at least 25 percent, and that chewing gum appears to improve the ability to retain and retrieve information. Research also suggests that chewing gum can reduce caloric intake by serving as a diversion between meals and a prevention to “mindless munching.”
As chief executive officer and owner of The Jay Group, a Ronks, Pa.-based marketing and logistics fulfillment company, Dana Chryst knows all about providing behind-the-scenes services.
That is precisely what her company does for a long list of manufacturer clients, a list that has included confections companies such as Just Born and Lindt USA. The Jay Group offers a cafeteria-list of “fulfillment” services for vendors seeking to outsource some of the behind-the-scenes promotion and logistics services. The company’s capabilities range from managing promotions (everything from procuring display components to handling the logistics of shipping them to stores) to operating consumer call-in centers and handling e-commerce functions.
For Lindt, the Jay Group fulfills customized gift basket orders generated online and through Lindt stores around the country. During holiday seasons, the number of orders processed can reach a total of more than 6,000 monthly. To ensure that orders are fulfilled accurately and quickly, the Jay Group’s order management system ties directly to the Lindt USA e-commerce Web site.
The Jay Group helped Just Born set up an online merchandise store for Peeps branded merchandise that was seamlessly connected to Just Born’s Web site.
Chryst recently took some time out to chat with Confectioner about how smooth execution of marketing and promotion initiatives enhances a brand experience.
Q: Why are the services of a fulfillment company valuable to vendors and retailers?
A: “The manufacturer spends so much time and money developing the brand, it’s critical that they deliver the brand to the consumer and the retailer in a way that consistently fulfills the brand.”
Q: How do you help manufacturers achieve such goals?
A: “We try to create promotions that are intuitive and easy for the retailer to execute. In each of these scenarios, we bring expertise that isn’t just logistics. It’s marketing logistics. It’s one thing to say, ‘What do I need to do to get a product to its destination safely?’ It’s another thing to say, ‘How do I create a corrugated display that will reinforce the brand image for the whole time it’s on display?”
Q: How has online ordering capability affected consumers’ expectations?
A: “Same-day shipping appears to be an expectation, particularly in the area of confections. People who order online expect things easy, fast and perfect.
Diamond Makes Deal for Harmony
Leading snack nut producer Diamond Foods Inc. has paid $18 million in cash and assumed defined liabilities for Harmony Foods’ leased processing and packaging plant in Fisher, Ind.; the Harmony and Homa brands, and $4.5 million of working capital and other assets.
The strategically located 187,000 square foot plant, which will provide Diamond two-day or less shipping time to key customers, produces trail mixes, specialty dried fruits, nuts, seeds, sweet snacks and organic snacks in multiple packaging options.
Diamond will relocate its production activities to the Indiana plant from its current Lemont, Ill., facility, a move it expects will save $2 million annually.
The deal also expands Diamond’s merchandising footprint in both the snack and produce aisles, as well as enabling a year-round presence in the produce aisle.
Diamond expects this expansion into complementary products such as sweet, sweet/salty, natural and organic products, in addition to its Diamond and Emerald brand products, to drive fiscal 2007 snack sales past $80 million
Free Wrigley Website Expands Games, Online Shopping Options
Candystand.com, the Chicago-based Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company’s free entertainment Website, has been overhauled to house all of Wrigley’s U.S. brands and additional games.
Consumers can now go to the site’s Candy Shop and purchase popular Wrigley brands such as Big Red, Juicy Fruit, Winterfresh, Doublemint, Orbit and Eclipse in addition to the site’s existing stable of Life Savers and Crème Savers products. In addition, the user-experience has been streamlined and new entertainment content has been added.
Wrigley acquired Candystand.com in 2005. One of the most popular Web destinations, featuring sports, arcade, card, puzzle and multiplayer games, it is visited by more than 4 million people each month and has been in existence since 1997. Two new games, HORSE and Out of Bounds Tennis, have been added, and in the near future, Monster Trucks, GT Auto, Mini Golf and Skyburst will be available. Candystand also offers an array of contests in its sweepstakes center.
Jelly Belly Mystique Will Extend to New Product Categories
The distinctive colors, shapes — and in some cases flavors and scents — of Jelly Belly jelly beans will soon be found on items including pillows, board books and apparel, thanks to licensing agreements orchestrated by The Licensing Company North America, N.Y., N.Y.
Every licensed product will leverage at least one of the four core Jelly Belly jelly bean attributes — flavor, scent, color and shape, says Risa Turken, managing director of The Licensing Company.
“When looking for brands that make sense to extend, they have to have a unique personality and identifiable assets,” and Jelly Belly jelly beans meet those requirements easily, says Turken. “Jelly Belly is such a fun brand,” she continues, adding that the key to successfully extending it into new product categories is “leveraging that fun.” Here’s a preview of some of the new licensed Jelly Belly products now in the works.
Novelty pillows, beanbags and pet beds from Senario are scheduled for rollout at mid-tier department and specialty stores in fall 2006.
Jelly Belly bean-inspired fashion tops for juniors and young women from Jerry Leigh will be launched in spring 2007 to be followed later by tops for men and girls.
Penguin Young Readers Group will unveil infant board books in time for Valentine’s Day 2007.
Also scheduled for Spring 2007 rollout is a line of food and beverage gift sets from Shonfeld’s. The sets will include cocktail mixers, dessert syrups, smoothie mixes and jams and jellies.
Ann Daw, 51, is the new president of the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade. Daw has 27 years of international business and marketing experience with Kraft and Philip Morris. She has also worked as a consultant, focusing on business strategies and domestic and international brand building for clients of all sizes.
Hawaiian Host, manufacturer of Hawaiian Host Chocolates, has named Stephanie Yamamoto sales coordinator/administrative assistant, based at the Gardena, Calif., plant.
Traditional retailers’ innovative new formats and private label lines are transforming the high-growth natural and organics segment, IRI reports. With 13 percent dollar sales growth, the natural organic market is far outpacing total CPG growth. The net effect will be greater accessibility for consumers and lower prices.
For the full report, visit www.infores.com/public/us/newsEvents/thoughtleadership/tt_jan06.pdf
Stress Busters: Fat, Carbs and Sugar
Attention, food police. This is a reality check. Current medical guidelines and health food choices don’t fit American lifestyle realities, according to a study from Landis Strategy & Innovation, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
More than 1,000 U.S. consumers were the basis for the study, “Evolving Consumer Choice and Wellbeing: Fat, Carbs and Sugar Still Rule,” which contends that brand manufacturers and health experts must “retire the philosophies of the old paradigm that required consumers to change entrenched behaviors to fit product agendas and accept a new healthy living paradigm that introduces breakthrough thinking and product innovations more congruent with varied American health mind frames, lifestyles and circumstances.”
Translation: The study found that consumers know what a healthy lifestyle is all about and recognize foods that fit with sensible eating, but they struggle to eat sensibly when stressed.
The survey resulted in seven profiles of consumers’ health beliefs and value systems that guide choices and actions. But the gist of the study is that stress and the ability to cope with it are tied to success or failure of any approach to food.
For details, visit www.landis-si.com. and click on “Landis Knowledge Resources.”
—PLEASE CREATE PIE CHART USING THIS DATA—
Shopping Trips by Type
Small Trips/Immediate Needs 69%
Medium Trips/Fill In 18%
Large Trip/Weekly Shopping 9%
Extra-Large Trip/Stock-up 4%
Source: ACNielsen – Homescan for 52 weeks ending July 2, 2005
—stock art of someone eating or looking stressed—
—data for chart below—
Attracting Consumers’ Attention
To New Products Just Isn’t Easy
Packaged goods manufacturers launched more than 30,000 new products last year, and the majority of consumers (57 percent) could not recall a single one of them, according to the 2005 Schneider/Stagnito Communications Most Memorable New Product Launch Survey.
The survey polled more than 10,000 consumers to generate a list of the year’s 10 “most memorable” new product launches. Topping the list — tied with 23 percent of the vote each — were Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and McDonald’s Fruit & Walnut salad. No candy items made the top 10 list, which also included Coca-Cola Zero, Hummer H3, Cocoa-Cola with Lime, Apple’s iPod nano, Tide to Go, Apple’s iPod (not the nano version), Budweiser Select and Clorox Bath Wand.
The survey findings call attention to the challenge packaged goods marketers face, points out Joan Schneider, president of Schneider Associates, a Boston-based marketing communications firm, and the originator of the survey.
“With only 16 percent of consumers polled characterizing themselves as early adopters,” Schneider continued, “marketers need to appeal to the 84 percent of consumers who don’t want to try or buy their new products.”
—chart or boxed item to go with story above—
(Top factors that consumers said influenced their awareness of new products)
Factors Percent Cited
Television Ads 80%
Free Samples 55%
In-Store Displays 62%
Recommendations from Family and Friends 52%
Received a Coupon or Flyer 47%
In-Store Free Samples 45%
Source: 2005 Schneider/Stagnito Communications Most Memorable New Product Launch Survey
—News Briefs—these can be shortened, I’m grouping them all together basically because they’re all short newsy items; first two are most important —-
Founders Equity Acquires Richardson Brands
Private equity investor Founders Equity Inc. has acquired niche confectioner Richardson Brands Group. Terms were not disclosed.
Richardson, established in 1893, produces confectionery products such as Richardson brand soft sugar mints, chewy candies and Beechies brand coated gum at its 180,000 square foot facility in Canajoharie, N.Y. The company, which also is the U.S. sales, marketing and distribution arm of Colombina branded candies, is headquartered in Miami.
The management team of Don Butte as CEO and George Lasher as CFO have more than 75 years combined experience with firms such as Kraft, Nabisco and General Foods.
Supermarkets Post Strong Sales Growth
Same-store supermarket sales rose the highest they have in a decade — 3 percent — for 2005, while overall supermarket industry sales increased 4.6 percent, according to Food Retailing Industry Speaks, 2006, the annual state-of-the-industry report of the Food Marketing Institute (FMI).
Independent retailers scored the largest gains in same-store and overall sales, at 4.56 percent and 4.73 percent, respectively.
The large chains are succeeding with technology, efficiency and new store formats that cater to consumers’ lifestyles; the smaller retailers succeed by meeting customer needs, observes Tim Hammonds, FMI president and CEO.
Among the developments noted by the report, self-checkout lanes are now a standard supermarket feature, offered by three-quarters of stores. In addition, more retailers are offering shoppers a quick-stop, prepared foods department for take-out meals. Nearly 40 percent — 39.8 percent — offer this service, a more than 10-point increase from last year, when only 28.2 percent did. Almost 7 in 10 stores – 68 percent – feature coffee bars.
C-Store Revenue Up 20 Percent
Convenience store sales experienced double-digit growth for the third straight year, reaching a record $474.3 billion in 2005 on a sales increase of 20.2 percent, according to the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS). NACS figures are based on a survey of more than 21,000 convenience and petroleum retailers nationwide.
Leading the increase was a 26.2 percent rise in gasoline prices, which lead to a 25.5 percent spike in motor fuels revenues to $329.5 billion in 2005. In-store revenues were also strong, posting a 9.6 percent increase to $144.8 billion. Merchandise revenues were up 9.7 percent to reach $127.6 billion and foodservice revenues grew 8.8 percent to $17.2 billion.
For the first time in history, on a per-store basis, combined in-store sales topped $1 million per store, reaching $1.036 million per store. Overall industry profits were strong, jumping 17.1 percent to $5.84 billion, making 2005 the third straight year that pretax profits increased.
Spangler Celebrates Life’s Small, Sweet Gestures
A select group of life’s unsung heroes will get their due as part of an essay contest sponsored by Spangler Candy Co., makers of Dum Dum Pops. The “Make Life a Little Sweeter” contest, held as part of Spangler’s 100th anniversary celebration, is designed to recognize those who (like the company’s lollipops) brighten the lives of others through small gestures of kindness and generosity.
Those who wish to enter may go to www.dumdumpops.com and click on the contest link to submit stories that epitomize a spirit of generosity and goodwill in everyday life. One winner will be chosen in each of three age groups — 13-18, 19-55, and 56+ — to receive a $1,000 cash prize and a case of 2,000 Dum Dum Pops. Fifty first-prize winners in each age group also will receive candy and t-shirts. Winners will be announced in September 2006.
Top Activities While Eating Chocolate Candy/Candy Bars
* Watching TV (28 percent of the time)
* Work or homework/break from work
* Not doing anything in particular
* Traveling/driving in car
* Surfing the Web
Consumption is defined as an "eating," a unit of measure indicating that the behavior occurred. An eating does not indicate amount consumed by each person. Source: The NPD Group/SnackTrack