Pladis is no longer a rookie at the Sweets & Snacks Expo. And although this marks only the second year that the company exhibited at the largest confectionery exposition in the United States, pladis continues to aggressively build on its debut last year with a broad range of “new ventures,” says Brian Blanchard, managing director of pladis americas.
“We’re introducing items that are brand-new to the United States, as well as brand-new to the world,” he explains. “It’s a mix of both, and many of them are focused on healthier snacking.”
Case in point, Why Nut?, which originally debuted in the UK last year, is making its first U.S. appearance this summer.
“It’s a fruit and nut cluster that’s made with only four basic ingredients: fruits, nuts, quinoa and a binder,” Blanchard explains. “There are no added sugars, and it’s ideal as a mid-morning snack that’s designed to be more filling.”
Chuah, which has a nut cluster base that’s dipped in 60 percent dark chocolate, is named after the Mayan warrior god of chocolate.
“It’s a blend of health and indulgence,” pladis’ managing director says. Using the Mayan warrior god as its namesake, the product invokes the raw power of chocolate and is designed to provide energy and vitality.
Both are produced at the company’s Big Flats, N.Y. production facility, the company having recently retrofitted an existing line to produce Chuah.
Indulgence, of course, remains very much a part of pladis’ portfolio, anchored by its Godiva brand product line.
“Our Masterpieces launch last year proved to be one of our biggest success stories, resonating well with both consumers and customers,” Blanchard says. “It grew by double-digits and outpaced the category.”
Looking to build on that, pladis is expanding Godiva’s portfolio, revamping its Goldmark gift box with a new range of preferred consumer truffles.
“We’ll also doing a full revamp of our tablets, which will debut in January 2019,” Blanchard says. “We’ll have new recipes that are consumer preferred, as well as new mould shapes and new packaging. It’s all about artistry and flavor curves.”
Of course, pladis americas also looks to leverage its highly successful DeMet’s brand. It will do so by introducing six items from its Turkish counterpart, Ulker.
“They will be part of DeMet’s’ European collection,” he explains. “It’s what we call global cross-pollination whereby we focus on highly popular items that are relatively unique but have formulas and flavor profiles that can be adapted to U.S. taste and regulatory requirements.”
This “global lift and replay” will help pladis expand its evolution of count goods in the United States, Blanchard adds.
“Last year represented the beginning of our journey in the Americas,” he continued. “We are now in the middle of that journey, having built a team and organization. It’s been a real transformation now that we have the people. We’ve matured a lot as an organization and we’re in the process of finding our role amongst retail products in the marketplace.”