Claire James joined HARIBO in 2018 as Trade Marketing Manager for UK and Ireland. Shaping all communication in support of the brand’s channel strategies, she keeps retailers informed about what HARIBO products to stock so that they can generate the best sales from their confectionery fixture.

Tell us about a bit about HARIBO’s history?

HARIBO is a family-owned business that has been delivering much-loved sweets for 100 years.

We operate two factories in Yorkshire and have been producing treats in the UK for over four decades.

Today HARIBO is the UK’s number one sweets manufacturer. We are recognised for driving growth within the category and for bringing fun into the confectionery aisle. We are also passionate about creating a range that helps both kids and adults enjoy moments of childlike happiness.

In terms of growth, we are performing ahead of the category and are responsible for driving its growth1. HARIBO is bought by over 13.8m UK households; this means that we have the highest penetration in the category2 and are the first brand shoppers think about when asked to name a sweets brand!3

Talk us through your brand portfolio.

Offering consumers more choice is important to us; this helps us to deliver delicious treats for everyone, whatever their taste.

There are firm family favourites within our range. We call these products ‘core to store’ as they are the top-sellers year in and year out; they consist of HARIBO Starmix, Tangfastics, Supermix, Giant Strawbs and MAOAM Stripes and Pinballs.

While each product has the great taste that you would expect from HARIBO, there are also clear reasons why they are such popular choices.

Tangfastics, which takes the top spot within convenience4, delivers the infamous HARIBO tang.

With its iconic egg, cola bottle, bear, ring and heart, HARIBO Starmix is number two4 within the category. Celebrating 25 years in 2020, its exciting mix of tasty pieces has seen it named ‘Britain’s Favourite Sweet’5 for two years in a row!

HARIBO Supermix, which is the fourth best-seller4, boasts a soft mix, while Giant Strawbs, with its unique texture and its longer-lasting strawberry flavour, is the second fastest growing medium bag in the top 304. It is also a treat that is suitable for vegetarians.

Within the soft and chewy category is HARIBO’s sister brand, MAOAM. Famous for MAOAM Pinballs and Stripes, these full-on chews are experiencing growth at +9.6% and +10.1%, respectively4.

Convenience retailers should also look out for HARIBO Fruitilicious, which offers 30 per cent less sugar and the same great taste that consumers have come to love and expect from the brand6.

Seasonality also plays an essential role in our range alongside innovation.

How is the UK sugar confectionery market performing?

Total Confectionery within the convenience channel is declining at 2.2%4, but Sweets are growing, with sales up 0.4%4. Driving this growth are Medium Bags of sweets, growing over £12.7m4. Haribo is the manufacturer in greatest growth, adding almost £2.5m this year.8

During the lockdown, as we have all looked for light relief and a slice of normality, we have seen more family moments such as big nights in which have supported confectionery sales. Confectionery has played a role here because is adds an element of fun in an affordable way, especially when we are entertaining ourselves on a budget.

Reinforcing HARIBO’s popularity, since the lockdown, we are the only major sweets manufacturer in growth.9

How are you helping wholesalers grow their business?

Our goal is to help drive sweet sales all year round. We provide support on what products to stock, in what format and when – this is not just for core lines but also across seasons and new product development too.

How can wholesalers grow sales of sugar confectionery?

Stocking top-selling treats supports sales. Consumers buy from recognised brands that they know, love and can rely on for delivering a great tasting treat that will be enjoyed by the majority.

How are you supporting your brands this year?

This year is a real celebration for HARIBO, it is our centenary year and Starmix is 25! In support of Starmix, we have delivered our biggest on pack promotion to date, which has gone exceptionally well! We’re also continuing to invest above the line and recently released a brand new ‘police’ TV advert as part of our kids’ voices series.

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