Confectionery looks to make comeback

    Confectionery in the petrol and convenience sector hasn’t had an entirely smooth time under Covid-19 restrictions, and has in varying degrees lost some of its standing.

    All is not lost by any stretch of the imagination, though, with some confectioners attesting to positive sales in the channel as the category continues to put its best foot forward to regain its foothold.

    The channel, which spans food and non-food, is worth $5 billion in Australia. It recorded value growth of 0.4 % (IRI Convenience Scan, 14 June) compared to the same period last year despite bushfires and pandemic times.

    However, not all categories saw growth, with confectionery down 9.5%, automotive down 18%, snack foods down 12.2%, and ready to drink beverages down 7.6% compared to the same quarter last year.

    Channel performance also differs across states. In the second quarter, compared to the same quarter in 2019, Western Australia was up 8.5%, South Australia 5.4% and Queensland 2.9%. However, as expected, Victoria declined by 6.9%, NSW by 2.5%, and Tasmania by 2.7%.

    KitKat has most certainly felt the zeitgeist and pulled out all the stops to offer a super convenient and highly innovative confectionery break, while Robern Menz and The Rocky Road House confirm that sales are performing well overall.

    Some confectionery manufacturers such as Mondelēz International and Darrell Lea are also showing their eco-friendly side by giving palm oil a thumbs down.

    KitKat makes a break for it and succeeds

    Launched at the beginning of July, the KitKat Chocolatory on Sydney’s central Pitt Street is creating even more of the “wow” factor around the iconic – for over eight decades – classic chocolate bar.

    The store, launched at a precarious time economically, focuses on a bespoke and unique experience for its customers that brings local and international flavour innovations.

    Kitkat Head Chocolatier Connie Yuen tells Convenience World, this strategy is “winning the day”, with customers not restraining themselves in terms of spend.

    Some confectionery sales on the up

    CTC Marketing Manager and Designer Bernard Fauvette tells Convenience World that at the height of the pandemic P&C sales ground to a holt while grocery sales experienced an uptick.

    However, Mr Fauvette highlights that since August sales have corrected themselves and, in some cases, have grown disproportionately.

    “People appear to be looking towards convenience channels to avoid crowded grocery retailers,” he says.

    “In this space the consumer is always looking to take advantage of promotional pricing. Having said this, there doesn’t appear to be any evidence post-pandemic that people are being thriftier with their confectionery spending.”

    There has also been no shortage of demand for Robern Menz confectionery throughout the pandemic.

    Robern Menz CEO Phil Sims attributes this demand to the nostalgia around the company’s confectionery.

    Mr Sims emphasises that as P&C is a competitive space “securing share of vision” is critical.

    Hence the confectionery company makes use of off-location displays such as gondola ends in-store, or branded display towers.

    Hi-Chew goes bigger and better with hit social media campaign

    Social media is the name of the game when marketing to young people, and Hi-Chew seems to have hit the jackpot with its new digital campaign.

    A trial consumer competition in October, focused on Instagram and Facebook, achieved a total reach of more than 140,000 members of the target audience, with an equivalent number of video views and nearly 1000 likes.

    “We’re really happy about the success of this campaign,” says Terry Kawabe, Managing Director of Morinaga Asia Pacific Co., which distributes Hi-Chew.

    Read the full story in Convenience World November/December issue here.

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