>>A monthly look at the most promising newcomers in key grocery categories. This month: confectionery

n TV and and sports stars are to take part in a TV series which will act as a springboard for Wine Capital Partnerships’ Simply Famous wine portfolio.

n Neil Morrissey, Frankie Dettori and other celebrities will be seen on location talking about the wines they endorse. Western Wines is sourcing the wines.
Nestlé Double Cream, is leading the pack of confectionery launches this time, with Wrigley’s Extra Thin Ice hot on its heels.

Launched just over a year ago, Double Cream was stocked in 87% of possible outlets at its peak in October 2002 - a period of concentrated TV support - and it still has a strong presence in around four-fifths of outlets. Initial trial rate among ACNielsen’s consumer panel stands at 12.7% and the proportion of those buying a second time has risen steadily to 28.8%.

Extra Thin Ice, which arrived in January, has had a shorter time to get established but has already achieved distribution in 89% of outlets and has avoided the dip in fortunes most chocolate confectionery sees during the summer. It has been sampled by 6% of Nielsen’s panel and so far just over 13% have gone back for more.

Other notable entrants to the arena have been Cadbury Trebor Bassett’s energy countline Boost Guarana, which had reached 71% of possible outlets by November 2002, although this rate has dropped to just over half in the latest figures to July 12, 2003.

About 3.5% of consumers have tried the product and the proportion motivated to go back for more reached over one fifth back in May.

Other Cadbury newcomers include the 24-7 mints range. So far, distribution has peaked at 46%, with less than 2% of consumers trying the products. However, the repeat purchase rate is more promising at nearly 20%.