Mike & Ike

Source: Empire Bespoke Foods

Mike & Ike Mega Mix includes flavour variants such as Caribbean Punch, Grape Soda and Mango Delight

Specialty food importer and distributor Empire Bespoke Foods has secured a Sainsbury’s listing for American candy brand Mike & Ike.

A duo of the brand’s ‘theater boxes’ (rsp: £2.75/141g) – designed for sharing occasions – will roll into world food bays in 600 of the retailer’s stores on Sunday (15 October).

They are: Original Fruits, which comprises a mix of cherry, lemon, lime, orange & strawberry flavours; and Mega Mix, which includes flavour variants such as Caribbean Punch, Grape Soda and Mango Delight.

The corner of each box features a perforated edge, which can be pushed in to create a hole for the sweets to be tipped out of.

The mechanism made the sweets “ideal” for sharing among groups, said Mike & Ike brand manager Benjamin Moody, adding they offered something different from the “same-old” confectionery formats UK shoppers were used to.

Additionally, it was “hard to ignore the flavour profiles that come with American sweets in comparison to those of UK ones”, said Moody.

Despite launching stateside more than 80 years ago in 1940, this is Mike & Ike’s first UK supermarket listing.

According to Moody, Empire Bespoke Foods has been steadily growing its distribution in convenience stores and specialist retailers over recent months.

There was scope to expand distribution in Sainsbury’s with the addition of the brand’s Berry Blast and Tropical Typhoon variants in the future, Moody added.

It follows a tranche of US brands – including Prime, Liquid Death and MrBeast’s Feastables – to launch into UK supermarkets over recent months, to much fanfare.