Stefan Chomka reports on the thinking behind Cadbury’s indulgent Best Branded New Product winner

In the highly competitive world of confectionery, where most NPD is either range extensions or limited editions, Cadbury can claim to have developed a genuinely fresh concept in Snaps, which was crowned Best Branded New Product Development at The Grocer Gold Awards last week.
With its light, curve-shaped milk chocolate and crispy cereal pieces, Snaps combines the texture and sharing attributes of crisps with the indulgence of chocolate, offering crisp and chocolate fans alike that little bit extra.
Launched last September in a 136g box of chocolates in three flavours - milk chocolate, orange and hazelnut - Snaps was met with instant praise. Welcomed by buyers at launch as a truly innovative chocolate product, Snaps also took Cadbury into the indulgent sharing occasion - allowing the company to charge a £1.75 premium price.
Judges on The Grocer panel were equally impressed. “A great product”, “ticks all the boxes”, “extremely innovative”, and “delicious - the kind of snack that has you going back for more”, were just some of the comments that summed up the judges’ thinking.
More importantly, consumers have also received Snaps well, voting with their feet.
According to Cadbury, sales have reached £17.1m - the equivalent of more than 10 million units sold - since its September launch, with distribution reaching 70% of the market.
As a result, Snaps has already established itself among Cadbury’s top 10 best-selling brands - no mean feat considering the competition it is up against in the Cadbury portfolio.
Yet, while Snaps is a very deserving winner of The Grocer award, the rationale behind the product is so excruciatingly simple that rival confectionery companies must be kicking themselves for not getting there first.
Research by Cadbury discovered that consumers were demanding products for treat occasions that they could also share with friends. Such occasions were already being successfully catered for by crisps and bagged snacks manufacturers with their “big night in” sharing formats, but although chocolate has the edge on its savoury rivals when it comes to indulgence, Cadbury realised that even in a large block format, chocolate does not lend itself for sharing among groups of friends. Thus, the idea of a chocolate crisp was born.
As Cadbury Trebor Bassett’s MD, Simon Baldry told The Grocer back in 2004, his vision was to grow the confectionery category by “driving value-added innovations and extending the boundaries of confectionery into other-use occasions dominated by other categories”. Cadbury Snaps is clearly a prime example of that thinking being translated into product development.
And, as with any great new product, Cadbury is already looking to further draw on the appeal of Snaps and extend usage.
In April, a mint variant was added to the Snaps range following huge consumer requests for the flavour, and, according to Cadbury, has boosted sales to £3.8m in the past 12 weeks.
Mike Tipping, head of customer relations at Cadbury Trebor Bassett, says: “We are delighted to have won this prestigious award.
“This is a great recognition for Cadbury Snaps and a further example that CTB is delivering our commitment to leading the market with innovation that delights consumers and drives category value for our customers. A win for us all.”