Nestlé Rowntree is moving in on Wrigley territory with a new assault on the breath-freshening category.
Following a trial with Colgate branded chewing gum last year, it has launched two new products - Polo Liquid Orbs and Polo + Vivazol.
Polo Liquid Orbs (rsp: 75p) are pocket-sized packs of 30 sugar-free orbs filled with a liquid mint. “Research shows that consumers want breath-freshening products to use on the go,” said Graham Walker, sales communications manager for Nestlé Rowntree. “Polo Liquid Orbs are better value than competing products, and so provide retailers with the opportunity to increase sales.”
Nestlé is encouraging retailers
to site the product at the till, which it says will generate up to 20% extra sales.
Meanwhile, Polo + Vivazol aims to tap into a trend towards natural ingredients and is a blend of plant extracts (menthol, peppermint and parsley oil) in the standard Polo tube format with a rsp of 36p. However, not all buyers are convinced that shoppers will fork out for innovation. Branded confectionery buyer at Hancocks, Paul Osbourne, is concerned about the price points for both products. “The orbs idea is fantastic and they look good but we struggle with products at that price. And at 36p, the Vivazol mints are also a lot more than the standard 24p Polos - and will anyone know what Vivazol is?”
Nestlé defended the premium and added that the Liquid Orbs product was better value for money because it contained more beads for less money than competitors’ brands.
The launches are designed to help stem a decline in Polo mint sales, which have dropped 8.4% to £32.1m, according to The Grocer Top Products Survey (December 11, 2004).
New Covent Garden Food Company is raising money for Comic Relief by donating 5p for every carton sold of its new Squished Tomato chilled soup. The limited edition soup will be sold exclusively in Sainsbury with a retail price of £1.95 for a 600ml carton. A buy-one-get-one-free promotion will accompany the launch, along with in-store activity and advertising support. The company said that the Squished Tomato variety would generate incremental sales.
Helen Gregory