Britvic is making the leap from cordials to confectionery with a new sweets range under its Robinsons brand.
The range of boiled and jelly sweets, which will be made under license by upmarket confectioner Monty Bojangles, will come in Robinsons squash flavours such as apple & blackcurrant, summer fruits and orange & lemon barley. Like the drinks, they will contain fruit juice concentrates and only natural colours and flavours.
Part of the range, which will initially be launched in a large hanging bag format (rsp: £1.49), will be available from Tesco in time for Wimbledon in June to capitalise on Robinsons’ 75-year link with the tennis tournament. Other variants, including Fruit Shoot Juicy Jellies, will roll out in August.
“This is an opportunity to rejuvenate the boiled sweet category, in particular, and give the likes of Fox’s Glacier Mints and Rowntree’s Randoms major competition,” said Monty Bojangles co-founder Andrew Newlands.
The products would bring much-needed innovation to the market because of their unique Robinsons flavours, he added.
“The fact that the sweets are based on favourite Robinsons squash flavours, combined with their natural credentials, are sure to make them a big hit with consumers,” added Britvic director of innovation David Hayes.
Some industry insiders have warned, however, that the brand will have a fight on its hands.
“On paper it’s all there: the fresh imagery; summery tennis associations; a touch of nostalgia and ability to spin classic flavours into new formats, but the might of the confectionery giants is tough to take on,” said Kate Waddell, MD of consumer branding at consultancy Dragon Rouge.
“There are so many fruit sweets out there, many also with a ‘healthier’ message think Starburst’s ‘Bursting with fruit juice’ promise.”
Sales of the Robinsons brand number 10 in The Grocer’s 2011 Britain’s Biggest Brands supplement rose 2.3% last year to £314.8m [Nielsen 52w/e 25 December 2010].