Healthy messages are relentless, but consumers still insist on indulgence having its place in their diets.
Natalie Cummins, account director at Starcom Group, agrees that while health is an important issue, indulgence will remain a key part of life for many consumers.
“It’s unlikely that indulgence will ever fall off the radar. Perhaps it’s the markets in between that will suffer more as they don’t really fit into the whole credit/debit logic.”
The Biscuit, Cake, Chocolate & Confectionery Association says premium products arre the main driver in the impulse market, saying its figures show a trend towards chocolate segments rather than bars, with consumers increasingly choosing twist-wrapped products.
UBUK has also pinpointed premiumisation as a key growth market within impulse. Trading director Paul Graham says: “With the rise of entertaining, maximising on spare time and broadening tastes, this sector has enormous potential in 2005.”
The company has just
introduced McCoy’s Specials, a range of premium ridge-cut crisps, which it is backing with a £4m marketing campaign to drive penetration and extend the brand into new occasions, including evening snacking.
Manufacturers’ faith in the treating aspect of indulgence purchases has also led to product launches in the arena. Cadbury Flake Praline, released last September to “offer existing consumers a luxurious treat”, has attracted new consumers to the brand, says the company.
Sales of PepsiCo’s Walkers Sensations crisps continue to grow and, according to IRI [52 w/e December 25, 2004], the brand is worth £117m.
PepsiCo trade marketing manager, Nicky Seal, says: “We believe all foods can play a part in a balanced lifestyle, which is why we offer a wide choice of products, including lighter options as well as more indulgent products.”
A new category of ‘healthier indulgence’ may be on the horizon. Speciality toffee maker Walkers Nonsuch has invested in the launch of English Crocante which, according to marketing manager Emma Walker, is “a delectable combination of crunchy seeds, decorated and dipped in the finest Belgian chocolate”. She adds: “Crocante has natural ingredients and therefore offers a number of health benefits associated with nuts.”
In a similar vein, Ferrero has launched the bite-sized Giotto biscuit which, it says “responds to consumer trends towards lighter indulgence and small, permissible treats”.
Head of impulse buying for Musgrave Budgens-Londis, John Taylor, says: “Health is a concern that’s not going to go away, so products with lower fat and sugar levels that also offer an element of indulgence will be successful.”