It’s news that would have the Oompa Loompas dancing with glee. Sales of Wonka bars linked with the hit film Charlie and the Chocolate Factory have gone through the roof, and supplier Nestlé Rowntree now plans to extend production and come out with new products linked to the Willy Wonka name.
With retailers reporting Wonka products to be flying off the shelves and the movie topping the box office, Nestlé is counting the launch of Wonka bars as one of the most successful product tie-ins of recent years.
Sales communication manager Graham Walker said factories were producing to full capacity.
“We are flat out and continue
to increase production as each week goes by,” he said. “We are now beginning to think about the longevity of the whole Wonka franchise. We initially planned to run bars while the film was out, but we are at the point of thinking about 2006.”
With the DVD out for Christmas and sales of the book also set to rocket, there could be an even longer-term future for Wonka confectionery, which has been brought out previously by Nestlé but failed to take off.
The first winner of a Golden Ticket, offering a trip to the US, was eight-year-old John Collins at an Asda store in Ashford.
Phil Hancock, Asda senior confectionery buyer, said sales were up 20% on the previous week, and it was selling 1,500 bars an hour.
“Multiple purchases have been strong, with people buying several bars to look for a ticket. The big difference this time is the products taste good and are backed by the film.”
The second winner was a customer at a Londis in Limerick. Spokesman Michael Gleeson said: “Wonka bars are flying out of the shop. We are selling 200 a day.”
Claire Hu