Magazine article Marketing

ANALYSIS: Can Nestle Transform the Chocolate Market? Nestle Is Hoping to Own a New Chocolate Category with the Launch of Its Double Cream. Daniel Rogers Reports

Magazine article Marketing

ANALYSIS: Can Nestle Transform the Chocolate Market? Nestle Is Hoping to Own a New Chocolate Category with the Launch of Its Double Cream. Daniel Rogers Reports

Article excerpt

We Brits chomp our way through around half a million bars of block chocolate each year, yet it's a market in decline.

Sales of the market leaders Cadbury's Dairy Milk and Mars' Galaxy both fell by more than 4% last year, broadly in line with the chocolate confectionery market as a whole.

But Nestle Rowntree now says the chocolate sector can be reinvigorated by introducing a new category.

The Swiss food giant calls it 'premium mainstream' and wants its Double Cream brand, introduced in July, to define it. Double Cream is Nestle's first chocolate launch in five years and is backed by a pounds 9m marketing package.

Nestle Rowntree marketing director Andrew Harrison is so confident that this new category will be a winner, he has trademarked the slogan 'chocolate matters' to stamp the company's ownership on it (Marketing, August 1).

'Since the launch of Galaxy in 1960, there has been no innovation in the UK block chocolate market and it has become commoditised,' argues Harrison.

'Buy-one-get-one-free and '25% extra' promotions have taken the specialness and value out of the market at a time when taste has become more sophisticated.'

Nestle describes Double Cream as a 'mass-market brand with a more indulgent positioning'. But what about Lindt or organic brand Green & Black? Do they not fulfil this demand?

Harrison argues these are still niche brands lacking the support and distribution power of Nestle, the world's biggest food firm. With Double Cream, Nestle appears to be tapping into a new-found British obsession with ingredients and their provenance. Nestle makes great play about Double Cream being made from 'pure cream and fine cocoa beans from Ecuador'.

'There is no cheap vegetable fat in it,' insists senior brand manager Jenny DeSaulles.

The idea of levering a premium mainstream category into an established market mirrors the revolution in other 'indulgent' products over the past decade. …

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