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Novelty, Innovation Key To U.S. Gummi Market

January 29, 2014
by Candy & Snack TODAY

Cologne — To gain traction in the highly competitive U.S. gummi market, manufacturers must present consumers with novel new items, and innovations in flavors and shapes, sources tell Candy & Snack TODAY at ISM.

“The growth market I see for gummies is in unique products,” says Jim Rosenbaum, national sales manager for The Mederer Group GmbH’s e.frutti USA business. “We want to move people from commodity-type products into something more upscale,”

The company does not push its more traditional gummi items, such as bears, in the U.S. market, he says, because of the number of suppliers offering these types of products and the extremely competitive pricing of the segment.

“Birth is a lot easier than resurrection,” he explains of the novel product-introduction strategy.

Mitchell Berstein, national sales director, USA, for Vidal Golosinas S.A., says the company’s strategy is to introduce uniquely shaped items, while being mindful not to cannibalize core SKUs.

He notes that seasonal items out perform the company’s everyday products, adding; “We try to bring in items that are unique, but also accented with seasonal appeal.”

He explains that as the company is still relatively new in the U.S., it’s now entering its third year in the market, it has been difficult to obtain permanent distribution, opting instead for in-and-out displays to gain shopper recognition. The company offers a number of display options with the option to mix products ad hoc.

“It’s all about flexibility and giving the broker network the ability to order what will work best for them,” he explains. “If option A isn’t it, we want to be sure there’s a B, C and D plan behind it.”

In addition to offering unique products, Bernstein says Vidal is also trying to position itself in the wellness arena by moving product claims to the front-of-packs. “We haven’t brought our all-natural items into the U.S. market, but we are looking to make that move,” he adds, noting that as a European supplier, the company’s products are GMO free, as required by EU regulation.

Manolo Nicolás, export manager for Sánchez Cano, S.A.’s Fini imprint, tells Candy & Snack TODAY, the company is looking to differentiate itself with new packaging options to help grow its American business.

Fini has revamped its tub lines to include a plastic freshness seal. “This helps retain the products’ features and preserves flavors until the end of shelf life,” he explains. The company is also introducing reclosable standup pouches for its gummi items as well as jelly beans.

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