Food Business News - June 12, 2018 - 30

Ferrara Candy Co. set to renovate

CHICAGO - The "crispety, crunchety, peanut buttery" Butterfinger chocolate bar
may look and taste a little different by
the end of the year. It is the first of Nestle's former candy brands to be revamped
under new ownership.
Nestle's confectionery business is now
owned by The Ferrara Group, and managed
by Ferrero's U.S.-based subsidiary Ferrara
Candy Co. The manufacturer of Brach's,
RedHots, Trolli, Black Forest and Sathers
candy brands, Ferrara was acquired by
Luxembourg-based Ferrero this past
December. Ferrero, with brands including
Nutella, Tic Tac and Kinder products, a few
months later purchased Nestle USA's confectionery business in a transaction valued
at approximately $2.8 billion.
Today, Ferrara Candy Co., which
operates as a standalone unit at its
Oakbrook Terrace, Ill., headquarters,
manages Nestle USA's three confectionery manufacturing plants in Illinois.
The deal added more than 20 brands,
including Butterfinger, Baby Ruth,
Crunch, SweeTarts, LaffyTaffy and Nerds,
to Ferrara Candy Co.'s portfolio.
"This is a broad, diverse portfolio of
iconic brands we believe fundamentally
will respond to innovation, respond
to baseline quality, respond to investments," Todd Siwak, chief executive
officer of Ferrara Candy Co., said in a
recent interview with Food Business News
"We've had success on the Ferrara side
engaging in that same playbook, and it
has worked very well for us. We were one
of the leaders in non-chocolate before the
acquisition, driving a significant amount
of the growth in the category."
Mr. Siwak share his insights and
plans for the business with Food Business
News during the Sweets & Snacks Expo,
held May 22-24 in Chicago.

Food Business News: What are your plans
for the Nestle confectionery business?
Mr. Siwak: Our focus is, starting with
Butterfinger, how do we think about baseline - the quality, improving the consistency, improving the ingredients, ensuring
we're delivering against all expectations
relative to the base consumer but also
broadening the appeal and reach of that.
Think about chocolate with peanut

Food Business News

butter and the importance of that category. We've gone through a complete
renovation of that, including introducing supply chain integrity, vertical
sourcing, roasting our own peanuts, just
ensuring thorough, thoughtful freshness throughout. We're going to cue the
consumer with new packaging, not only
to lock in freshness but also to share the
graphics and the crispety, crunchety,
peanut buttery focus that we have. That
will be launching at the end of this year,
beginning of next, supported by a new
wave of marketing, which will be the
largest in the history of that brand.
The right focus, the right product,
and the right type of partnership, we
believe, with retailers to ensure we're
reaching the consumer. We're going to
replicate that with Crunch, SweeTarts,
LaffyTaffy, Nerds ... think about the entire Nestle portfolio, but equally as exciting, just ensuring holistically that Trolli,
Black Forest and Brach's that historically
resided in the Ferrara portfolio are also
provided with the same type of support.
With so many distinct, iconic brands now
in your portfolio, what is your strategy
for managing and supporting them for
sustainable growth?
Mr. Siwak: We have a family of 35
brands, plus or minus. What's important
from our perspective is that we thoughtfully segment the portfolio, understanding a couple things. One, which brands
we want to position to continue to lead
and drive the segments or categories
they reside in, and how do we think
about allocating resources to those
brands to maintain or even accelerate the
rate of growth that they enjoy.
So if we think about Butterfinger, we
know exactly where we want that to play
and win. So if we think about an investment strategy, that consists of all of the
elements I spoke to earlier, including additional innovation and additional brand
support. But the same is true for Crunch,
SweeTarts, Trolli and Black Forest, as we
think about some of our larger leading
brands. But then we have a whole series
of emerging growth brands like Nerds,
LaffyTaffy, Now and Later, that also enjoy
and have enjoyed historical growth ...

Todd Siwak, chief executive officer of Ferrara
Candy Co.

Baby Ruth, 100 Grand ... that we think
are just on the tipping point, on the verge
of additional breakthrough growth.
Why start with Butterfinger?
Mr. Siwak: The way we think about
it is, if you step back and look at the
Nestle portfolio, the non-chocolate part,
led by SweeTarts and Nerds, is doing
very well. SweeTart Ropes is one of the
fastest growing components or segments
of the confection category. Nerds Big
Chewy just won an innovation award,
doing extremely well, on-trend with
Gen Z and millennials, multi-texture,
crunchy, chewy ... LaffyTaffy, poppable,
chewy, fruit-forward. So those brands are
working, and we'll of course continue to
support them as we discussed, but what
we wanted to ensure is that the chocolate
portfolio is also as vibrant as it could be
and really fulfilling its full potential.
And so we started with the biggest, and if
you think about the two biggest opportunities, it's Butterfinger and Crunch.
You play so broadly across the confectionery landscape. Is there anything missing
from your portfolio?
Mr. Siwak: We have a beautiful
portfolio of brands, and we're really about
the brands. We're Ferrara Candy Co. We're
unapologetically and exclusively focused
on the confection space ... but we're
focused on the brands and promoting our
brands and making sure we're speaking to
the consumer through our brands. FBN
June 12, 2018


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