Unilever has made its first foray into the UK confectionery market after reaching a licensing deal with Kinnerton Confectionery for ice cream brands Magnum, Cornetto and Mini Milk to be made in chocolate form.
Consumer goods firm Unilever, renowned for brands such as Marmite, Lynx and Dove soap, were previously tipped as a bidder for Cadbury in 2009 by analysts, but the Kinnerton deal marks its first move into confectionery in the UK, after Cadbury was snapped up by Kraft Foods (now Mondelez).
Magnum, Cornetto and Mini Milk chocolates
Magnum, the UK’s leading ice cream brand according to IRI Data, will now be made in a chocolate countline using Rainforest Alliance certified cocoa.
Wall’s Mini Milk and filled cone brand Cornetto will also have their own chocolate versions, entering the £692m ($1bn) UK chocolate countline category.
Calories and Guideline Daily Amounts (GDAs) appear front of pack on both the Magnum and Mini Milk products.
Julie McCleave, head of licensing at Unilever UK, said: “As the UK’s largest Ice Cream manufacturer, with market leading brands boasting strong taste credentials, we’re well placed to enter into the Chocolate Count Line category.”
“By offering consumers confectionery from brands they trust, along with the clear and comprehensive strategies that Kinnerton has presented to us, we’re confident that the launch will capitalize on the growth in this market”.
Kinnerton and Zertus
Novelty confectionery firm Kinnerton holds licenses for many character-based confectionery items such as The Simpsons and Hello Kitty.
The company is part of Zetar, which was acquired by German firm Zertus for £43m($69m) in October last year.
Before the company was sold, Zetar last year entered a licensing agreement with Unilever to make Marmite branded nuts.