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Fannie May eyes drug and c-store expansion as it rebrands classic range with Chicago pride

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Douglas Yu

By Douglas Yu+

27-Jan-2016
Last updated on 27-Jan-2016 at 15:24 GMT2016-01-27T15:24:53Z

CEO discusses Fannie May Chicago Collection and new distribution channels
CEO discusses Fannie May Chicago Collection and new distribution channels

Fannie May hopes to enter new distribution channels after rebranding packs for its premium chocolate range to designs that resonate with Chicago pride, says its CEO.

Fannie May has launched its Chicago collection, which is packaged with designs showing the Chicago skyline and iconic buildings. Inside are the same chocolates Fannie May has sold for around 90 years.

The family of one of the graphic designers has been a fan of Fannie May for decades, according to the company’s CEO, Kevin Coen.

“We reached out to the graphic designer because we thought her design [of Chicago skyline] was really good. And she said her mother loved Fannie May, and Pixies was the one she was most fond of. So she said, ‘you can have the design, but the product inside has to be Pixies.”

The new design is built upon Fannie May’s heritage, Coen said. “People are very passionate about growing up in Chicago, and they connect their area with our brand which is very special.”

Increase distribution through new channels

Fannie May currently works with over 80 retail stores across the US, including many of the major grocery chains.

This year, it hopes to sell in drug channels and C-stores.

“That’s an expansion opportunities for us, because it really allows our products to get into the impulse range… The whole purpose of an event like this [Winter Fancy Food Show] is to bring retailers to see our products," Coen said.

Fannie May also has eyes on potential consumers who travel through Chicago, 

“They do look for things that are relative to their trip. Fannie May is one of those," said the company's CEO.

Rising premium dark chocolate market

Premium chocolate is witnessing significant growth, he continued. “It’s about $22bn, and it’s projected that it will increase to $28bn in the next a couple of years."

“Many years ago, the US was a milk chocolate country. We were at 80% with milk chocolate, and [less than] 20% being dark. But now it’s moving closer to the 50/50 range,” he claimed.

In addition, consumers are more health conscious today, and dark chocolate is associated with health benefits. “So dark chocolate can continue to grow as a segment, and our offerings are mostly dark chocolate now," said Coen.

Expansion prospects

Fannie May does not yet export outside of the US.

“We have a big opportunity in Chicago and the Midwest market, and we just don’t want to lose that focus,” Coen said. “Maybe there is [an export market] at some point down the road, but I don’t see that for the foreseeable future.”

The new Chicago designs come in tin boxes and individual bars, and the suggested retail prices range between $2.95 and $24.95.

1 comment (Comments are now closed)

Make them available for online purchase as well

I think that the production for this item would grow in market if they will also be available online.

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Posted by Jerad S.
27 January 2016 | 22h002016-01-27T22:00:29Z

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