A strategy to revamp ‘cult’ sweet brands thought lost to bygone eras has resulted in sales doubling for a UK confectionery company in 2008.
According to recently filed accounts for the year to December 31 profits more than doubled from £63.4m to £131m for Tangerine Confectionery.
It said that its profits before exceptional items jumped from £4.9m to £8.1m.
The manufacture produces various popcorn, sugar candy and chocolate brands and has made a play in recent years to re-establish so called ‘iconic’ UK brands to tap into nostalgic consumer trends in the country.
However, it said that restructuring costs and interest charges pushed the Blackpool based manufacturer to a loss last year.
In February 2008, the producer acquired Monkhill Confectionery from Cadbury, for £58m to make it one of the largest sugar confectionery and popcorn manufacturers in Europe, but the firm said that hefty interest payments from debt acquired with the purchase meant pre-tax profits of £3.6m were wiped out to result in an overall loss before tax of £6.6m.
The confectionery group said it also began three major projects to increase capacity while cutting costs, including moving production of Fruit Salad and Blackjack chews from Spain to Blackpool.
A recent update to the packaging of its iconic brand, Sherbet Fountain, with a tamper evident sleeve replaced its traditional paper tube format with plastic and generated some controversy with brand aficionados.
Most recently, the company has been generating headlines by pushing products like the Sherbet Fountain brand and Anglo Bubbly bubblegum, while also adapting the formulations to modern tastes amidst concerns over additives and flavourings.
In adapting to this market place, Tangerine claims that it has moved to balance providing seemingly traditional brands with updated formulations to bridge the gap between new and classic products.
“Consumers are always interested in trying new products, but they also feel a great deal of nostalgia for classic confectionery,” claims the company.
“We are reflecting these consumer preferences by updating many of our confectionery classics to ensure they are made with natural colours and flavours so that they continue to satisfy consumer nostalgia but also reflect the high quality production values that they expect.”