The fight for a share in the UK white chocolate market continues. Nestle is close behind Cadbury with its Kit Kat Chunky White, due out in March. Whichever of the white rivals ultimately wins the hearts of consumers, their presence alone will provide a well needed boost for the entire UK confectionery market, report market analysts Datamonitor this week.
Following the success of Snowflake - a white chocolate Flake covered in Cadbury's milk chocolate - Cadbury will continue its foray into the UK white chocolate market with Dream. Already launched in Australia, Dream will be targeted at the UK's 25-34 year-old women. These consumers, who grew up with Nestle's Milkybar Kid (an infamous figure who promoted the children's white chocolate bar for more than 25 years), are expected to jump for the new product.
According to Cadbury, Australian consumers responded particularly well to Dream's "flavour, sweetness, creamy aftertaste and melt-in-your-mouth texture." Datamonitor states that there are very few white chocolates on the UK market that can compete on all levels, particularly amongst those designed for the adult market. Marketed as a luxurious and indulgent treat, it contains full-cream milk and cocoa butter and took four years of technical development.
With the UK chocolate market hovering at just below £3.9 billion (€6.4bn) for the past few years, and expected to remain as such through 2002, innovation will be key for market share growth. Cadbury, Nestle and Mars all hold fairly equal market shares, ranging between 25 per cent and 30 per cent.
Cadbury prides itself on being a first mover, but only time will tell as Nestle gets ready to launch its Kit Kat Chunky White in March. The effect of their respective advertising campaigns will be another one to watch - Cadbury will launch its TV advertising campaign on 15 February. In contrast, Nestle will be using radio ads created by WPP's agency J Walter Thompson.
The Datamonitor story continues that either way, white chocolate is set for a year like no other: selling to the adult market should bring higher white chocolate revenues than ever before as well as a new level of interest in the UK confectionary market as a whole.