While to most British consumers, the name Cadbury is synonymous with the Dairy Milk chocolate brand, the company actually owns a far wider range of products than simply those it sells under its own brand.
A glance at the pages of the Mintel Global New Products Database shows just the variety of products and markets in which Cadbury Schweppes is present. The company has invested heavily in acquiring sugar confectionery producers over the last few years, and many of its new product launches outside the UK and Ireland are in this market. In the British Isles, however, the emphasis is on rolling out the core Cadbury brand into innovative new products or adjacent markets.
Not surprisingly at this time of year, a number of Cadbury's products are targeted squarely at the Christmas market. In the UK, for example, the GNPD reports that the company has launched Dream Snow Bites under the Cadbury brand, a novelty chocolate consisting of two half moon pieces coated in white chocolate and targeted at women aged 25 to 34.
But even before Christmas has arrived, Cadbury has begun thinking about the key Easter period, and it is already preparing the re-launch of its perennial UK favourite, the Cadbury's Creme Egg. The 2003 batch will be launched in January with a new brand design and logo and an additional variant - boxed recipe eggs which contain variants of other popular Cadbury lines such as Refreshers, Crunchie Nuggets and Fruit & Nut.
But Cadbury will not have the chocolate egg market to itself this year, as Mars has launched its own version, with the added marketing incentive of the Harry Potter brand. Designed to tie in with the popular films and books, the Dragon Eggs will also be launched in early 2003 are firmly targeting Cadbury's Creme Eggs with the four varieties - Swedish Short Snout, Hungarian Horntail, Chinese Fireball and Welsh Green - all named after species of dragons in the Harry Potter books.
Cadbury itself is not averse to launching products which tie in with popular films, and while Mars has the licence for Harry Potter, CS has joined forces with the producers of the other big movie release this Christmas, Lord of the Rings. The company has launched a number of products linked to the films, the most recent of which were Jelly Rings and Fruits of the Shire. The two products will be launched in the UK next month by Cadbury's Trebor Basset unit, and feature lemon, orange, pineapple and strawberry-flavoured rings and fruit sweets in the form of characters from the film. On the chocolate side, the company has also launched Saruman's Staff, a plastic tube in the shape of the wizard's staff containing seven bars of Cadbury's Dairy Milk.
If Cadbury uses the brands of films to extend the range of its products, then other companies do the same thing with the Cadbury brand. Burtons Foods, for example, has extended the range of chocolate fingers it produces under the Cadbury name, introducing them in a new 100g pouch in a bid to attract older consumers. St Ivel, the UK dairy desserts company recently bought by France's Danone, has also revamped its chocolate dessert range to give a more consistent look across the range by focusing on Cadbury as the master brand.
Traditionally, Cadbury has counted on industry partners such as these to push its brands into other areas of the food industry, but the company is increasingly launching its own products in the bakery and dairy sectors. One such product is Puds, a range of dairy desserts based on its countline chocolate bars such as Caramel and Dairy Milk. In a similar vein are Crunchie Cake Bars, launched in the UK and Ireland by Cadbury Cakes, and featuring five individually wrapped sponge cakes with a caramel topping and Crunchie Pieces.
While this diversification into different areas of business continues apace in the UK, elsewhere the focus is on core chocolate and sugar confectionery brands. In Portugal, for example, Cadbury Dulciora has launched Huesitos, eight crispy wafer biscuits with a milk chocolate coating, while in France the company's Carambar unit has launched Orangina Candies, making the best use of the carbonated orange drink brand which Cadbury acquired earlier this year from Pernod Ricard. Carambar has also added a cactus flavoured variety to its Atomic assortment of sour sweets which also includes raspberry and lime.
But it is Ireland which seems to have seen the most new Cadbury products in the last few months. These include two new Dairy Milk bars - Nut 'n Crisp, a mini chocolate bar with nut pieces, and Choc Fudge, a mini chocolate bar with fudge pieces - and several Cadbury countline bar launches - notably Spira, two twists of Dairy Milk in a flow wrap, and Boost Guarana and Boost Glucose, 'energy chocolate bars' targeted at clubbers and sportsmen.
Mintel's Global New Products Database looks at new product development, and features records of food, drink and non-food product launches. For more information, visit www.gnpd.com or call +44 20 7606 45533.