The three major players in the UK confectionery market are in a constant state of competition - vital in an increasingly saturated market. The latest move sees Nestlé square off against Cadbury with a major £48 million (€69.4m) marketing push for Kit Kat Kubes.
According to market analysts Datamonitor, the launch of Kit Kat Kubes is a direct response to the recent overhaul of Cadbury's chocolate confectionery range in the UK. Some £10 million of the marketing budget for Kit Kat Kubes is to be spent on the launch alone, and Nestlé clearly believes that there is potential to steal markt share from both Cadbury and Mars with this spin-off product.
The promotion of the bite-size version of Nestlé's Kit Kat bar, through television, radio and press activity, will encourage consumers to have a break with the adapted strapline 'Have lots of little breaks'.
Nestlé is hoping to capitalise on the lack of choice in the bite-size chocolate market in the UK, claims Datamonitor, especially as most brands in this category are targeted at women. Nestlé claims that its brand is likely to appeal to younger men, as opposed to the older female target audience of rival brands such as Mars' Revels or Minstrels.
Nestlé has also launched the Kit Kat spin-off in response to a demand for products that can be shared among friends and family. It also hopes that the chocolate will appeal to the growing number of people who prefer to eat bite-size confectionery as they can control how much they eat across the day and feel less guilty, the market analysts claim.
As eating patterns change, with snacking increasingly displacing mealtimes, there are a greater number of consumption occasions that marketers - particularly those in the impulse sector - can target. For example, Cadbury recently launched Boost Guarana, targeted at consumers looking for energy whilst on the move.
"Understanding how eating patterns are changing is vital for maintaining brand relevancy and hitting on new growth areas. Consumption occasions that show the most change, either positive or negative growth, represent day parts where consumers' situations are changing the most and hence new needs are evolving that can be targeted," Datamonitor said.
The analysts claim that evening snacking is the only occasion that will experience more growth in the home than out of home, for example.