Nestlé market manly Blokie bar

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Related tags: Advertising, Marketing, Datamonitor, Nestle rowntree

Nestlé Rowntree has already got itself into trouble with its Yorkie
chocolate bar featuring the tagline 'Not for Girls' but appears
happy to step on a few more toes with the latest development for
the brand.

Nestlé Rowntree​, the UK confectioner, has already got itself into trouble with adverts for its Yorkie chocolate bar featuring the tagline 'Not for Girls' but appears happy to step on a few more toes with the latest development for the brand.

For Yorkie is to be temporarily renamed Blokie as part of a £3.5 million tongue-in-cheek campaign building on the 2001 repositioning of the countline bar as a men only product.

Market analysts Datamonitor​ believe that the food and drink sector is likely to see more of this kind of gender-specific product and advertising, not least because the nutritional needs and product expectations of men and women are entirely different.

The renaming of Yorkie continues in the same vein as earlier ads for the brand, which Datamonitor said had struck a chord with male consumers by using cheeky or provocative phrases, including the slogan 'Do not feed the birds' which featured in a poster campaign earlier this year.

But Nestlé Rowntree's move has not been without its critics. The UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has received - and rejected - numerous complaints about the content of the campaign, with most plaintiffs seeing the ads as offensive towards women and reinforcing sexist attitudes.

But the market analysts believe that there are likely to be more adverts of this kind - and more products - in the future, especially given the success of the Yorkie campaign.

A number of other producers already have products tailored for specific genders, and not just in the confectionery sector. For example, KP Foods recently launched the Real McCoy's John Smiths Steak and Ale Flavour Ridge Cut Potato Chips in the UK, positioning them as the 'definitive male snack'.

"Such limited edition products help to maintain and grow market share, reinforce brand identity and maintain consumer interest,"​ said Datamonitor.

It is not known whether Nestlé plans to repeat the renaming of Yorkie on a rolling basis, and any decision is unlikely to be taken until it can see what effect the name change has on sales, if any.

But whether or not Nestlé does decide to continue with its innovative campaign for Yorkie, there are likely to be many other gender-specific products from the confectionery sector, according to Datamonitor.

The confectionery sector has grown increasingly conscious of a 'gender gap' in the market, the market analysts said. Women are more sensitive to healthy eating, particularly when it comes to snacking, and often see chocolate as more of a luxury indulgence.

But women also have different nutritional needs from men - certain vitamins and minerals can support women's immune systems, promote healthy bones or prevent birth defects. Manufacturers have picked up on this fact and translated it into women-only products such as the LUNA bar, popular in the US. "It seems likely that such gender specific targeting will become increasingly common as manufacturers continue to hunt for new niches,"​ said Datamonitor.

Related topics: Ingredients, Nestlé

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