Nestle’s ‘uphill struggle’ in block chocolate market

By Caroline Scott-Thomas

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Chocolate Milk Cadbury plc

Nestle has slashed spending on marketing its Heaven chocolate bar, launched just last year, prompting insiders to question the company’s marketing strategy and the logic of the launch in the first place.

Nestle Heaven, a block chocolate made in Switzerland, positioned itself as a premium chocolate designed to appeal particularly to women, but in a market dominated by Cadbury Dairy Milk and Galaxy, it has failed to find a niche.

Market specialists Brand Republic looked at the possible reasons for Nestle Heaven’s difficulties, turning to Adrian Goldthorpe, head of consumer strategy at FutureBrand, the marketing company behind Cadbury Schweppes.

He said: “By targeting a young female audience with an emotionally charged proposition, Nestle has gone after a potentially lucrative consumer group… Unfortunately, by implicitly evoking the cliche ‘chocolate is more important than men’, Nestle Heaven faces an uphill struggle.”

So far this year, Nestle has spent £368,000 (approximately €434,000 at today’s rates) on marketing for Heaven, less than a tenth of the £3.7m (€4.36m) spent when it was rolled out last year, according to Nielsen figures.

Over the past year, both Cadbury Dairy Milk and Galaxy have seen their market shares increase, by two and 12 per cent respectively.

Meanwhile, Heaven was not even mentioned in Nestle’s nine-month financial results released last month, in which the company preferred to focus on the success of its KitKat Senses launch.

Alice Salisbury, senior planner for Albion, which markets Innocent Drinks, said that Nestle needed a novelty factor in order for Heaven to be a success.

The rationale for its launch seemed to be no deeper than ‘our competitors are doing it, so we should, too’,” ​she said. “When launching a product into a crowded market, companies and their agencies must be honest with themselves about how different their version really is.”

Nestle has already had difficulties entering this market in the past, having withdrawn its last block chocolate offering, Double Cream, due to poor sales in 2006.

Related topics Manufacturers Chocolate Nestle

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