From March, 1,507 US Walmart stores – including supercenters, discount stores and neighborhood markets – will stock the brand at checkout stands and at 10 points throughout each store. It follows a successful trial in 50 Walmart stores in Texas last year.
Yowie Group has also won listings at 1,318 Safeway stores across the US. The brand will be carried at Safeway checkouts in Northern California, Washington, Arizona, Colorado and the North East.
Yowie and toy-filled chocolate eggs
Yowie products, in the shape of mythical Yowie creatures, are produced under license in Florida by the Whetstone Chocolate Factory. The brand uses a patented capsule to enclose a toy in the egg, overcoming legislation from 1938 has prevented Ferrero from selling Kinder Eggs in the US.
Yowie chocolate products were previously produced by Cadbury under license from Kidcorp Pty Ltd. Cadbury sold 65 million units in Australia in 1998. The Yowie Group now holds rights to Yowie characters. The brand originated in Australia but has been adapted by Yowie Group for a global rollout.
The group hopes to grow in the US before targeting Europe and the Middle East and Asia in a second growth phase.
Yowie began selling its first US products in 2014 through distribution deals with c-store chain Valero and candy specialist distributors Dylan’s Candy Bar, Lolli & Pops and Sweetie Candy.
In 2013, Yowie North America launched legal proceedings against New Jersey-based company Candy Treasure, the maker of Choco Treasure surprise eggs, accusing it of patent infringement to overcome the 1938 ban on toy-filled candies. The parties reached an out-of-court settlement in December last year.