At the Sweets & Snacks Expo in Chicago last month, the Pennsylvania-based company launched Hot Tamales Tropical Heat, Mike & Ike Jurassic World Tropical Fruits and a string of Peeps and Mike & Ike products featuring branding from the upcoming Minions movie.
Spicy exotic flavors for Hispanics
Just Born’s Hot Tamales Tropical Heat, aimed at Millennials, features a combination of hot and fruity flavors such as Mango Tango, Pineapple Picante and Limon Fever.
"It's really capitalizing on the trend of the rise in the Hispanic population here in the U.S, but probably more importantly as you see other candy & snack manufacturers, everybody is coming out with something a little bit more spicy. It's very much on trend,” Matthew J. Pye, vice president of trade relations and corporate affairs of Just Born, told ConfectioneryNews.
Larry Levin, executive vice president of industry insights at IRI, said in a presentation at the Sweets & Snacks Expo that U.S. shoppers were becoming more ethnically diverse with Hispanics set to account for 53% of population growth up to 2020.
‘Millenials appreciate exotic flavors’
Just Born also introduced a tropical fruits version for its Mike & Ike candies that carries branding from the fourth installment of the Jurassic Park movie franchise Jurassic World through a licensing deal with Universal Studios. The six-flavor variety also contains a mystery flavor Dino Flavor in each pack.
"The Millennials particularly appreciate more exotic flavors - even in candy,” said Pye.
According to IRI, 49% of sales growth in U.S. candy was contributed by Millennials – those born from the early 1980s onwards – who now make up 19% of candy sales in the country.
Just Born has also launched limited edition Dino Eggs under its Peeps brand that also carries Jurassic World branding. Pye said Just Born candies would also have a cameo in the Jurassic World movie set for U.S. release in June this year.
Mike & Ike and Peeps Minions
The company’s partnership with Universal Studios also includes The Minions Movie, which will enter U.S. movie theatres in Q4 2015. Just Born will launch Peeps Banana Crème Flavored Minions, Peep Marshmallow Minions and Mike & Ike Minions to coincide with the movie release.
"Minions is one of the hottest properties now with kids. And if anyone has kids they're going to take them to the movies, so what better way to tie in some of our products - particularly Mike & Ike, which is known as the movie theater candy,” said Pye.
He said Just Born’s association with the movies had grown the popularity of its theatre box packages, which began as a specialty size for sale in cinemas. "Ironically that theater box package has now proliferated and now it's in all channels - it's our number one package type,” Pye said.