Dispatches from the Winter Fancy Food Show

Holy smoke Batman! Jelly Belly plans DC Comics line and talks consumer trends

By Douglas Yu

- Last updated on GMT

Jelly Belly's new DC Comics line
Jelly Belly's new DC Comics line

Related tags Jelly belly Marketing

Jelly Belly will launch a DC Comics line in May after signing a licensing contract with Warner Bros, the company said at the Winter Fancy Food Show.

The range will include Batman, Wonder Woman and Superman-themed candies.

Jelly Belly’s vice president of global marketing, Rob Swaigen, also gave ConfectioneryNews an update on market trends and the company's business performance.

Looking for 'organic' consumers

Swaigen said Jelly Belly had discovered consumers who are into organic foods are not necessarily looking for organic candies.

ConfectioneryNews​ previously reported the organic candy market is not as significant as other organic food markets, even though organic foods are trending right now. Market research company The Hartman Group said core consumers, who are passionately involved in the world of organic foods, is a small percentage of the overall population.

However, Swaigen said: “When our consumers find organic candies, that’s what they will choose.”

“Our consumers are upscale specialty food consumers, but we’re also looking for people who are more exclusive to organic and natural foods,”​ he said. “So we’re able to sell this to our existing consumers as well as to a broader base of consumers that may not have picked up Jelly Belly in the past.”

Focus on consumers instead of competition

“We’re aware of the competition, but we focus more on our consumers,”​ Swaigen said.

He added Jelly Belly is in a different segment to most jelly bean manufactures that mainly market for Easter. “We definitely market ourselves more during Easter, but we’re a year-round product,” ​he said.

Asked which confectionery companies Jelly Belly is competing with, Swaigen said:“We really compete more with the non-chocolate chewy candy category in general.”

Since Jelly Belly is a privately-held company, Swaigen declined to comment on the current market share. But he said: “We are having the best year we’ve ever had.”

In addition, Jelly Belly’s BeanBoozled has been successful since 2007, according to Swaigen, and its fourth edition, whose flavours include spoiled milk and rotten egg, will be on the market soon this year.

Besides exploring foreign markets in the future, Swaigen said Jelly Belly will continue to explore customized products.

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1 comment

passing of dc comics jelly beans

Posted by Ben Exworth,

its cool i suppose. but there are no new flavors. just six old flavors in shimmer form. sorry but although i am a dc fan i am also a fan of brand new flavor beans so since there isnt any, i will pass.

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