"What's very new with PEZ is that we go digital," product manager Karin Leonhartsberger, told ConfectioneryNews at the ISM trade fair in Cologne, Germany.
PEZ Play: Angry Birds and Bricks Breaking
At the fair, the company introduced mobile gaming platform PEZ PLAY. It has partnered with its licensor Rovio for the first gaming app Angry Birds, which will launch at the end of April to coincide with the Angry Birds movie release.
PEZ in numbers
PEZ candies were introduced in 1927 as peppermints to help adults quite smoking. The brand was repositioned as a children's product in the 1950s when the firm added fruity candies. The PEZ group employs 750 people and produces 70 million dispensers and five billion candies every year. The company sells in 80 countries, but lists Japan and Australia as it major markets. It also has strong presence in Europe and the US."
When you buy a PEZ Angry Birds dispenser, you have a code on the dispenser and if you scan it, you can download the app and play the game,” said Leonhartsberger.
The confectioner also plans its own PEZ-centric version of mobile game Bricks Breaking in the second half of 2016, which will be downloadable for free via a code on PEZ refill packs.
In talks for more games
The Austrian-headquartered firm sees further potential for gaming apps with its licensor partners.
"That's the future,” said Leonhartsberger. "We also have discussions with other licensors and it should be something that's added to every PEZ dispenser sometime in the future,” the product manager continued.
"Children very much in the past few years are playing on screens and mobile devices, so we felt the best way is not change the product itself... but to give it an additional drive by connecting it to mobile devices,” she said.
PEZ announced its 2016 licencing partners. It will develop candy-filled dispensers featuring characters from the following upcoming movies and franchises.
- The Secret Life of Pets – In June, PEZ will launch dispensers featuring four character’s from Universal's upcoming movie The Secret Life of Pets
- Trolls – To coincide with DreamWorks Animation’s Trolls movie in Autumn (Fall) 2016, PEZ will introduce three character-led dispersers.
- Finding Dory – The candy makers has agreed a deal to produce four character dispersers based on the sequel to Finding Nemo coming in summer 2016.
- Kung Fu Panda 3 - Po, Tigress and Shifu dispensers are already available for the Kung Fu Panda sequel already in US cinemas.
- Transformers - In late 2016, PEZ will introduce three dispensers based on the Eighties Transformers franchise, including an Optimus Prime container.
- Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice - PEZ began selling Batman and Superman dispensers at the start of the year for the film coming in March.
- My Little Pony -In January, the company introduced three character dispensers from the My Little Pony series.
- Hello Kitty Nerdy - PEZ has produced Hello Kitty dispensers since 2002, but this year has expanded the range to include a Hello Kitty with a 'nerdy' look.