The company said the revamped brands had been well received since hitting the market two months ago.
According to an IRI data, Now and Later sales for the two months were up 13% and Red Hots sales up 7% compared to the same period last year. The overall non-chocolate confectionery category recorded 4.4% growth.
“Our branded portfolio focus is driving excitement among Millennials and Gen Z consumers while doubling Ferrara's sales to $2 billion by 2020,” said Jamie Mattikow, chief commercial officer at Ferrara.
How Red Hots and Now and Later were upgraded
With Now and Later, Ferrara’s R&D team focused on developing an extreme sour flavor in a soft chew format, according to Mattikow. The result is the new Now and Later extreme sour fruit chews that are available in watermelon, apple and cherry flavors.
The team also developed three new hot and spicy flavor combinations for Red Hots in the chewy format: Kick’n Mango Lime, Sizzling Sour, and Dark Chocolate.
Distribution and pack sizes
All Now and Later items are available in changemakers, standard size, and peg bags that range from $0.25 to $1.49. All Red Hots items are available in changemakers, theatre boxes, and peg bags that range from $0.25 to $1.99. Both upgraded product lines are available at most retailers nationwide including mass merchandisers, convenience, grocery, drug, and dollar stores.
Ferrara decided to focus on sour-flavor development because its research shows Generation Z and Millennials have an increased interest in sour and intense flavors in a chewy format, Mattikow said.
“Overall, spicy, tropical fruit and sour have seen double and triple digit growth over the last four years,” he added. “Specifically, chewy is growing 5.8%, leading and driving the non-chocolate category, which is posting 4.4% and sour is growing 14%, three times the rate of total non-chocolate confections.”
Revitalizing brands to fit the emerging trends
Before rebranding Red Hots and Now and Later, Ferrara also reinvigorated its Lemonhead brand by leveraging the brand’s character with a more contemporary packaging, according to the company. In a similar move, Ferrara updated Brach’s branding and packaging in 2014.
For Ferrara, “revitalizing iconic brands is a balance between staying true to each brand's equity while ensuring the offering stays current with consumer interests and preferences,” Mattikow said.
“Younger consumers are growing increasingly interested in organic offerings,” he said. “We created new Black Forest Organic Gummies, the first nationally available gummies certified USDA Organic, to unlock the huge potential of organic non-chocolate confections for both consumers and retailers.”
In addition, Ferrara will continue to look for opportunities with its brands to enhance their offering, Mattikow added.