“We saw the power of the Yo-Kai Watch property: it was all over subways, buses, billboards, newspapers, supermarkets, TV shows, in kids hands, everywhere. That got us intrigued and when we found out more about it, we knew it would be a great fit for us,” Bazooka’s senior brand manager, Elizabeth Mangold, told ConfectioneryNews.
The new product line offers two gummy products in both sweet and sour flavor profiles that will retail between $1 to $1.50 depending on the retail stores, according to the company. They are available to all channels of trade across the US.
Japanese property plays big in US confectionery
Bazooka had a previous partnership with Pokémon many years ago, and it created a multimillion-dollar candy line, which “speaks to how strongly a Japanese foreign property can perform in the US confectionery market,” Mangold said.
“It definitely factored into our decision to start a new venture with Yo-Kai Watch.”
In terms of the licensing side of the business, Bazooka has previously partnered with a number of animated movies, including Ice Age, How to Train Your Dragon and Minions.
Tapping gummy category growth
Even though Bazooka, a traditional US candy company that manufactures chewing gum, is still relatively new to the gummy segment, its recent launch Juicy Drop gummies was the number one gummy product driving the segment growth according to IRI data, Mangold added.
IRI data also shows that the gummy candy category is growing at a rate of 9% year-over-year.
“Our business is strong and growing, outpacing the category in both dollars and units,” Mangold added. “We’re growing over 6.1% year to date in dollar sales, outpacing non-chocolate at 2.4% and total confections at 1.1%.”
Bazooka also introduced emoji-inspired gummies to tap this growing segment earlier this year. Its sugar-free bubble gum also won the Most Innovative New Product Awards in the gum and mints category during the Sweets and Snacks Expo this year in Chicago.