Yowie is originally an Australian brand that was created by Cadbury over 10 years ago using a license from two Australian educators based on series of books for children.
The licences for chocolate confectionery are now owned by the Yowie Group, which entered the US market in 2015 in mass, grocery, drug and to a lesser extent in convenience channels.
'A logical choice' for expansion
The group's Australian based distribution partner Universal Candy has received its first order for Yowie to re-enter Australia and New Zealand. It marks the first order outside the US since the company's 2015 launch.
“Australia was a logical choice to begin our expansion outside of the US because of strong residual brand awareness and affinity for the product,” said Bert Alfonso, global CEO of Yowie.
The group plans to enter another international market by the end of its fiscal year. Products for Australia will be shipped from Yowie's contract manufacturer the Madelaine Chocolate Company in the US from the end of this month.
Yowie confectionery sold 65m units a year in Austrlaiala at its peak under Cadbury in the 1990s.
The relaunched confectionery item by the Yowie Group uses Rainforest Alliance-certified cocoa and the products are also nut free, non-GMO, and gluten-free. In addition, every Yowie’s collectible toy wrapped in the chocolate egg undergoes an independent safety certification for toxins, according to the company.
What does the partnership entail?
Yowie has also signed a partnership with US-based non-profit the WCS.
Alfonso said: “Both Yowie and WCS will work on a number of initiatives together, including some co-branding opportunities that may entail packaging, development of educational materials for Yowie, and other content."
Doubling sales in 2017
Yowie currently accounts for under one share point in the US single piece or instant consumable chocolate category, according to Nielsen xAOC (extended All Outlet Combined) data.
“We run on a fiscal accounting year from July 1 to June 30,” Alfonso said. “In fiscal 2017, our objective is to about double sales, including a launch in one or two markets outside the US.”
“We are also very focused on our gross margin. As a relative startup, we are mindful of our bottom line and believe we can be profitable over the next two to three years depending on geographic expansion and marketing spend.”
Alfonso was the president at the international division for Hershey prior to leading Yowie. He was also the executive vice president of finance at Cadbury Schweppes.