The product - which retails for $1.89 per bag - will be exclusively sold at 7-Eleven stores through April, and will be available across the US in May, according to Ferrara’s SVP of marketing and brand strategy, Jill Manchester.
Manchester said the sloths gummies are part of Ferrara’s Weirdly Awesome campaign, in which the company previously created sour gummies based on NBA star James Harden’s beard.
Targeting Gen Z with social media
Ferrara said the Weirdly Awesome campaign was created to connect with Gen Z (Centennials) consumers in the US.
Centennials - those born in the mid-1990s to early 2000s - currently make up 22.5% of the overall US population, Brian Owens, director of retail insights at Kantar, said at the recent State of the Industry Conference in Miami, Florida.
He said this demographic has already overtaken Generation X and is poised to surpass Millennials in the near future.
Key features found within Gen Z consumers include “born with technology; naturally frugal, polycultural; non-loyal, and self-starters,” Owens said.
“We’re already seeing awesome feedback and chatter from fans just a week after launching our ‘Weirdly Slothsome’ content [on social media],” Manchester said.
“We’ve garnered 2.3 million impressions from mentions of Sour Brite Sloths candy on social. On Instagram, we’ve increased our followers by 6% and engagement rates on Slothsome content posts are at 6% as well,” she added.
Outgrowing the sour candy category
Trolli is one of Ferrara’s top performing brands, and a leading brand in the growing sour segment with a growth rate of 18.5% compared to 17.6% for the overall sour category, according to IRI’s latest data ending Feb 19, 2017.
The US non-chocolate chew candy category, on the other hand, posted total dollar sales of $3bn, growing by 5.04% year-over-year, according to IRI data for the last 52 weeks ending Oct 2, 2016. The Ferrara company overall posted a growth rate of 7.58%.
“Our brand awareness doubled in 2016 and contributed to [Ferrara’s] revenue growth of 12%, delivering $184m in dollar sales,” Manchester said.
The Trolli brand will continue building upon the “successful year” it had in 2016, she added.