Fox's Glacier - launched in 1918 - has classically been sold in 130 g and 230 g hanging bags.
Flavors before the recent round of NPD were limited to Fox's Mints (peppermint), Fox’s Fruits, comprised of classic fruit flavor such as strawberry, and Fox's Dark, a licorice and aniseed product.
Under new management
Big Bear Confectionery recently became part of the Valeo Foods group. Valeo acquired the confectionery division of Big Bear’s former parent Raisio in December 2017 for €100m ($123m). The deal included six factories across the UK and Czech Republic as well as Big Bear’s other brands such as Poppets, XXX Mints and Victoria retro sweets.
Flavors new to boiled sweets, claims Big Bear
"That's been the core range and it has been for in excess of 20 years,” Andrew Ovens, marketing manager of Big Bear Confectionery, told ConfectioneryNews at trade fair ISM.
"This year, we've pushed on and see a real opportunity to extend that range."
Big Bear has added a spearmint variant as well as limited edition tropical and berry bags containing flavors such as coconut and gooseberry.
"It brings new and exciting flavors to our category, which haven’t really been part of boiled sweets,” said Ovens.
Fox’s Spearmint and limited edition Berry and Tropical packs will launch in the UK in May this year, retailing for around £1 ($1.40) for a 200 g bag.
"We also didn’t have a specific pack for car travel, so we have one now that fits in cup holders,” continued Ovens.
Fox’s will introduced 50 g travel tubes that are much smaller than its typically peg bag offering, helping it seize on new consumption occasions with car travelers. The packs will retail for a suggested price of £1 ($1.40).
Easter: An untapped season for UK sugar confectionery
Ovens said: "UK sugar confectionery is just short of 2% growth, according to Kantar, in the last 12 months, and we've been performing well, in line with the market.”
The marketing manager said he expects low sugar variants and portion-controlled products will drive category growth.
"A big part of it is about getting the right formats in the market. Sugar confectionery hasn't benefited from Easter and Christmas the way chocolate confectionery has and we think there's a real opportunity."
"We think, correctly packed in travel tubes and tins, we can be a bigger part of Easter,” said Ovens.
Big Bear will launch a 454 g Fox’s Centenary Edition gifting tin containing a mix of Fox's flavors for a suggest retail of £5 ($7).
The company will also introduce a Fox’s Glaciers selection 390 g tin for £4 ($5.50), which contains retro packaging of the brand from the Seventies, Eighties and Nineties.
Rugby sponsorship and Irish growth
Big Bear produces Fox's at a factory in Leicester, UK. The brand recently became the shirt sponsor of Leicester Tiger Rugby Club. "They bring lots of opportunities for sampling and a really big fan base,” said Oven.
Fox’s is sold mainly in the UK, but also performs well in countries with strong UK expat communities, as well as the Middle East. The company sees opportunities to grow sales in Ireland, said Ovens.