The Italian chocolate giant, Ferrero, formed a brand new candy division under Ferrara after the Trolli maker acquired Nestlé’s US confections business earlier this year.
Kristen Mandel, senior director of marketing at Ferrara’s chocolate division, noted the new Butterfinger will no longer bear Nestlé’s logo.
Improved recipe and packaging
Mandel said: “We are introducing an improved recipe of Butterfinger, so we’ve been really doubling down, bringing better ingredients and better packaging to deliver to those people who love the brand and those intrigued by its uniqueness into trying it for the first time.”
She noted the new recipe includes more of a “chocolaty-forward coating and more real milk.”
It also has a stronger peanut flavor as the company upgraded its roasting process, as well as a cleaner label by removing TBHQ, an artificial preservative that is occasionally used in products that contain peanuts, and hydrogenated oils.
On the packaging side, “we are investing in the packaging quality to lock in the freshness and the peanut and chocolate flavors to deliver to every single category consumer the best Butterfinger possible,” added Mandel.
“So we are moving to this metalized film, which is a better moisture barrier, that will help lock in the flavor and keep the chocolate bars fresh for a longer period of time.
“We are launching this newer packaging that’s bright and bold with a lower calorie count display, and making sure that, during the Q1, 2019 period, Butterfinger will be available across all channels, whether it’s c-store or every other class of trade, so all candy lovers have the opportunity to try this new recipe,” she said.
Additionally, Butterfinger will come in bite size, which is designed to be more ‘poppable and portionable,’ according to Ferrara.
‘Our fun size, which is designed for the Halloween season, is also available both in standup and laydown bags,’ said the company.
Mandel noted the size, weight and pricing of Butterfinger will remain the same.
‘We are unapologetic about candy…’
Sarah Kittel, head of corporate communications at Ferrara, told us Ferrero provides a healthy ecosystem for all of the company’s product innovations thanks to its “unmatched R&D capabilities when it comes to chocolate.
“While Butterfinger is the first brand [that went through recipe overhaul], what you are going to see from Ferrara is doubling investment in reinventing both of our chocolate and non-chocolate brands, which continue to be exceptionally important to our business,” she said.
Euromonitor data shows Ferrara is currently the third largest confectioner in the US following Mars and Hershey. However, what makes the candy maker stand out is it is 100% focused on confectionery, while Hershey and Mars have turned to snacks for faster growth according to their recent M&A and investment activities.
“We are unapologetic about candy and we are singularly focused on confections… We are not clouded by snacks or any additional salty style indulgent products. We are candy, and we love every bit of it,” said Kittle.
Ferrara’s confidence in candies also comes from the fact that the category growth shows no slowdown, according to Jill Manchester, senior VP of marketing and innovation at Ferrara.
She said: “There is so much growth in candy. We are number two non-chocolate and number one in seasonal non-chocolate [in terms of market share in the US].
“The possibility is endless. We are not done; we are just warmed up. [As other players are moving into snacks,] we have the ambition to be the candy category leader.”