Sour Season: SweeTARTS and HI-CHEW debut more flavors of chewy, sour treats
Ferrara Candy Company has leaned into sour flavors in 2019, developing a first-of-its-kind ad campaign for Trolli’s sour gummy worms. Its recent advertising initiative for SweeTARTS – with the tagline, ‘Be Both’ – focuses on the duality of its signature sweet-and-sour flavor combination.
According to the company, the ‘Be Both’ idea embraces “Gen Z’s desire to reject one-dimensional definitions of identity and instead celebrate the intersection of their own passions, expressions and tastes.”
The new Ropes Bites follow that thread with a ‘tart, fruit-punch center’ surrounded by a chewy outer candy, with flavors like cherry, strawberry, green apple and blue punch. They will be available across the US this month in four pack sizes: a 3oz peg bag and 3.5oz share pack for an RRP of $1.49, a 5.25oz peg bag for $1.99, and an 8oz standup pouch for $2.99.
Ferrara said the original version – a longer rope in a Cherry Punch or Tangy Strawberry flavor – is the most successful product in SweeTARTS’ 56-year history.
"As consumers move to a more on-the-go mentality with candy and snacks, we expect that SweeTARTS Ropes Bites and SweeTARTS Mini Chewy Berries & Cherries will be a hit in the market as consumers seek new poppable, shareable candy for the spring and summer seasons,” said Ashley Incarnato, senior brand manager at Ferrara.
The berry gummies, which Ferrara describes as a ‘flavor fusion,’ capitalize on increasing consumer interest in flavors such as raspberry, blackberry and dark cherry. According to data from a leading US retailer, about a quarter of US consumers shop exclusively for berry-flavored candy.
The Mini Chewy bags are available in a 4oz share pack for an RRP of $1.49, a 3.75oz concession bag for $1.49, and a 12oz standup pouch for $2.99.
Another take on sweet-and-sour
HI-CHEW is one of Japan’s best-selling soft candies. Founded in 1899 by Taichiro Morinaga, the Japanese company opened a manufacturing facility in North Carolina in 2015.
Morinaga America already sells 17 flavors of its signature ‘chewlet,’ including mango, grape, banana and caramel apple. Existing combination packs feature tropical fruit flavors; a superfruit mix of açaí, kiwi and dragon fruit; and an orange soda and cola mix.
The Sweet and Sour Mix combines grapefruit and lemon with a watermelon, a new addition to HI-CHEW’s more than 185 flavors commonly available in Japan.
"Watermelon is a beloved fruit here in the States and we're excited to reveal our new offering that showcases a delightful, slightly sour twist on the real fruit taste," said US-based CMO Tatsuya Takamiya.
"As we continue to grow our flavor offerings, we saw a great opportunity for the Sweet & Sour Mix to introduce Watermelon and create a complementary combination of vibrant flavors that HI-CHEW fans love."
US consumers have shown a penchant for ‘tangy and tart’ tastes, the company said.
At select Walmart and Walgreens stores, a 3.17oz peg bag of HI-CHEW sells for $2.39, and a 12.7oz standup bag runs about $5.99.