When we last spoke to Funday early last year, the firm had just hit the 1,000 retail outlets mark and told us of plans to make it to 3,000 outlets by the end of 2022 – a target which it has now achieved.
“Funday natural sweets are now in Chemist Warehouse and Woolworths outlets worldwide, as well as some 450 Ampol gas stations, WH Smith stores as of last December, and more retailers to come as of this month (January 2023),” Funday Founder Daniel Kitay told FoodNavigator-Asia.
“This is in addition to Chemist Warehouse outlets in New Zealand as well as multiple independent markets there – and we are now in serious discussions with the two major grocery chains in Singapore, so we do expect a Singapore presence in Singapore supermarkets in 2023.
“The guilt-free aspect of our products is really working well with consumers as the formulation is unique – not only do we contain 91% less sugar than regular gummies such as Haribo, this is also true for perceived healthier gummies such as The Natural Confectionery Co.
“We also have an advantage over sugar-free products as many of those remove the sugars but replace these with sugar alcohols such as maltitol or sorbitol – and many consumers have reported gut issues as a result, from laxative effects to bloating to gas and more.
“For us, we take out all the refined sugar and replace this with plant-based fibres from tapioca starch and chicory root – this not only reduces the sugar content whilst maintaining taste, but removes the discomfort and also gives a prebiotic effect.”
In addition to this, Funday also has a one-bag-one serve packaging strategy which Kitay says appeals to consumers from a lifestyle and convenience perspective.
“When it comes to confectionery, it is no secret that a lot of people struggle with portion control – take Haribo for example, very few people can limit themselves to just one or a few gummies once the pack is opened,” he said.
“This is why we created the 50g bag, such that it is a one-bag-one-serve packaging with each serve being just around 100 calories – it’s a simple proposition, but it makes people feel good when they can have a bag of candy, plus it tastes good and doesn’t make them feel sick.”
Guilt-free confectionery growing
Although the popularity of the gummy product format has been growing for several years in the confectionery sector, Kitay believes that the rise of health and wellness trends means that even bigger things are to come specifically for the guilt-free space.
“Confectionery on its own is a strong category, but the guilt-free space is particularly emerging to be very strong now,” he said.
“This is especially so in Asia, as the functional benefits are very well-understood here especially by consumers in the middle and upper socioeconomic classes. Things like prebiotics, probiotics, collagen and other beauty ingredients are very well-received here.
“Interestingly, we have found that in Asia, consumers don’t tend to love the sour flavours as much as in Australia – which has really brought to our attention the importance of localisation to achieve genuine success in each individual market.”
Funday currently has five products in its guilt-free range - Fruity Gummy Snakes, Sour Peach Hearts, Raspberry Gummy Frogs, Sour Vegan Gummy Bears, and Fruity Vegan Gummy Bears. Each 50g pack retails for A$4.50 to A$5.50.
“We do have another product launching this month, and generally our proposition has been well-received so we’ll stick with confectionery – but perhaps some time in the future we’ll move beyond gummies to things like hard candies, it’ll all depend on consumer feedback moving forward,” he said.