‘Going beyond lollipops’: Perfetti van Melle taps packaging functionality and impulse-buying as major confectionery strategies

By Pearly Neo

- Last updated on GMT

Perfetti van Melle believes that it is crucial to tap on impulse-buying tendencies as well as the long-term functionality of product packaging for confectionery marketing. ©Chupa Chups
Perfetti van Melle believes that it is crucial to tap on impulse-buying tendencies as well as the long-term functionality of product packaging for confectionery marketing. ©Chupa Chups

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Confectionery heavyweight Perfetti van Melle believes that it is crucial to tap on impulse-buying tendencies and packaging functionality as major components of its marketing in order to maximise consumer reach.

Perfetti van Melle is the company behind iconic confectionery brands such as Mentos and Chupa Chups.

And the firm believes that most consumers tend not to plan the purchases of their products, but instead buy these impulsively.

“This is a key reason why we place key SKU’s such as our Mentos mints individual packs at the counter tills both in domestic and travel retail stores, as mints are an item that consumers will look and think about purchasing on-the-go for breath freshening, as opposed to walking into a store specially just to buy these,”​ Perfetti van Melle Area Manager Travel Retail Sander Prins told FoodNavigator-Asia​ at the recent Tax Free World Association (TFWA) show.

“Impulse buying is an essential, key part of confectionery marketing, and this is why we always prioritise cashier till space which affords consumers both convenience and relativity.

“It is also how we look to push some of our specific new items – a good example has been our sugar-free Chupa Chups which we just launched in 2022/2023 as usually consumers with diabetes issues or those that are watching their sugar intake for dietary or health reasons will not really go through the confectionery aisles, but when they see these at the tills when paying the sugar-free proposition really sparks their interest.

“This is also a form of impulse-buying, where they see sugar-free, realise it applies to them, and thus choose to buy it on the spot – so I would say this sugar-free segment has been garnering more attention as of late and a lot of it is due to this impulse-buying as opposed to planned purchasing, and we are also managing to reach a more niche group that is watching their sugar intake.”

The other main strategy that Perfetti van Melle is opting to focus on for sales, particularly in the travel retail sector, is the concept of relevant and long-term functional packaging, where its products come with other uses such as pencilboxes or backpacks.

“This is particularly relevant for travel retail as it ties in well with the gifting trend, as a product that can still be used even after the candy itself has been consumed,”​ he added.

“Travel retail also sees more demand for products that can keep children entertained for a longer time, so we tend to focus on more reusable items such as marker pens, playing cards and colouring books – the whole idea is just to go beyond lollipops and stay relevant for even longer than the duration of one Chupa Chup.

“The same applies to our Mentos products as well, where we have things like the Jumbo Roll of Mentos with eight rolls in one, or pencil cases with 11 mini tubes in one pencil case -  the key is to ensure that the overall packaging is a functional item that remains relevant to consumers for a longer time.”

Prins also highlighted that the popularity of Chupa Chups in the Middle Eastern region far outweighs that of Mentos here, but in most other Asian markets there is a fairly even spread across both brands, attributing this to Middle Eastern consumers’ penchant for sweeter items.

Strawberry domination

In terms of flavour popularity, Perfetti van Melle has found fruity flavours to generally be the most popular not just in the APAC region but also globally, with strawberry leading the pack.

“We know that fruity flavours really rule the roost in APAC, particularly strawberry, and other leaders on the global scale are cola, mint and other fruits,” ​he said.

“This applies both to Mentos and Chupa Chups – in fact for the latter strawberry is so popular what we have a specific ‘Best of’ variety pouch in travel retail dedicated solely to strawberry only, covering regular strawberry, sour strawberry and milky strawberry. It is just the best-seller all over.”

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