Mars has developed Dove line in response to Hersheys success with Brookside, Barclays Capital analysts said

Mars has developed Dove line in response to Hershey's success with Brookside, Barclays Capital analysts said

Mars Inc is to launch a range of fruit-filled Dove chocolates in the US, a line industry watchers believe could be targeting consumers of Hershey's Brookside products.

The chocolates, which comes in three flavours, are set to hit US shelves in September, Mars said.

The company showcased the new Dove line at the Sweet & Snacks Expo in Chicago this week and indicated it was targeting consumers looking for healthier chocolates.

"Healthy snacking is a growing trend, and the perception of healthiness unlocks a variety of snacking consumption occasions. New Dove Whole Fruit Dipped In Dark Chocolate combines the health and wellness benefits of dark chocolate - the second-fastest-growing major segment in the chocolate confections category - with fruits, the fastest-growing snacking segment," Mars said.

The three SKUs - blueberries, cherries and cranberries - are targeting segments in growth, Mars said. The company, for example, pointed to IRI data that it said showed "chocolate-covered cherries drive the most sales in the chocolate category with sales of $70m and growing".

Analysts at Barclays Capital, who attended the Sweet & Snacks Expo, said the range had been prompted by the success Hershey has had with the Brookside brand since it bought the business in 2011.

"One of the most interesting new items that we saw at the show was a fruit-filled, dark chocolate product from Mars that carries the Dove banner, which would appear to us to be Mars' response to Hershey's success with the Brookside platform – though, admittedly, we believe the Dove formulation uses dried fruit, as opposed to fruit juice pectin for Brookside,, which does differentiate it slightly," Barclays Capital analyst Andrew Lazar wrote in a note to clients.

Lazar said he believed Mars had secured a listing for the range at Sam's Club and added: "We are not surprised that the success of Brookside has prompted new competitive entries into the space, and would also observe that more news and support could perhaps prove a positive for the emerging fruit-filled, dark chocolate sub-segment of the category, but we will nonetheless be watchful to see whether this product launch could temper the growth that Brookside has been experiencing."

For its part, Hershey is set to add its Brookside range in the US with the launch of a "crunchy clusters" line later this year.

"This line extension builds on the success of the Brookside brand, which was the fastest growing dark chocolate brand in 2013, and will build on this momentum through the combination of innovation, expanded distribution, and continued brand support," Hershey said this week.

Mars did not respond to a request for further comment.

Show the press release
  • WHAT’S NEW:
    DOVE® Whole Blueberries Dipped In Dark Chocolate
    DOVE® Whole Cranberries Dipped in Dark Chocolate
    DOVE® Whole Cherries Dipped in Dark Chocolate
  • DESCRIPTION:
    Tantalize your taste buds with new DOVE® Whole Fruit Dipped In Dark Chocolate, a delicious combination of real fruit dipped in silky smooth DOVE® Dark Chocolate.
    This decadent new item comes in three varieties of real, whole fruit - cranberry, cherry and blueberry - that are the top-selling fruits on the market. Two convenient sizes, a 2.83-ounce Sharing Size and 6.0-ounce Stand-Up Pouch, satisfy both immediate and future consumption usage occasions.
  • BRAND/PRODUCT INSIGHTS:
    Decadent DOVE® Dark Chocolate delivers the rich, creamy texture and taste that consumers seek. DOVE® PROMISES® Silky Smooth Dark Chocolate lead the category as the #1 Solid Dark Chocolate SKU.1 DOVE® Dark Chocolate also has a 33 percent repeat rate - the highest of any DOVE®Chocolate flavor.2
    Healthy snacking is a growing trend, and the perception of healthiness unlocks a variety of snacking consumption occasions.3 New DOVE® Whole Fruit Dipped In Dark Chocolate combines the health and wellness benefits of dark chocolate - the second-fastest-growing major segment in the chocolate confections category - with fruits, the fastest-growing snacking segment (up 10.5 percent).4
    Consumer testing reveals that consumers want DOVE® Dark Chocolate with real fruit. Sixty-eight percent stated they would "definitely or probably buy" new DOVE® Whole Fruit Dipped In Dark Chocolate.3
    Cranberries are the top-selling fruit in the dried fruit category with sales over $200M and growing.5
    Chocolate-covered blueberry mixes have exploded with +200% growth. 5
    Chocolate-covered cherries drive the most sales in the chocolate category with sales of $70M and growing. 5
  • KOSHER CERTIFIED?
    Yes
  • AVAILABILITY:
    Convenience Store, Drug, Mass, Grocery, Value
  • DATE AVAILABLE:
    September 2014 - Pre-packed displays containing 6-ounce small stand-up bags of DOVE® Whole Blueberries Dipped In Dark Chocolate and DOVE® Whole Cranberries Dipped in Dark Chocolate.
    January 2015 - All variants and sizes available.
  • SUGGESTED RETAIL PRICE:
    $1.99-$2.59, 2.83 oz. Sharing Size in Cranberry and Blueberry
    $3.59-$4.79, 6.0 oz. Small Stand-Up Pouch in all three flavors: Cranberry, Blueberry and Cherry
  • SHIPPING/DISPLAY INFORMATION:
    Sharing Size Powerwing Floorstand
    2.83 oz., 144 Ct. (72 Blueberry; 72 Cranberry)
    Sharing Size Counter Unit
    2.83 oz., 48 Ct. (24 Blueberry; 24 Cranberry), 2/CA
    Sharing Size PDQ Tray
    2.83 oz., 64 Ct. (32 Blueberry; 32 Cranberry)
    Shipper Display - Floorstand with SUPs
    6.0 oz., 60 Ct. (20 Blueberry; 28 Cranberry, 12 Cherry)
    Shipper Display - Hanging Unit with SUPs
    6.0 oz., 36 Ct. (12 Blueberry; 16 Cranberry, 8 Cherry)
    6-ounce SUP Display-Ready Case Options
    24 Ct. Cranberry (2/CA - 48 Ct. total)
    24 Ct. Blueberry (2/CA - 48 Ct. total)
    24 Ct. Cherry (2/CA - 48 Ct. total)
    Half Pallet with DOVE® Whole Fruit Dipped In Dark Chocolate and DOVE® Chocolate
    288 Ct. (Blueberry SUP, Cranberry SUP, Cherry SUP, DOVE® PROMISES® Silky Smooth Milk Chocolate Laydown Bag, DOVE® PROMISES® Silky Smooth Dark Chocolate Laydown Bag)
    Quarter Pallet with DOVE® Fruit in SUPs
    6.0 oz., 192 Ct. (64 Blueberry, 64 Cranberry, 64 Cherry)


    1. MULOC Latest 52W November 3, 2013
    2. Clear, Dark Chocolate Survey 2011
    3. iCommunity October 2013
    4. Snacking Trends 8/2013
    5. Source: 3 IRI L52W 9/8/2013

Original source: Mars