Austrian confectioner Pez International is looking to grow distribution of its core confectionery range with the introduction of organic gummy fruit snack products.

Pez fruit snacks are an organic, all-natural range of four flavours - sours, yoghurt, strawberry and classic gummy bears - and are available made with either pectin or gelatine. The company produces them under its own brand as well as retailer private label.

The company, which has been exhibiting at this year's SIAL trade show in Paris, hopes to expand distribution of its organic natural fruit gummies, which are already available in Austria, Germany, Scandinavia, South Korea and China.

"Distribution is growing constantly," Pez key account manager Michaela Jungbauer told just-food.

Within Europe, Pez is targeting growth in the UK and France. Meanwhile Jungbuer revealed that the company believes North America "could be a good market" and Pez is currently researching the possibility of expanding its fruit snacks there. Further afield, Pez has identified the Middle East and China as offering significant growth potential.

According to Jungbuer, Pez developed the range in order to fill a niche in the gummy market, which is dominated by Haribo.

"We specialised in organic fruit gummies because Haribo is huge and you cannot compete," Jungbauer said today (25 October).

In order to differentiate itself in the market, Pez focuses on delivering a premium fruit snack that will appeal to both adults and children.

However, in positioning itself at the premium end of the market, Jungbauer said that Pez does face certain issues around pricing.

"The quality of the fruit gummies has grown and it is more the quality than quantity... [The extent to which] price is an issue depends on the retailer. When it is a chain who really want to have a high-quality organic product the price is OK for them, so mainly natural and organic product stores... But when we try to do private label for a big global player who has only some products of organic quality the price is much more important."