The fight for market share never lets up in the saturated chocolate confectionery market. Cadbury’s latest move is targeted directly at Nestlé in a bid to do some damage to the UK’s number one chocolate bar, Kit Kat. However, by focusing on some of the upcoming mega trends of the snacks world, Cadbury could enjoy even greater rewards.

Two of the UK’s leading chocolate confectionery manufacturers, Nestlé Rowntree and Cadbury, appear set to lock horns over the number one spot in the UK’s chocolate bar market. Nestlé’s Kit Kat has been the best selling countline brand in the UK for many years. However, it has become increasingly difficult for Kit Kat to retain its market share in this highly saturated market.

Kit Kat now faces a new threat from a product specifically developed to rival it: Cadbury’s Dairy Milk Wafer. Cadbury has recently undergone a major rebranding of its range, subsuming some of its most well known brands, such as Wispa and Cadbury’s Caramel, to exploit the popularity of the Dairy Milk brand. Dairy Milk Wafer will be presented as an extension to this family and will be available in the same block format as Dairy Milk bars.

Nestlé Rowntree has tried several modifications to the original Kit Kat bar in an effort to revitalise the brand’s slipping sales. It started by varying the bar’s format, rolling out Kit Kat Chunky, whose sales soon overtook those of the original product. More recently, the Kit Kat Kubes straightline version of the bar was introduced, although with less resounding success. The company is now experimenting with different flavours rather than formats, including such unusual variants as Masala and Cumin flavours.

Cadbury’s decision to take on Kit Kat shows the company’s confidence in its existing brand extension formula. The strategic risk of pulling its well known brands under one umbrella paid off. Cadbury clearly feels that this concept has room for growth, especially as brand extensions are easier to get off the ground than new product launches. However, Cadbury has failed to address any of the current mega trends, such as healthy eating on-the-go snacks, with this launch. By leveraging the Cadbury brand to a greater degree in this area, it could further build on the success of its Dairy Milk family.

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