Nestlé is preparing an intensive marketing push for the relaunch of its Baci brand. Having postponed the relaunch of Baci last year due to production problems, Nestlé has had extra time to focus on what was originally heralded as the “biggest confectionery launch of 2004”. Key to the success of the brand will be overcoming direct competition from Ferrero Rocher and communicating the products’ indulgence credentials.

According to reports, Nestlé’s Baci, the company’s individually wrapped hazelnut and praline Italian chocolate offering, is set for relaunch in February 2005 backed by a nationwide TV and sampling campaign. Expected to target 30 to 45-year-olds with families, the campaign is orientated around a prize draw giving entrants the chance to win an Italian holiday for two worth £5,000 (US$9,400).

Nestlé is planning to unleash a three-month roadshow for the product during which it will visit numerous shopping centres throughout the UK offering free samples together with branded merchandise.

Originally, Baci was supposed to relaunch in September 2004 with revamped red-and-gold packaging, but this was delayed due to production problems. Despite the setback, Nestlé is said to be seeking sales of £30m in the product’s first year. The objective will be aided by variable pack formats catering for both planned and impulse snacking occasions.

With its package format and positioning as a premium treat, Baci’s relaunch will place it in direct competition with Ferrero Rocher. Given the similarities of the two brands it is likely that a fierce advertising war could ensue in the next 12 months. Ferrero may have benefited from the delay in Baci’s launch, but with marketing support approaching £30m over three years, Nestlé will have high expectations.  

The health and wellness mega-trend has created an air of anxiety amongst confectionery players fearful that sales will plummet as consumers seek healthier alternatives. However, consumers’ ever-increasing demand for indulgence and quality means that the market for such premium products remains strong.

Products such as Baci therefore need to make consumers feel special and it is highly important that marketers focus on the emotional aspects of treating and on the sensory and comforting credentials of the brand itself.

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