Fox’s Glacier mints and Poppets gain major brand overhaul amid group acquisition
A major relaunch for two of the UK’s renowned sweets brands – Fox’s Glacier mints and Poppets has been unveiled, focused on a packaging brand upgrade, as its parent group is acquired by Bain Capital, writes Neill Barston.
Irish-based manufacturer Valeo Snack Foods (The Valeo Group), which according to national media reports, has been bought in a deal valued at $1.7 billion, explained the move was part of a wide programme of investment and new product development for the British business, which is behind the Jacobs biscuits, Rowse Honey Barratt sweets companies.
As the company noted, its wider group has expanded rapidly and grown annual net sales to approximately €1.1 billion for the 12 months through to March 2021, from less than €200 million in 2010. It now serves 106 markets globally, producing more than 400,000 tonnes annually across its 24 manufacturing facilities, and employs more than 4,000 people.
The business confirmed that Seamus Kearney, Group CEO of Valeo Foods will continue to lead its operations with the existing management team.
He said of the deal with the Boston-based equity firm: “This transaction is a very positive reflection of the quality of our business and all of our people. It is also testament to the passion and commitment CapVest, our management team and all of our colleagues have shown in continuously delivering best-in-class food products to our customers and consumers across our 106 markets.
“Bain Capital’s deep knowledge and heritage in innovation and investment in the food and grocery sectors means this is great news for our business and our people. We are very excited to work alongside the Bain Capital team as we continue our journey and pursue our ambitious plans for further growth in the future.”
As the parent group explained Fox’s Glacier will spotlight its longstanding brand mascot of Peppy the polar bear on mint packs, while Poppets will benefit from an impactful, modern and fun new design.
The new designs are expected to be in stores by the end of this month, alongside the brand refresh for Poppets, which will gain several new flavour varieties.
Russell Tanner, marketing director at Valeo Snack Foods, welcomed the rebrand. He said: “2021 is a year of significant investment and innovation at Valeo Confectionery. As two of our hero brands, Fox’s Glacier and Poppets have many years of heritage combined, but both have stood the test of time and remain relevant to the modern consumer. We hope this investment and redesign will contribute to the continued success of both brands for years to come.”
As the business added, the new Fox’s Glaciers packaging draws on the brand’s rich history, re-introducing design elements from its past such as its bright blue hue and the ‘accept no imitations’ strapline, to remind consumers to look for the very best. The design also gives the nation’s favourite polar bear a fresh new look, and has also subtly referenced his counterpoint, Fox, from the original cartoons and TV adverts.
New to packs is the addition of ‘100 Years of Taking it Slow’, a nod to the brand’s heritage and expertise in creating premium, long lasting sweets.
Alice Thorpe, Senior Brand Manager at Valeo Snack Foods, commented: “Our relaunch celebrates Fox’s rich heritage while also introducing the brand to a new generation. Valeo is set to invest seven figures in Fox’s this year with an integrated through the line campaign, ‘Satisfyingly Long Lasting’.
“This campaign celebrates the joy of taking a satisfyingly long lasting moment to yourself during the hustle and bustle of daily life, and savouring a Fox’s sweet as an enjoyable pick me up. With 91% brand recognition, Fox’s deserves its iconic reputation and this investment is about bringing it front of mind for today.
“We’ll be announcing an exciting programme of NPD for the Fox’s brand soon too, that come in single face shelf ready cases in order to help retailers manage space on shelf.”
The rebrand was managed with sustainability in mind, enabling a plastic reduction of more than ten per cent. And in order to broaden appeal, Fox’s has taken the opportunity to highlight on pack that its products are vegan friendly.
A robust programme of retailer support activity will include TV, print, online and in store advertising, and in July, consumer sampling will take place via Degustabox. Fox’s Glaciers is an iconic brand and a beacon for the sector, it is a recommended, must stock item given its strong brand recognition and trusted, established heritage.
The second brand to get a makeover is Poppets, which is currently in growth year on year thanks to its broad appeal and accessible price point, with its packaging given a modern feel with a bold new logo.
Available in a unique single-serve cardboard carton or a sharing pouch format, the packaging will utilise primary colours to ensure shelf standout and show off Poppets’ many different centres.
The Poppets range is also set to expand, giving consumers new and exciting ways to get that little chocolate hit. A new Salted Caramel flavour has widespread appeal as a growing flavour profile, and Poppets Mix Ups feature a selection of flavours in one pack. It offers a range of family favourites (Toffee, Salted Caramel, Crunchy Maltballs and Chocolate Balls) for an element of surprise, but none of the polarising flavours you might find in other, similar offerings on the market.
A programme of marketing support, in store and online, is planned for Poppets to drive consumers to pick up this icon of the confectionery category, which enjoys huge brand awareness.
Susan Anderson, Brand Manager at Valeo Snack Foods, added: “We’re thrilled to reveal the new look for these little balls of chocolatey fun. The updated colours and text were all created with the customer in mind – to highlight flavours and guide customer navigation so they know exactly what they’re getting.
“We’ve also considered the needs of retailers and will have an improved dual face opening CDU to provide flexibility for merchandising and increase visibility. We believe we’ve curated a brand and product offering that is modern and on trend, offers a broad appeal of flavour and is also a much-loved classic that holds universal family appeal.”