Wrigley won’t rule out sugar-free skittles as confectionery ad spend grows

Wrigley’ European confections business unit director Tony Lorman says ‘sugar-free confectionery’ for brands such as Skittles and Starburst could be a future option as he admits Wrigley is looking to build on its ethical relationships with customers.

Lorman, who previously worked at Mars UK, told Marketing Week that although he acknowledges the current pressures on sugary product brands, Wrigley will listen to the consumer first.

“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t aware of the pressures on sugary food products but we don’t have anything to be ashamed of,” he said.

“I wouldn’t rule out introducing sugar-free Skittles or Starburst, it’s definitely something we think about, but at the moment the consumer seems more than comfortable with our retail proposition. If that changes we’d listen because we want to continue to be as ethical as possible as a producer.”

Lorman expects UK ad spend to rise in 2015 across Wrigley’s biggest confectionery brands such as Skittles and Starburst – something he says will be in line with a projected increase in sales.

Starburst recently launched a new TV campaign and revealed that brand sales were growing 5.6% year-on-year.

“At the moment we are trying to be as creative as possible with our marketing whether that’s including Michael Bolton in ads or through social media,” added Lorman.

“Consumers want confectionery to be a treat associated with fun and spontaneity and that marketing strategy is what’s working for us. “

Lorman also revealed that there will be an upcoming multimedia campaign around Skittles and its adoption of new small bottle packaging, which will launch into retailers later this year. Lorman describes the new packaging format as a “new, fun, on-the-go way of enjoying Skittles.”

Last year, Skittles, which is the UK’s biggest Facebook brand by ‘likes’, targeted Xbox gamers with its marketing.

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