Ferrara pan Expands Portfolio With Upscale Kraft Brands
Ferrara Pan Candy Co. is adding four premium Kraft Foods’ chocolate brands —Toblerone, Terry’s Chocolate Orange, Milka and Cote D’Or — to its stable of classic candies including Lemonhead, Red Hots and Atomic Fireballs.
The Chicago-based company announced earlier this spring that it has obtained principal distribution rights in the United States for the four internationally prominent brands.
“The high-end chocolate category is one of the fastest-growing segments of our industry,” says Sal Ferrara, president of Ferrara Pan. “Ferrara Pan recognizes that these brands are world leaders, and while they have a presence in the United States, we feel that they have tremendous growth potential. We feel that our structure on the sales and marketing side will benefit these brands greatly.
“The U.S. market is a little different than the rest of the world,” Ferrara reflects. “And we look forward to introducing new packaging configurations, new sizes that are geared toward the U.S. market.
“Our combination of broker sales force along with direct sales is what we feel these brands really need in the U.S. market,” he continues, noting that the company has added staff in order to handle the new venture effectively.
Ferrara Pan’s expertise is focused on the mainstream marketplace, and Ferrara notes that the company is well positioned to introduce the brands in the mass, grocery and drug channels — all of which are embracing premium assortments. “I think that’s one of the reasons that Kraft recognized us as a good fit,” he says.
“We feel that we can more double the business in the next two years,” Ferrara adds.
Brand Close-Up
* Toblerone’s distinctively triangular pieces of indulgent Swiss chocolate are made with honey and nougat.
* Terry’s combines chocolate and orange flavors and borrows its form from the fruit.
* Milka, an Alpine milk chocolate, is the No.1  chocolate brand in Western Europe.
* Cote d’Or is prepared with a special blend of high quality cocoa beans from around the world; it is the No. 1 Belgian chocolate.
Reinventing Bazooka
The Topps Company, New York, N.Y., has announced new product and advertising initiatives designed to capitalize on the considerable cachet of its 59-year-old Bazooka bubble gum brand.
The traditional hard Bazooka gum pieces have been reformulated and now offer a softer chew and longer-lasting flavor. A new advertising campaign targeted to six- to 12-year-olds will be introduced this year as well.
According to Paul Cherrie, Topps managing director, the driving forces behind the Bazooka relaunch are two-fold and include the strong performance of the gum segment as well as the company’s recognition that it had an underleveraged corporate asset in the Bazooka brand name.
On the new product front, individually twist-wrapped pieces of Bazooka gum will be offered in a variety of pack types, and new cotton candy and watermelon flavors will be introduced.  Additional new items to be rolled out under the Bazooka banner this spring are Bazooka Bubble Gum Gumballs and Bubble Gum Filled Pops.
Topps also has updated the classic Bazooka Joe comics included inside each individually wrapped piece of Bazooka Bubble Gum and is unveiling a collectible premium program in support of the brand.
Bazooka Bits
• Bazooka Bubble Gum was introduced in 1947; Bazooka Joe made his first appearance in 1953.
• Nearly 30 billion pieces of Bazooka bubble gum have been sold.
• Bazooka is ranked No. 1 in total brand awareness in the bubble gum category.