The Ferrara Candy Company—the century-old manufacturer of classic candy brands such as Lemonhead, Brach’s, Chuckles, Jujyfruits and Atomic Fireballs—is hoping a recent R&D investment to revitalize its Red Hots and Now and Later brands will give younger generations a taste for the iconic candies their parents enjoyed.
“Our iconic brands have built up strong equity, but it’s important to adapt and change to stay relevant with today’s consumers,” says Jamie Mattikow, chief commercial officer for Ferrara. “Our new Red Hots and Now and Later offerings tap into consumers’ increasing interest in sour and intense flavors in a chewy format.”
The company says updates to Red Hots are based trends showing Generation Z and Millennials have an increased desire for hot and spicy flavors and chewy formats. The traditional cinnamon flavored hard candies are now available in three new hot and spicy flavor combinations—Kick’n Mango Lime, Sizzling Sour and Dark Chocolate—and feature new packaging.
Now and Later was originally sold in just three flavors, though 23 are now available in three formats – Original, Chewy and 2 flavors-in-1 Splits. To expand the offering, the Ferrara R&D team focused on developing flavors that deliver an extreme sour flavor in a chewy format. The result is new Now and Later Extreme Sour fruit chews, the first super sour taffy in the category available in Watermelon, Apple and Cherry.
As a result of the updates, Mattikow says sales for both products are up. Now and Later sales are currently up 13 percent and Red Hot sales are up 7 percent compared to the overall non-chocolate confectionery category.