Since 2013, British manufacturer Kinnerton Confectionery has produced chocolate confectionery products under Unilever's Magnum brand - which already enjoys global success in the ice cream sector.
Kinnerton began manufacturing single-serve chocolate countlines under license for the UK market, but has since expanded its product range and market reach.
Last September, Magnum chocolate was repositioned as a premium product. Kinnerton partnered with Unilever’s Magnum brand team to better align the chocolate offering with the ice cream brand.
Speaking to ConfectioneryNews from ISM in Cologne, Germany, Kinnerton’s senior innovation manager Emma Perrett said the rebranding had allowed the chocolates to enter new markets.
"We've launched in to different territories - so UK & Ireland, Australia and New Zealand, France, Germany, Portugal and Belgium,” she said.
"Globally it's been a massive success. Germany has been our biggest market.”
The brand has listings at Selfridges and WHSmith as well as limited distribution at Tesco in the UK. Waitrose also plans a trial for Magnum’s newest ‘Double’ chocolate bars, which coicide with Unilever’s ‘Double’ Magnum ice cream launch.
"They understand it's premium - it's a massive step up. We're getting excited about how it's going to look in the UK and Ireland,” said Perrett.
Growing the range
Since 2013, Kinnerton has expanded the Magnum range with 90 g chocolate tablets, boxed chocolates, thins and Easter Eggs to support its 25 g bars.
"We're tried to create a range for every confectionery occasion, so there's impulse for me, gifting for you with beautiful boxed chocolate and we've also got Easter Eggs,” said Perrett.
The company plans to expand its thin range and introduce new flavors for its chocolate tablets in the coming years.
Geographic expansion plan
"The benchmark for us in terms of quality and branding is Lindt. We are in terms of pricing probably just below Lindt, but we believe our quality is up there with them,” said Perrett.
The Kinnerton innovation manger said China and Indonesia are the biggest markets for Magnum’s €2bn ($2.3bn) ice cream brand, but the chocolate has not yet entered these countries.
"We're trying to work on the markets that we know to make sure we make a success of those markets… then we hope to expand and expand."
Kinnerton hopes to bring the chocolate range to all global markets where the ice cream is present, but plans to move slowly to ensure success.
The US is the world's largest chocolate confectionery market, but Perret said Magnum ice cream only entered the market five years ago, so is still establishing itself.
"The US is on the plan, but we'll do it when the time is right,” she said.