Sweets & Snacks Expo 2022

How US consumers are falling in love with Katjes vegan gummies

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By Anthony Myers contact

- Last updated on GMT

How US consumers are falling in love with Katjes vegan gummies

Related tags: vegan, Gummies, Katjes international

The brand celebrated its entry into the US market with a successful showing at the Sweets & Snacks Expo 2022 in Chicago. We talk to Eliza G Jahn, Head of Marketing at Katjes USA, to pick over some of the highlights of the event.

Under a banner that states plant-based gummies ‘you don’t have to kill for’, Germany’s second-largest gummy candy brand has launched its 100% plant-based portfolio in the US.

The German heritage company has focussed on replacing animal gelatine with plant-based alternatives for the past decade, making it an expert in its field and the largest plant-based gummy brand in Europe.

Essentially this means we are not putting slaughterhouse waste into our sweets -- Eliza G Jahn, Head of Marketing at Katjes USA

What makes Katjes’s products inherently different from other plant-based gummies is their chewy texture, despite not using gelatine as a gelling agent.

Essentially this means we are not putting slaughterhouse waste into our sweets. We like to proudly say, these are sweets ‘you don’t have to kill for’​,” Eliza Jahn, the company’s US Head of Marketing, says.

Katjes gummies are also carbon neutral, palm oil-free and contain no high fructose corn syrup.

Since launching in 2021, Katjes USA has secured a nationwide listing at Walgreens with a distribution increase and further retail listings set for 2022.

In our podcast chat, Jahn says Katjes identified plant-based as the future back in 2010 in Germany and the company is seen as a pioneer in that respect because no one was offering a vegan alternative in the gummy segment at the time.

She said Katjes gummies will be of interest to consumers who are conscious about what their impact is on the planet – but they still want a great candy. “They want to treat themselves – and it’s a very modern time mindset,” ​she says.

She describes Katjes as a ‘love brand’.  “One of our products for example is Rainbow, which is our top seller currently. It's got these beautiful multi-coloured rainbows, with several flavours in them – and we have the word’ love’​.

So we are kind of just spreading the love message – and people associate something positive with it right away​.”

katjes usa2
Katjes gummies USA portfolio

The US portfolio includes three SKUs that stand out from the category in their bright pink, resealable 4.9OZ stand up pouches: Rainbow, a multi coloured celebration of love and diversity, and Sour, a tart adventure with unicorns, fairies and hearts, are both among the brand’s bestsellers in multiple countries and have a proven history of success.

The third SKU, Love & Stars, tells the story of the brand’s newest chapter: a red, white and blue patriotic nod to Katjes’s new American home.

A fourth innovation focussing on celebrating female empowerment is in the pipeline, to be launched later in the year in the US.

The brand’s direct-to-consumer online shop is live, with targeted social media campaigns increasing brand and product awareness in the US throughout the year.

  • Listen to our latest podcast for more on Katjes’s US operation.

Related topics: Markets

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