As Candy Market Sustains Growth

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Raheem Akingbolu writes on how operators in Nigeria’s fast-moving consumer goods space are competing for market leadership in the candy market

In the last 55 years, Cadbury and other top multinationals have competed vigorously in the Nigeria’s fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG). They have competed money for money and product for product. For instance, in the Nigerian Choco beverages market, where Bournvita, Ovaltine and Milo were the major players at the beginning, the competition to win consumer loyalty was like war.

At the beginning, Bournvita was the undisputable leader with a household status but years after, complacency set in and the brand equity was weakened. In particular, Bournvita and Milo have been at ‘war’, in the quest to be crowned ‘King’ in the market for decades.

The intense competition has not been helped by the incursion of other brands that collectively punctured the market share of Bournvita and Milo.

Perhaps what Cadbury lost in the beverages market, it gained it in the candy market with the launching of TomTom 50 years ago; five years after the establishment of Cadbury. If there is any brand in the Nigerian market that has remained strong despite competition, it’s obviously TomTom. While analysts have consistently linked the success of the brand to its unique taste, it may be difficult to dismiss the roles play by its promoters, who have used relevant marketing strategies to support its growth. Among other strategies, TomTom has enjoyed massive promotion, brand extension and celebrity endorsement through the appointment of various brand ambassadors.
In line with this tradition, the promoters strengthened the leadership of the brand in the candy market recently with the introduction of its fourth variant, TomTom Freshlime. Other existing variants are; TomTom, TomTom HoneyLemon and TomTom Strawberry.

Described as ‘Cool with a Zing’, TomTom Freshlime is a lemon-green candy, with white stripes that offers the taste buds an exciting sensory experience of the freshness of lime and the coolness for which TomTom is known for.

Speaking at the media launch held at the premises of the company in Ikeja, the Managing Director, Cadbury West Africa, Yimika Adeboye said the introduction of the new variant into the family is a response to feedback from consumers. According to her, the company has always strived for more innovative products, adding that part of the company’s innovation strategy is to stay true to its mandate to deliver world-class snacking experience.

The Head of Corporate and Government Affairs, Cadbury West Africa, Frederick Mordi, in his welcome address, expressed delight in the brand which has come a long way and maintained a strong dominance in the candy market. Referring to Philip Kotler, the ‘Father of Marketing,’ who said it is no longer enough to satisfy customers, but that they must be delighted, Mordi assured all that the company will continue to create value for its consumers by seeking creative ways to delight them.

The Category Lead, Gum and Candy, Cadbury West Africa, Adebola Williams, in her remarks, thanked consumers for helping to make TomTom a resounding success and globally recognisable brand. According to her, the introduction of TomTom Freshlime is in response to the call of consumers for soothing relief with a blend of trusted Tom Tom menthol flavour and zing of lime. Lime is one of the more popular ingredients utilised by Nigerians to soothe sore throat and cough.

With the new variant and consistent push by patrons of the brand, including the recently signed on ambassadors; top Nigerian rap act, Phyno, and singing sensation Teni.