February 19 2023  |  Confectionery & Fine Foods

Q&A with Cloetta's Jana Stroop: A taste for fruit-based candy

By Laura Shirk

This is a special feature from Global Travel Retail Magazine's 2023 February Confectionery and Fine Foods Report, on page 14.

Jana Stroop, Global Travel Retail Manager at Cloetta GTR

At the start of this year, Cloetta Global Travel Retail (GTR) launched a new innovation, Red Band Real Fruit Candy. Described as “delivering on key consumer trends and an important part of the brand’s strategy," the fruit-based, vegan candy has been crafted to meet the needs of shoppers who are looking for products with more natural ingredients. The treat contains 50% fruit and is available in two mixes: Fruit & Berries and Fruit & Citrus. There are six flavors in each 200-gram standing pouch and the diamond-shape pieces have an illustration that reflects the matching fruit flavor.

The product has been released across markets under the company’s existing local candy brand portfolio and is available to order in travel retail. To date, Cloetta GTR has secured a listing with its partner Dufry – with more listings on the way.

To learn more about Red Band Real Fruity Candy and get an update on Cloetta GTR’s approach to brand education, Global Travel Retail Magazine (GTRM) conducted a Q&A with Jana Stroop, Global Travel Retail Manager at Cloetta GTR.

Global Travel Retail Magazine: According to a Q3 2022 study by m1nd-set, wider choice is a leading factor to purchasing confectionery in duty free. How does Cloetta GTR’s recent expansion of the Red Band range support this trend?

Red Band Real Fruit Candy Fruit & Berries

Jana Stroop, Global Travel Retail Manager, Cloetta GTR: Our consumers are at the center of our business, which is why we work toward meeting their diverse needs. The development of Red Band Real Fruit Candy is a great example. The product was built on consumer insights such as the need to increase transparency and focus more on natural ingredients and in close dialogue with consumers to ensure the best outcome.

Fruit-based candy is a completely new type of product in the candy category and the result of a long-term innovation and development process. Red Band Real Fruit Candy was developed with our internal capabilities and in our own factories.

The high fruit content gives the candy a fresh, juicy and natural fruity taste. The colors come from foods with coloring qualities such as black carrot, sweet potato and black currant. Natural dyes like curcumin and paprika extract are also used. By expanding into this space, Cloetta GTR provides the shopper with a product selection that meets different needs at different moments.

GTRM: Since consumers are becoming increasingly well informed about sustainability practices and ingredient sourcing, how is Cloetta GTR improving communication of its brand success stories? What area(s) of communication is the company currently prioritizing?

Stroop: A healthy planet is the source of all our ingredients. This principle guides environmental aspects in our business decisions and daily activities, as well as the ambition to improve our total planet footprint throughout our value chain. Our three main initiatives are climate action, sustainable sourcing and less and better packaging.

We set our science-based target and activated a company-wide climate action program in 2021 to reduce our emissions by specific percentages by the start of this year. As part of our sourcing program, we focus on improving the performance of our suppliers and sourcing raw materials in a way that protects or improves the environmental and social impact of the supply chain.

Lastly, we continue to work toward more circular packaging, with our goal of 100% recyclable packaging by 2025. Plastic-free, less packaging and renewable sources are other areas of focus within our less and better packaging vision.

In 2021, approximately 5% more of our packaging came from PlantPack, which is an alternative replacing up to 50% of previous packaging with plant-based plastic. This has improved our CO2e footprint and secured more renewable sources for future packaging.

Red Band Real Fruit Candy Fruit & Citrus

We communicate these initiatives a number of different ways. Most visibly, we communicate the use of sustainably sourced ingredients and PlantPack on packaging. This way, consumers can make an informed purchasing decision. Since sustainability is a key topic among Cloetta GTR’s partners, we make sure to share our programs and success stories across travel retail. Furthermore, we proactively reach out to public relations channels and media to highlight initiatives and celebrate achievements.

GTRM: What percentage of Cloetta GTR’s marketing strategy relies on sales staff interaction and influence? How does Cloetta GTR’s approach educating brand representatives and does its approach change depending on target demographic?

Stroop: We work closely with our partners to determine what kind of approach is needed for each of our brands on the shop floor. As air traffic is rebounding and set to increase even more in 2023, we see a rise in the opportunities to use brand representatives.

Since many of our brands are unique in their category (such as The Jelly Bean Factory, Red Band Real Fruit) and aim to offer the consumer something different, having a brand representative or ambassador on the shop floor could help us generate awareness and convert sales.

Representatives of each brand would receive separate training in order to successfully reach and engage with the right target audience. However, it’s worth noting that without people in these roles, our products are able to reach their intended audience – either through colorful packaging, shop placement or activations.

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