Hot Concepts - Consumables

Shifting to ciders

NEW YORK — Anheuser-Busch has introduced a new cider, Johnny Appleseed Hard Apple Cider. The cider is the first wholly new brand from Anheuser-Busch in eight years. The cider category is red hot right now. And with an ABV of 5.5% and made with apple juice sourced from apples in the United States and fine orchards around the globe, this cider is the latest entry in an active category.

IRI data showed that sales of hard cider were $172 million in 2013, compared with bout $35 million in 2009. GuestMetrics, which measures sales in bars and restaurants, said sales volume in the cider category rose about 49% last year from 2012 — another indication that the category should continue to grow.

Johnny Appleseed Hard Apple Cider rolled out in April in 12-oz. glass bottles with a twist-off cap in six-packs and 12-packs. The product also is sold individually in 16-oz. and 25-oz. cans.

Going large with chocolate

WEST CHESTER, Pa. — Mars recently launched a larger version of its classic M&M’s brand. New Mars’ M&M’s Brand Mega Milk Chocolate Candies boast three times more chocolate than regular M&M’s.

The new take on a classic confection is likely to be a home run with consumers. Focus group participants have been asking for larger M&M’s, and consumer testing revealed that 66% of consumers said they would “definitely” or “probably” buy new M&M’S Mega. And, according to Euromonitor and the National Confectioners Association, candy sales are expected to grow in the next five years, “adding more than $6 billion in sales between 2013 and 2018.” Unwrapped, bite-sized confections are one of the high-growth segments.

M&M’S Brand Mega Milk Chocolate Candies are available in two sizes — 1.48-oz. singles and 11.4-oz. medium bags, while M&M’s Brand Mega Peanut Candies are available in 11.4-oz. bags. Singles retail for $1.09, and the suggested retail price for bags is $3.29.

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