I seem to have been on a bit of a negative streak lately, so here’s a more positive post, about one of my favourite things. Chocolate.
Twix has always been one of those in-between snacks, not quite in the same, I’ll-have-a-quick-biccie league as the digestive, but not quite a full on chocolate treat as a large slab of Cadbury’s Dairy Milk. Kit Kat, by contrast is seen more as a “casual snack”. It is acceptable to put the smaller two finger size pack in your kids’ lunchboxes, or to have one with a cup of tea. Indeed the Kit Kat website claims the two finger bar is the best selling biscuit in the UK.
This might seem like a trivial, but from a marketing point of view it’s important. We all have our favourite snacks, but much of what and when we eat, is dictated by social convention, helped by companies’ careful product positioning. If you’re biscuit is considered a daily snack, it’ll sell much better than if it is reserved for special occasions. However, if it is reserved for those special occasions, you might be able to charge a higher price.
For well established brands like Twix and Kit Kat, this is all about market share. They cover similar ground in terms of the chocolate-bar-that-is-more-a-biscuit market.
By the looks of Mars Foodservices’ (sic) most recent adverts for Twix, it looks as if they are trying to put the snack firmly in the break time slot. Kit Kat’s slogan “Have a break, have a Kit Kat” has been in use since the it’s first showing on TV in 1957 and the Twix adverts are clearly designed to capture some of break time action:
The adverts feature in the Metro, a paper aimed at young city dwellers in full time work. Workers from offices and building sites across the land will recognise the tools of the break trade in this ad, a generic tray, generic cups and the short straw resulting in having to make half a dozen different hot drinks just the way everyone likes them.
The pause button in the bottom right, is another shortcut to appeal to a young audience, who will immediately recognise the symbol from music and video players.
Kit Kat’s own above the line adverts currently feature a group of workers organising their wrecking balls into a giant Newton’s cradle. The humour is mild and appeals to a wide range of people. A very different set up, but ultimately, two adverts targeted at workers making the most of their break times.
It’s clearly a battle worth fighting for. In May, Mintel reported that the biscuit industry had grown 22% in the last five years, and was worth £2.2bn last year.
It’s interesting to note that Kit Kat has diversified its range with the Kit Kat Chunky and a range of limited edition special flavours, including mint, orange and dark chocolate. I can see Twix cashing in on this fertile ground, but will it be at Kit Kat’s cost, or will we just find ourselves eating more biscuits?