Have a break, have a… Twix?

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.

Twix Advert - features two cups of tea on a tray with a Twix, forming a smiling face. The caption reads Twix and tea makes you smileBy 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?

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About Sam Elfer

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4 Responses to Have a break, have a… Twix?

  1. Leigh Haggar says:

    Personally, being a closet chocoholic, I have to say that I like both Twix and KitKat. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I had a Twix. On the other hand, being a seasoned weight-watcher, it could be the fact that there are 107 calories in a Kitkat, compared to the 284 calories present in a Twix – it must be all that caramel.

    Incidentally, have you tried the orange-flavoured ‘alternative’ version (Kitkat) by Morrison’s? They are a fraction of the price and the orangey bit is really tangy.

    I love the blog.

    Leigh (Haggar)

  2. Sam Elfer says:

    Thanks Leigh,
    It’s a good point. The ‘healthy biscuit’market is massive, some stats in the Mintel report I referenced above. I’d wager there was room in the market for a ‘Twix Lite’ if Mars so chose…
    Best wishes
    Sam

  3. Leigh Haggar says:

    I think that is where the Twix Fino comes into it’s own – http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2010/8/16/1281969919972/The-new-Twix-Fino-a-light-007.jpg.

    I forgot to mention that the Kitkat that I was referring to is the 2-finger variety. If you want the ‘proper’ 4 bar version, you’re talking 233 calories – yes, an extra 21 calories for the join between the 2 sets of 2 fingers.

    Before I start sounding too calorie-obsessed, I had better sign off here.

    Kind regards,

    Leigh

  4. Sam Elfer says:

    Thanks for that Leigh, interesting stuff.

    That’s exactly the kind of thing Twix should be doing, but it’s interesting that they’ve packed it in the same chocolate bar wrapper, albeit with a different design. Where does the retailer stock it? Next to the regular Twix?

    They should have dispensed with that style packaging and gone with something completely different, to emphasise it’s low calorie qualities. Interestingly it appears to be only 94 calories (http://www.chocolatereviews.co.uk/twix-fino/). Less than the two finger Kit-Kat, but I wouldn’t have guessed that.

    Packaging counts for a lot!

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