Will Mondelez’ mystery Sour Patch Kids hit the sweet spot?

The candy brand is trying to drive ongoing engagement during an important season with a scavenger hunt and convenience partnerships.


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On Sour Patch Kids packages and displays, shoppers will see the brand’s mascot decked out in an old timey detective fedora and a magnifying glass, a look befitting a brand that’s launching a new mystery flavour.

The Mondelez brand is activating around the limited-time, unnamed flavour until Aug. 15, and consumers are being invited to tail the “Mystery Kid” and pick up clues to solve the flavour conundrum for themselves. For those that do, they have a chance to win $25,000.

Sour Patch Kids is bringing the contest to life with in-store merchandising and displays throughout the length of the contest, as well as with digital buys, a contest website where clues can be found and a social media integration.

Sylvia Gurliaccio, brand manager for the Maynards Candy division at Mondelez Canada, says that while the spring and summer will still look different amid public health guidelines, it is still a period of high category relevancy, with nearly 30% of Canadian sales in the category taking place between April and June. So, she says, it was important to provide shoppers with a campaign that encouraged ongoing engagement.

sour-patch-kids1Gurliaccio tells strategy the assets – which include large displays, pop-up bins and prepack tools – help to drive awareness of the limited time offer to help drive participation in the contest.

The brand is also working with gas and convenience partners, in particular, to create further interest, with Circle-K and Couche-Tard stores offering specialty, Sour Patch branded Froster and Sloche frozen beverages.

According to Nielsen Market Track data cited by Gurliaccio, the convenience store market is a key retail space for Maynards Sour Patch Kids and it is significant in size, representing nearly 9% of the snacking landscape in Canada.

“With a customer base that is largely represented by millennial and Gen Z consumers, the convenience space remains a key channel to attract new consumers,” she adds.

She says both Sour Patch Kids and Maynards as a whole – still the market leader in the candy category –have benefited from the significant growth in candy consumption through the pandemic, across formats and pack sizes.

It’s part of a broader snacking for comfort trend brought on by COVID. This year, the brand is also launching its Sour Patch Kids Berries flavour to bring some innovation into peoples’ at-home snacking, which has increased by 15% just over the last few months.

In addition to the microsite, it’s working with social media creators to help solve the flavour mystery online.

David and Ogilvy Canada were responsible for the creative for the candy brand, while SIX12 and MediaCom helped out with the Circle K executions. Weber Shandwick handled the PR, VaynerMedia the media buy, Merkle the promotions.