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Bethan Garton, Commercial Director at The Point.1888, lifts the lid on the development process behind Iceland’s successful line of frozen treats based on classic Barratt sweets brands.
Last Spring, we embarked on an exciting new product range for our client Barratt, transforming five of its most iconic brands – Flumps, Black Jack, Wham, Fruit Salad and Dip Dab – into frozen treats.
Our brief as the brand licensing agent was to help it enter new categories and build a larger and even more loyal following, while ensuring the Barratt flavour profiles featured in as many licensed products as possible.
As a consequence, we secured market-leading licensees in lip balm, scented air fresheners and more, but our biggest success came with an exclusive partnership with Iceland – a specialist in the development of ice cream and frozen desserts – which surpassed the expectations of everyone involved.
The results? A sell out range, with more than 1.3m units sold in the first 12 weeks, despite the strict social distancing measures and without a significant launch investment. What’s more, a further seven of Barratt’s brands were added to the frozen range this year – including Nougat, Cola Bottle and Foam Banana – and they’ve secured an army of new fans.
But why did it work so well?
The launch had its risks, not least because of the pandemic throwing the retail industry into panic, but also because we were creating a new range influenced by a critical element of the brand – the taste. Get this wrong and it could be a reputational disaster.
Barratt has been creating exciting and innovative sweet treats for over 150 years and fans would be unforgiving of anything that didn’t truly recreate that joyful feeling of enjoying your favourite sweets.
As a result, product development was a true group effort, combining The Point.1888’s product development team, Iceland’s buying and development team, the manufacturer and a select group from the Barratt commercial and marketing team. Face to face taste sessions were key wherever possible during the development of the first range, however we had to move to video tasting sessions for the most recent range due to lockdown.
The recipes were refined until all were confident that we had products that were completely true to the Barratt brand. We literally sampled the sweets and then sampled the Iceland frozen items to see how well they matched.
Not only that, but working with Iceland, it was really important to both parties that the new products delivered on quality and experience to satisfy both discerning Iceland shoppers and Barratt fans. It’s a very different experience eating an Ice lolly which is much larger than a little Fruit Salad sweet, so the flavour concentration was key… Too much and It would be sickly, too little and it would not satisfy the expectations of Barratt fans.
The range was designed to perfectly recreate the joyful feeling of eating a classic sweet, with many of the ice lollies offering a fun nod to the original sweets. The Dip Dab comes with a sachet of sherbet for dipping and the Sherbet Fountain is served on a real liquorice stick.
The nationwide lockdowns in 2020 put immense pressure on retail. During a challenging time for the nation, the supermarket shop became the only time many people left their homes. The Barratt ice cream range became a sell-out success not just because of the fantastic lockdown weather, but because shoppers were seeking small and cost-effective ways to bring fun into their lives at a time when that wasn’t easy to come by.
What’s more, although this was a brand-new product in freezers, buyers trusted the Barratt brand for a taste sensation that would help to infuse their lockdown summer with joy.
The runaway success has shown us just how well-loved the Barratt brand is and opened up doors for the brand in terms of exploring licensing opportunities across new food categories. Watch this space for news of new Iceland products launching this Autumn/Winter, as well as new licensees in the drinks and food categories across various retail channels.
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