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Marketing Flavor, Color and Fun

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Date Published:2/3/2009 03:02:51 PM

When it comes to small but satisfying indulgences, Jelly Belly jelly beans rank high among the sweet-toothed in almost 50 countries.

When it comes to small but satisfying indulgences, Jelly Belly jelly beans rank high among the sweet-toothed in almost 50 countries. Jelly Belly Candy Company continues to expand rapidly to meet this growing global demand with its newly opened factory in Rayong, Thailand, which is dedicated to production for international orders, and the recent acquisition of its distributor in Hamburg, Germany, which long term, the 100-year-old candy maker sees as a potential sales, marketing and logistics hub for Europe. SHARON DUNCAN, vice president International Business at Jelly Belly Candy Company, shares her insights on how this colorful and flavorful candy has been gone from being a local treat to a worldwide winner.

What basic marketing strategies does Jelly Belly employ in general, and what special approaches are taken in consideration of the culture or traditions of a particular market?

Basically, we enter all markets in much the same way, i.e., as a premium confectionery and lifestyle brand?and I want to emphasize brand! Jelly Belly encompasses flavor, color and fun! We are very protective of the brand equity associated with our product and, first and foremost, we make a high-quality product. We do not compromise that level of quality for any reason regardless in which of our factories the candy is produced. Equally important are our flavor profiles?we are known for our unique and innovative flavors like Pomegranate and Buttered Popcorn. In most cases, when entering a new country, the international consumer is already familiar with Jelly Belly and they welcome their ability to purchase it locally. Most of our marketing is at the grassroots level, which inherently addresses the culture or traditions of a particular market. That is one of the main reasons we continue to use a worldwide network of distributors; we entrust them, with our guidance, to develop localized marketing and sales programs. We, of course, support them with customized POS materials, fixtures designed to fit the smaller international store footprints, language specific packaging as well as culturally specific packaging like our lunar new year sleeves for our gift boxes and even, in certain cases, with new jelly bean flavors developed specifically to address certain cultural tastes and influences such as our recent release of green tea.

What strategies did you employ to expand the international market that were new to the company or trend setting for the industry?

I don抰 think we are doing anything new or trend setting! I think the fact that we specifically focus on our international markets has made us successful. Companies who simply try to market and sell internationally what and how they market and sell in the US will not be successful. But, if you take the time to put people, time and investment on growing your business globally, you will make it happen. The fact that we have built a factory dedicated to our international business and have developed a department of international professionals to manage that business shows Jelly Belly's commitment to our global strategy.

Seeing that you have opened so many markets, how is this demand filled? Are your two US facilities working double- or even triple-time?

We are certainly working at capacity! The opening of the Thailand factory last month is a big plus and will help relieve some of the pressures on our US factories.

What percentage of the total production volume is exported?

As you know, we are a privately held family company so specific financial information is not disclosed. However, I can say that our export business currently accounts for a low double digit percentage of our total business. Long term, we see that percentage coAir Jordan XXXI 31 Shoes

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