Consumers are making increasingly conscious choices when it comes to food, and this is reflected in our current and future product portfolio. The cocoa we use is 100% sustainably sourced, and we have continued to future-proof our sweets by favouring plant-based ingredients in recipes. We are also optimising our packages and improving their recyclability. Amidst tightening competition, we want to be the confectionery brand of choice in all our markets.
Performance in 2018
Fazer is the market leader in confectionery in Finland, with the market share increasing. Fazer Confectionery’s net sales grew in 2018 from the previous year, despite challenges in sales during the summer due to the extremely hot weather. Fazer chocolate tablets saw healthy growth.
We have successfully used our strong brands to create appealing novelties. We had three successful co-branded Karl Fazer Milk Chocolate launches during 2018: Domino, Tyrkisk Peber and Dumle. These were well received by our customers. In November 2018, Fazer launched a special limited edition of the Fazer Ruby Pure chocolate, based on the rare ruby cocoa beans. Fazer Pure Ruby was sold out in less than a week. The Tutti Frutti recipe change towards vegan and more natural ingredients generated increased sales, especially in Sweden, with the Tutti Frutti Original up by 36.5%. Biscuit sales have grown significantly, supported by strong sales in Domino, Jaffa Pihlaja and Jaffa Green Jellies. The Jaffa brand has gained over 500,000 new purchasing households during the rolling year.
To respond to high demand for the beloved Fazer brands, we opened our own e-commerce channel Fazer Candy Store. The web store contains all confectionery products as well as a Fazer Novelty Box that includes a selection of novelties. Currently, the web store ships to EU countries, and geographical expansion is being planned.
We have continued to develop our partner network in China and signed a deal with a distributor. In the USA, we have started to build our own organisation and we have developed the first new products for international markets. Fazer Nordi is a chocolate concept and brand created to meet the better-for-you chocolate trend in the USA.
We will nurture our chocolate brands spearheaded by Karl Fazer. We will also expand and grow our snacking portfolio based on current and future products. Our key growth drivers are attractive launches supported by marketing investments. Seasonality will also be highlighted more heavily to drive business growth.
We will develop our sweets portfolio to meet the needs of modern consumers, with well-being and fun as key elements.
Fazer will implement organic growth plans for Sweden and Norway with a focus on chocolate as the primary game changer. In Denmark, we established our own sales organisation in January 2019. Beyond the Nordics, we will grow in new markets, spearheaded by our chocolate portfolio.
We will continue the execution of our portfolio strategy, aiming for fewer but bigger innovations to grow our strategic brands. To facilitate growth, we will focus on operational excellence and cost management through improved sales and operational planning. Growth will also be supported by the continuous improvement of supply chain operations.