Perfetti Van Melle Grows Much-Loved Brands for Future Generations

The company grows brands such as Chupa Chups and Mentos through a successful licensing program.

License Global

May 6, 2024

5 Min Read
Perfetti Van Melle Brands
Perfetti Van Melle BrandsPerfetti Van Melle

Perfetti Van Melle is a confectionary company that has more than 30 brands and owns some of the most recognizable candy brands in the world, including Chupa Chups, Mentos, Airheads, Alpenliebe, Smint and Fruit-tella. Most people have consumed or are able to recognize these products as they are likely to have been a staple of many people’s childhood.

The company’s strategy to keep its brands popular is a successful licensing program. The company works with global designers, fashion labels and retailers to reach customers in different categories and regions all over the world and inspire consumer delight beyond the candy aisles.

“Perfetti Van Melle has built a strong portfolio of proprietary brands over the years. Most of these brands are known worldwide and have established a loyal consumer base. The company’s focus on quality and innovation, combined with its strategic approach to licensing, enables it to continue expanding its presence on a global scale,” says Lisa Marks, president of Lisa Marks Associates, which manages the licensing programs for Mentos and Chupa Chups in North America.

Successful Licensing Strategy

Licensing a brand that consumers know and trust means a business can quickly gain credibility and recognition across global markets. This can accelerate market penetration, drive sales and strengthen relationships with retailers and consumers. Perfetti Van Melle’s recent focus has been forging partnerships in the food and beverage sector. This has included limited-edition Chupa Chups bubble tea in Australia with ChaTime, Fruit-tella juices in Europe with Manchester Drinks and Namyang's Mentos beverages in Europe.In the U.S., the candy brand Airheads has moved into the protein category by partnering with XTEND to offer a hydration and recovery product featuring its distinctly fruity flavors.

“We’ve heard anecdotal feedback that these types of sports nutrition products have led to people rediscovering their love for the Airheads candy. So, by tapping into nostalgia through our license execution strategy, it’s bringing people back to our core product,” says Stu Seltzer, U.S. head of the Airheads licensing program, Seltzer Licensing.  

AirHead Candy Flavors, Perfetti Van Melle

The growth of the food and beverage arm has been extremely successful, with the division expected to become the leading category of the business in a few years, alongside apparel and health and beauty categories.

“Through licensing, we reinforce the distinctive personality of our iconic brands, deepen consumer engagement, inject novelty and expand our reach to new demographics and maintain our brands' relevance and appeal,” says Marta Ballesteros, global licensing manager, Perfetti Van Melle Group.

One prominent example of a successful partnership is Fendi x Chupa Chups – a premium leather accessory exclusively designed by Fendi to carry a Chupa Chups lollipop. The lollipop holder was launched at Milan Fashion Week 2024, proving an instant hit on social media.

Chupa Chups x Fendi, Perfetti Van Melle

“I couldn't be prouder of this special collaboration. It was an absolute hit on social media, surpassing the expectations of both companies. We saw thousands of positive reactions and comments upon its launch, without a doubt, the sweetest and most luxurious accessory of the season,” says Ballesteros.

There has also been a successful collaboration between Mentos and leading nail polish brand Sally Hansen in 2021. The Sally Hansen Insta-Dri x Mentos collection featured eight limited-edition shades that aimed to bring fun, freshness and fruitiness to the nail polish category.

The initiative combined two iconic brands in an irresistibly sweet collaboration, bringing the fun and freshness of Mentos to the beauty category. The collection was really embraced by fans of both brands, resulting in hundreds of pieces of organic content, extremely positive sentiment and strong sell-through,” says Marks.

Worldwide Appeal

Perfetti knows it must adapt to unique cultural nuances, market trends and current cultural climate for its brands to retain their global appeal. At the heart of this dynamic process lies a deep understanding of its audiences.

In addition to the standard flavors of each brand, each country may have its own exclusive variations tailored to local tastes and preferences. For example, Chupa Chups offers flavors such as Tamarind-Guava in India, Vanilla Mint or Salted Lemon in China, Cherry Blossom or Yuzu in Vietnam and Muscat or Chestnut in Japan.

Sustainability is also a consideration. As a global distributor, Perfetti ensures it conducts its business in a manner that respects the planet and its people, while complying with all governmental requirements in the countries where it operates. The company’s priority is to continue building on its foundation of responsibility and ethics, as it believes this is crucial for the long-term success of our people, communities, environment and business.

Exciting Opportunities Ahead

After a successful 25 years for Perfetti Van Melle, the plan is to keep innovating to continue growing over the coming decades to satisfy fans all over the world. The company plans to concentrate on well-developed licensing markets such as the U.S., Europe, Japan, South Korea and Australia, while increasing its presence even more in developing markets such as China and India.

The aim is to launch exciting product categories that bring the brand to life for consumers across fashion, footwear and accessories, personal care, beverages, frozen novelty products, sports and outdoor lifestyle programs, toys, location-based experiences and much more.

Many exciting projects are about to be launched or have recently launched. These include plans for a new Mentos fashion collaboration and Chupa Chups’ recent bag and suitcase collection with American Tourister.

“We want our brand experiences to leave people smiling, to make them feel like they've stumbled upon something special. We want our brands to be there with consumers during their big moments, their everyday adventures, their indulgent occasions,” says Ballesteros. “Ultimately, our goal is to establish ourselves as a top-tier, best-in-class player in the licensing industry in the years to come. We aspire to be recognized for our excellence, creativity, and ability to inspire others within the industry.

About the Author(s)

License Global

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