‘Dunkable’ Mallow & Marsh secures Starbucks listings in the UK

By Douglas Yu

- Last updated on GMT

Smaller marshmallow brands in the UK are struggling to appeal to consumers due to strong competition from Haribo and more affordable private label products.  Photo: Mallow & Marsh
Smaller marshmallow brands in the UK are struggling to appeal to consumers due to strong competition from Haribo and more affordable private label products. Photo: Mallow & Marsh

Related tags Confectionery

UK’s premium marshmallow brand Mallow & Marsh has announced it will be available in over 800 Starbucks stores in the UK and will be promoted on the coffee chains mobile app.

The announcement came after the marshmallow maker identified that 30% of consumers who buy sweets on impulse do so because it is a new type of snack, and the UK’s overall confectionery business is expected to grow 8.6% by 2019.

Mallow & Marsh’s products are available in three flavors, including coconut, vanilla covered in milk chocolate, and raspberry covered in 70% dark chocolate. All of them are made with natural ingredients without additives or preservatives, and have less than 150 calories each.

The fast-growing brand in the UK?

When the current founder of Mallow & Marsh Harriot Pleydell-Bouverie started making marshmallow at home, they turned out to be “quite gooey, but just so different,”​ she told ConfectioneryNews.

Mallow & Marsh used to make cubes of marshmallow which were sold in a box, but then it created something more “grab-and-go,”​ which is where the idea of the marshmallow bar came from, according to the company.

Pleydell-Bouverie said Mallow & Marsh’s products are completely different from the traditional marshmallows because “they have a lot more texture and substance, and they look more like chocolate bars in the way they are packaged.”

“The shape makes the 'dunkability' factor very high. Some people have even been known to bite the top and bottom off and then use it as a straw to drink their coffees,”​ she added.

Mallow & Marsh said in a statement that the new Starbucks listing makes it “the fastest-growing marshmallow brand in the UK.”

“I’m not sure how we fit an exact [confectionery] trend at the moment, but if I have to pick one, it would be premiumization,”​ Pleydell-Bouverie said. “Consumers are moving away from mass produced, preservative filled products, and the confectionery aisle is no different.”

Smaller brands struggling to attract consumers

Euromonitor recently reported that mixed and variety bags are the most significant area in “other”​ sugar confectionery segment, accounting for an estimated 42% value share in 2016.

“Marshmallow will see the strongest performance, gaining around half a percentage point from 2015 to reach 37%,”​ the market research firm said.

“This will be thanks to the strength of the Haribo brand, with this brand’s marshmallows benefiting from strong marketing for Haribo in general.”

Even though marshmallow is a fast growing sector, smaller-scale manufacturers, like Mallow & Marsh, are struggling to attract consumers’ attention, according to Euromonitor.

“Tangerine Confectionery notably relaunched its Princess Marshmallows in January with an improved recipe and updated packaging stressing their fat-free nature. However, this is likely to be insufficient to prevent ongoing current value sales decline in the year due to strong competition from Haribo and more affordable private label products.”

Pleydell-Bouverie acknowledged that being a small confectioner can be frustrating at times because keeping its quality and handmade nature is very difficult, and has its limitations.

“But as we grow, the biggest challenge is managing growth and demand with cash flow,”​ she added.

Pleydell-Bouverie declined to compare her brand to the US snackable marshmallow startup, SMASHMALLOW.

Mallow & Marsh is expected to grow its range and launch a few new products in early 2017.

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