Pretzel Flipz

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In the scramble for a new snack idea, sometimes the best products are those that seem so obvious, but haven't been done. That's the case of Nestle USA's Chocolate & Confections division's Nestle Pretzel Flipz.

According to data from Information Resources Inc., chocolate-covered Nestle Pretzel Flipz earned sales of $41 million for the 52 weeks ended March 26, 2000. That vaulted Flipz ahead of snack staples such as Reese's Peanut Butter Cup and peanut M&M's.

The product was born when Nestle noted the absence of a national marketer for chocolate-covered pretzels, a well-known product in the confections business.

Under the leadership of Barry Crossland, VP-marketing for the Chocolate & Confections division, the idea was brought to PepsiCo's Frito-Lay Co., seeking to license the Rold Gold pretzel brand as the key ingredient in the new product.

Since Rold Gold was already known, Nestle was able to pump promotional money into sampling. Millions of half-ounce trial bags, priced at 25 cents, were set up in retail stores. That was followed by free-standing newspaper inserts and 4 million samples distributed in the newspaper bags.

Creative packaging and an aggressive marketing campaign via Daily & Associates, West Hollywood, Calif., also helped retail buyers take note of the entry in a crowded snack field.

Consumers are still flipping for the taste, and a spokesman for Walgreen Co. confirms the Flipz brand is among the best-sellers in snacks for the drug chain.

Nestle has added White Fudge and Milk Chocolate Flipz and even extended the concept to include Nestle Crunchy Graham Flipz, Chocolate Grahams covered in White Fudge and Honey Grahams covered in Nestle Milk Chocolate.

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