How did a pineapple-flavored popsicle close the gap between leading ice cream seller Strauss and runner-up Nestle, despite being sold at double the price of other popsicles?
The answer lies in the collaboration between Nestle , PPI Worldwide and PMI, which holds sole distribution rights for Angry Birds products. The collaboration has been so successful, in fact, that it has surpassed expectations in Israel and may now be applied to overseas markets as well.
Data provided by StoreNext Israel confirms that the Angry Birds phenomenon has accomplished what had been considered an impossible feat. In the "impulse" market consisting of ice cream bought "on the go," Nestle has managed to close the gap between itself and Strauss Ice Creams, which has traditionally ruled the local roost. Now Nestle and Rovio, the entertainment media company that invented the Angry Birds game, are considering marketing these products in other countries as well - and the fact Israeli-made Angry Bird dolls can be purchased on eBay for $19.99 seems to attest to its great potential overseas.
As part of the expanding campaign, these popsicles will soon begin to feature images from the new game Angry Birds in Space, which was launched four months ago.
According to statistics provided by StoreNext, in the first quarter of this year, Angry Birds was the largest money-making popsicle in Israel, making up 11% of the market. The data also show that, over the same period, Nestle controlled 74% of sales to youngsters - which, in turn, comprised 27% of total ice cream sales "on the go." Nestle sales to children grew by 93% compared with the same quarter last year. Strauss Dairies now controls 25% of sales to children, with a 12% growth since last year.
Ice cream sales to children grew by 61% since the first quarter of last year, with Nestle spearheading the growth. Sales are now estimated to total NIS 140 million a year.
The total ice cream market in Israel is currently estimated to be worth NIS 1 billion, up 10% from last year. Overall, Strauss still leads the market, with 46% of all sales; but Nestle is not far behind, with 41% of all sales.
Boaz Dekel from PMI came up with the idea to make a popsicle in the shape of an Angry Bird, with a small Angry Bird doll on the inside, which children can collect. The product itself is a pineapple-flavored sorbet, with a retail price of NIS 4.5. Other similar sorbets usually cost NIS 3.5, suggesting that the dolls cost an extra NIS 1. However, groceries and fast food outlets sell them for prices ranging from NIS 7 to NIS 10, while other popsicles sell for only NIS 2.5 to NIS 3.5.
The product's huge success surprised even the people at Nestle.
After obtaining permission from Rovio, which holds the rights to all Angry Birds accessories, 4 million dolls were purchased and a similar number of popsicles produced. Following the initial success, millions more of these popsicles were made, and further interest was generated around the dolls.
In addition to the regular birds, some popsicles now contain dolls shaped like golden Angry Birds.