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The Serious Sweet Company looks to grow share of £550m confectionery market with premium brand launch

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A Harrogate-based confectionery business  is aiming to fill what it calls a major space in the high end sugar-boiled confectionery market with the launch of “Ultimate English”, a premium confectionery brand exclusive to independent retailers.

Ultimate English is the first, independently branded product to be launched by The Serious Sweet Company, which alongside sister company Confection by Design, produces own-brand products and ingredients for some of the UK’s leading supermarkets, retail stores, restaurants and cafes including Marks & Spencer, Harrods, Tesco and Asda.

In 2013, The Serious Sweet Company sold over £2m of traditional English confectionery, marking an increase of 17 per cent on the previous year.

The Ultimate English range, which includes luxury fudge, toffee, brittle, honeycomb and coconut ice, is initially being piloted to independent retailers, cafes and delis across Yorkshire with over 70 stockists already confirmed.

A national rollout of the brand is scheduled for later in 2014.

All ranges are accompanied by a unique, light-hearted brand creative targeted at “putting the fun back into fudge” for adults, featuring “Alfred English” – the one man band brand character whose purpose is to “bang the drum for fun and fudge”.

The history of The Serious Sweet Company can be traced back to the English spa town of Harrogate where its fudge is still handmade, hand scored and hand packed today.

It is thought the company first started selling fudge in the town in 1843 as an antidote to the harsh taste of Harrogate’s medicinal sulphur water. 

Managing director of The Serious Sweet Company, Rob Whitehead, said:

“We saw a huge gap in the sugar boiled confectionery market for a product that is high quality, but more convenient, relaxed and that doesn’t take itself too seriously.

“Most adults are big kids at heart and we know from our research that that’s what appeals about Ultimate English – the opportunity to enjoy some traditional treats in a much more modern, fun and convenient format.

“Although the brand may not take itself too seriously, we have been serious about ensuring the product itself is of premium quality and our 170 years of confectionery know-how has gone into the development of our range.

“As such we’re able to offer what we believe to be the world’s best fudge, toffees and brittles in unique, snack-sized chunks and shareable bag sizes.”

The Ultimate English range includes snacking and sharing packs of rich all butter fudge, crunchy cashew brittle, rich hammer broken toffee, golden honeycomb nuggets and moreish coconut ice.

The range also includes a selection of gifting boxes including;  Madagascan vanilla clotted cream fudge, salt water chocolate truffle fudge, hazelnut brittle, Sicilian lemon coconut ice and classic all butter fudge.

Rob Whitehead, MD of The Serious Sweet Company 2
Rob Whitehead, MD of The Serious Sweet Company

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