The Willy Wonka name has been used to market candy for almost 40 years, and in all that time the Wonka company has yet to introduce anything as interesting as Fizzy Lifting Drinks or Invisible Chocolate Bars, instead subjecting consumers to Laffy Taffy and not-very-everlasting Gobstoppers. Now the Nestle-owned brand is going upscale, with its new Wonka Exceptionals line, which will launch with a Golden Ticket promotion. Winners will get a trip around the world, but won’t be handed the keys to Wonka’s factory or dominion over the Oompa Loompas.
The new line will include a Scrumdiddlyumptious bar with toffee, peanuts and cookie pieces. Pricing is definitely on the premium side, with single bars going for $2.39.
Brandweek spoke to Wonka managers Vilma Livas, Natasha Madan and Janet The Planet (her legal name, according to BW) about Nestle’s plans for the brand:
JTP: When people think of Wonka, the first thing they think of is chocolate and many people think they’ve had it before. But our business on chocolate previously was very small. But ultimately, we have this huge [consumer] awareness about the idea of Wonka and chocolate. At the same time, they expect something amazing, as it’s coming from the world’s greatest candy inventor. We can’t go half way and expect to be able to deliver on that incredible Wonka experience that’s in line with what people imagined [from seeing the movie]. So, we really needed to invest in the contents of the product, to create something that was beautiful and of quality chocolate, and something that people can really indulge in in a whimsical and imaginative way. So, we’ve taken very accessible ingredients and given them a Wonka twist.
We’re sort of hoping that “Wonka twist” will include more than just high prices and branding that trades on boomer nostalgia. If not, well, we hear Slugworth has a few new things of his own.