Products produced in Ballarat by family owned and operated business, Ferndale Confectionery, have made major gains in several of the world’s largest markets over recent months.

The UK’s largest pharmacy chain, BOOTS, has recently advised Ferndale of their intention to immediately stock Ferndale products in 781 of their largest stores, with a rollout to into all their stores to follow. This follows the sales success of Ferndale’s products in other UK retail chains over the last two years, including the 695 high street stores of pharmacy chain Holland and Barrett.

Ferndale has also been recently advised that 7 Eleven in Japan will range the company’s JILA Sugar Free mints.  7 Eleven is the largest retail chain in Japan, with 15504 stores, and their decision to sell Ferndale’s flag ship JILA brand, follows several years of sales success in other Japanese retailers, over which time the product has established a premium position with very loyal Japanese consumers.

The growing acceptance of the product in Japan demonstrates that Ferndale’s understanding of evolving consumer health trends and focus on product quality, coupled with manufacturing efficiency, is a winning formula, not only in Australia, but  worldwide.

Ferndale’s JILA sugar free mint does not contain any artificial colours or flavours, and contains the 100% natural sweetener Stevia. Having nothing artificial, is a world first, and the health conscious Japanese consumers recognise and appreciate this.

Jarrod Edward, General Manager – Operations, at Ferndale, recently visited customers in Japan, and said that the business decision to base all product development on 100%  natural ingredients is paying off, and is very important component of the business’s product appeal.

The development of the all-natural sugar free JILA mint was undertaken over two years by Ferndale in Ballarat, and proved to be very difficult, both in achieving superior  taste  and consumer acceptance, as well as adapting production equipment to more complex manufacturing techniques.
Jarrod said that Ferndale prefers to take on the development of difficult products, as it provides a competitive edge in the market place, and makes it difficult for competitors to copy.

Jarrod said that the mint production in Ballarat is already working multiple shifts, and the latest additional demands from the UK and Japan will require additional production shifts and potentially a factory expansion, all of which is good news for Ferndale, its employees and Ballarat.

The first container load of product for 7 Eleven Japan left the companies Ballarat factory in October.

Leigh Edward, General Manager – Sales and Marketing, for Ferndale, has recently visited the UK, to further develop sales plans with existing and new customers. He said that Ferndale’s products, based on healthy natural ingredients, are well positioned for success in the UK, and are price competitive with European producers, as a result of Ferndale’s lean overhead structure and the efficiency of the Ballarat factory resulting from high volumes and outstanding production team.

Competitive costing is critical in achieving the recent breakthroughs in the UK and Japan.  “We don’t compromise on product quality or ingredients, thus our highly efficient and productive factory and very low overheads have been essential in achieving attractive pricing. We are very proud that the business produces in excess of 24 million items annually, supporting  market leading brands Australia wide, and supplying  thirteen export markets, with a management/administration team of only four people, including Jarrod and myself”.

The company is also demonstrating a high level of success in the local market. Ferndale launched JIBBA JELLY BEANS in August 2013, with consumer demand already far exceeding the company’s initial expectations. “JIBBA are the best tasting, best packaged Jelly Beans available on the market, and we are overwhelmed at their early success,” Leigh finished.
Ferndale’s cornerstone brands, JOLS, LICORETTE, KOPIKO and JILA all continue to perform very strongly in both the Australian Route and Grocery markets.

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