KitKat Enters Luxury DTC Market; IAB Examines the UK's 50 Largest DTCs

KitKat go DTC

DTC’s Daily Digest brings you the latest news on the world’s fastest growing direct-to-consumer brands. In today’s edition: KitKat enters luxury DTC market; IAB examines the UK’s 50 largest DTCs; and Casper creates CBD gummies with Plus. 

KitKat enters luxury DTC market

Nestlé is launching luxury KitKats costing up to £14 a bar that will be available to buy from a bespoke website and at pop-up stores. It represents the first-ever move into direct-to-consumer by Nestlé’s UK confectionery business.

The initiative, which Nestlé has branded Chocolatory, also includes a tie-up with 30 John Lewis & Partners stores and the Chocolate Story museum in York.

At the flagship John Lewis store on Oxford Street, the retailer will offer visitors the opportunity to create their own bespoke KitKat at a 2,000sq ft pop-up. KitKat will also run a pop-up in the John Lewis store at the Trafford Centre in Manchester.

Rabia Khan, head of KitKat Chocolatory at Nestlé UK and Ireland, describes the move as the biggest news for KitKat since the launch of its Chunky variant 20 years ago.

The bars will be available to buy in store later this week and from the Nestlé online shop in November. Personalisation options include bespoke packaging and the ability to choose flavours.

IAB examines UK’s 50 largest DTCs

The IAB’s new ‘Born Online’, looking into the 50 largest DTC brands in the UK, has revealed that 97% of the UK online population are aware of at least one of the 50 leading DTC brands. What’s more,39% of the same group have purchased from one of more of these brands, with 10% purchasing from five or more of the brands. 

The report also shows that DTC shoppers are early adopters. Over three-quarters (78%) of heavy DTC purchasers say they buy new products before most of their friends. This compares to 44% of regular DTC purchasers, and 27% for the wider UK online population. 

Kate Huang, Chief Marketing Officer at DTC femcare brand Callaly, one of the top 50 brands as selected by the IAB, explains: “DTC businesses are agile in response to consumer feedback and utilise analytics to forge authentic relationships with customers. While brand growth is a key goal, protecting these unique characteristics is also a priority. Working with partners that are open to a test and learn approach, support data-driven marketing and help to amplify our customer-centric ethos is crucial.” 

Casper creates CBD gummies with Plus

DTC mattress brand Casper has created CBD gummies in partnership with edibles business Plus. 

This is just the latest in Casper’s  efforts to expand beyond mattresses with the addition of sheets, pillows, dog beds, portable lamps and more. In a recent New York Times profile, the company said its goal is to become the “Nike of sleep,” with an ever-widening lineup of sleep-related products.

Casper may be feeling extra pressure to grow the business model since a recent funding round valued the company at USD$1.1bn (£890m). And mattresses alone don’t make for frequent recurring purchases.

It looks like Plus is handling the actual sales of the CBD Sleep Gummies, which will cost USD$35 for a package of 14. Each blackberry tea-flavored gummy is supposed to include 25 milligrams of CBD, along with chamomile extract and 1 milligram of melatonin.

Plus says it ships to all U.S. states except Alaska, Idaho, Iowa, Hawaii, Mississippi, Oklahoma and South Dakota.