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Brand Strategy Template for the Candy Industry

Brand Strategy Template for the Candy Industry

4 Steps to Success from “America’s Fastest-Growing Candy Company”

For this brand strategy template, we’ll discuss one of my recent finds at the grocery store, and the brand behind it. 

I’ve been noticing lately that sugar-free products are much more palatable to me now than they were in the past, though whether this is due to my tastes changing or due to advances in culinary technology, I cannot say. However, this realization meant that when I was last out grocery shopping, I was much more willing to try a free sample of a sugar-free lollipop called a “Zollipop.” I’m having one while writing this article (so you can tell I liked them!) and after researching the product more, I believe that Zolli Candy is worth our examination as a brand strategy template

I have identified four separate tactics which contribute to this brand strategy template: 

  1. First, the brand emerged by identifying an unfilled niche in the candy market. 
  2. Second, the brand and its products hit on contemporary food trends like keto, dairy-free, vegan, and gluten-free. 
  3. Third, the brand itself is heavily identified with its wunderkind CEO, Alina Morse, who was just seven years old when she came up with the idea for the lollipops. 
  4. Finally, the brand has strong products. 

All of these ingredients lead to a wonderful brand strategy template for the candy industry.

Brand Strategy Template:
A Candy that is Safe for Teeth?

Before diving into the brand strategy template for Zolli Candy, let me first give a brief orientation to the brand itself. The central concept of all of Zolli Candy’s products is that they are candies which are less harmful for the teeth and overall health. 

They achieve this goal in two ways: first, they contain sugar alcohols as opposed to sugars, which means they are less caloric than a similarly-sized candy containing sugar. Sugar alcohols have a hydroxyl group attached to each carbon atom of the sugar, meaning that while they might be somewhat structurally similar to other carbohydrates, they contain less chemical energy (i.e. calories). Second, Zolli Candy products increase the pH in the mouth, which can be low (or acidic) after eating. These underlying benefits are present in all of Zolli Candy’s products, making them central to its brand strategy template

Brand Strategy Template for the Candy Industry

Brand Strategy Template:
Find an Overlooked Niche

The first part of Zolli Candy’s brand strategy template may be obvious, but it should not be overlooked: the company filled a niche in the market that was previously empty. Low-calorie and sugar-free sweets have existed for some time, but Zolli Candy’s products seem to be the only ones that market themselves the way that sugar-free gums have often marketed themselves, as beneficial for the teeth. Indeed, according to the Zollipops website, this observation about the teeth in particular was the inspiration for the initial development of the first Zollipops. 

Brand Strategy Template:
Track the Trends

Second, in addition to filling a niche that was previously empty, Zollipops seems to have identified a number of contemporary food trends in their marketing. This is another powerful aspect of this brand strategy template Most lollipops from any brand are probably vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free, unless they contain some more unusual ingredients. However, most lollipops are not marketed this way, whereas Zollipops display this information proudly on the front of every bag. 

Furthermore, the brand also notes that the pops are keto and suitable for diabetics. Most of these features seem incidental to the central design and concept of the brand, which was to sell candies that were less bad for teeth.   Zolli Candy is such a good example for a brand strategy template because it wisely identified these incidental aspects of the product which are important to contemporary consumers. Therefore, Zolli Candy can broaden its appeal to people who have a keto diet, for example.

These additional aspects of the product also gel with the central brand image of Zolli Candy and its focus on teeth. While being dairy-free, for example, is not the same as being healthy for teeth, these two aspects of Zolli Candy’s marketing might both appeal to health-conscious individuals or people who have dietary restrictions. Not only did Zolli Candy jump on trends, it chose trends that were synergistic with its central brand image. 

Brand Strategy Template for the Candy Industry

Brand Strategy Template:
Give the Brand a Face

A third important part of the Zolli Candy brand strategy is the way that Alina Morse herself is the face of the company. Often pictured as she is above, a seriously cute kid with a big smile and braces, Morse’s image is wholesome and sweet, perfect for a young girl selling healthy candies. While a brief look at her Instagram shows that she is developing a more polished image as an older teen, the photos themselves still seem savvily-chosen to promote Morse as a charming, relatively modest, and trustworthy young woman. 

Indeed, it seems to be a deliberate choice on the part of Zolli Candy to have Morse herself so much in the spotlight. In an interview with Second-Wave media, Morse noted that her role in the company is: 

product development… trade shows…. meetings, sales calls, and things along those lines.” 

While she does list product development as one of her roles (which seems appropriate, given her penchant for coming up with ideas!), all of the other things she lists are more public-facing. The promotion of Morse herself is therefore the third part of the Zolli Candy brand strategy template

Brand Strategy Template:
Don’t Forget the Product

Finally, part of this brand strategy template is that the Zolli Candy Brand has solid products which taste similar to competitive products, while offering additional benefits. Kid-CEO Morse is quoted by Second-Wave media as saying: 

we did lots of tests with real kids and with some of my friends and we found that kids actually can’t tell the difference between our Zollipops and a normal lollipop.” 

Often, the Zollipops are described as ‘delicious.’ This is an exaggeration, but they are pretty good… and a regular lollipop isn’t ‘delicious’ either. It’s just pretty good. Zolli Candy had a match between the technology to which they had access and the product that they wanted to redesign. In other words, they did succeed at making something tasty, but they also didn’t have to achieve any miracles, as lollipops are only so tasty in the first place. You might call this part of the brand strategy template having realistic goals.

How is all of this turning out for them? According to Snack and

“The company remains the #1 sugar-free candy sold on Amazon and is in the top 20 in all candy and chocolate on the site.” 

Snack and also reported that they were “America’s fastest growing candy company” in 2022 and “one of America’s Most Innovative Companies” according to Fortune Magazine in 2023. Clearly, Zolli Candy provides a brand strategy template which other companies can learn from. 

If you are curious to read about more brand strategy templates, as well as new product examples, market positioning strategies, customer segmentation examples, and more, check out the Insight to Action resources page. We also publish a newsletter offering regular updates. Finally, you can meet with one of our team members to talk about these topics at our office hours. Brand strategy is important, and Insight to Action can help you create a brand strategy which will have your company see greater success, just like Zolli Candy.