After being discontinued in 2005, Yowie is back, and this time the novelty confectionery brand has a remit of conserving endangered animal species globally.
In 2012, a small group of investors based in Perth bought the rights for the Yowie chocolate from global food giant Kraft.
Although the product had disappeared from retail shelves some seven years earlier – just like the endangered species it seeks to educate children about – the newly formed ASX-listed Yowie Group Ltd felt confident that the Yowie chocolate, with its surprise collectable toy, still had unfilled global potential.
They were right. They chose to relaunch first in the US, with product on shelves in late 2014 and taking off in 2015, and last year, the number of US retail outlets carrying the Yowie grew substantially; the number of Target stores alone quadrupled to 1250.
In 2010, Kraft bought Cadbury for $20 billion, and those who had originally been involved in the Yowie brand saw an opportunity to reclaim the brand.
After Yowie Group acquired the brand in 2012 it spent the next two years preparing for the launch and setting up the business model. In fiscal years 2016 and 2017, the business grew more than 50 per cent annually.
Yowie Group CEO Mark Schuessler told Food & Drink Business there were two main drivers for Yowie to launch first in the US.