Sour Patch Kids and Oreo showcase the sweet side of successful branding

Think back to your childhood – what was your favorite candy or snack? If you answered Oreo or Sour Patch Kids, there’s a good reason for that; both brands have excelled at penetrating mainstream culture to the point where many parents are nostalgic about consuming these treats as children and currently enjoy sharing them with their own kids. Interpret’s New Media Measure® not only shows Oreo and Sour Patch Kids among the top candy brands purchased in the US, but both are even more popular among parents.

Building brands with this level of cross-generational awareness is no easy feat, but for those who can get to the top of the mountain, success begets success – new doors are opened for licensing and advertising. That’s exactly what Sour Patch Kids and Oreo have managed, according to Adweek, and there’s been no slowing them down in the middle of a pandemic. In fact, Sour Patch Kids’ recent sales have climbed even as traditional advertising has declined. Moreover, Sour Patch Kids has expanded its presence with a physical storefront and a host of licensed products, including nail polish, sneakers, cereal, energy drinks, video games, and a YouTube scripted series.

Mondelez International, which owns both Sour Patch Kids and Oreo, seems to be applying many lessons from its Oreo empire to the growing Sour Patch Kids brand. As noted in a Wells Fargo report, “Licensed products increase brand awareness, provide free advertising, and may create a positive halo effect that benefits the base product.” And Mondelez, which is worth around $80 billion, has the luxury of being able to experiment with Sour Patch Kids’ branding because it has so many other successful products in its portfolio (Trident gum, Ritz crackers, and Toblerone chocolate).