Almost every liquorice brand in the Netherlands follows an approach that fits the ‘childish’ candy category or emphasises the old-fashioned Dutch background. The category lacks real innovation in experiences or communication, while at the same time, it’s under constant pressure from the national health discussion on sweets and sugar.
Oldtimers Revolutionising the liquorice landscape with Oldtimers
This is a story on how Oldtimers (part of Concorp, one of the Netherlands' leading companies in the confectionery segment) is redefining the liquorice category and repositioning towards a more premium and timeless brand focusing on mature flavours. In this case study, we explore the exciting transformation of this iconic brand, resulting in a refreshing customer experience (CX) within the candy category.
Challenge: nostalgia and sugar
Strategy: the craftsmanship of the ‘liquorice baker’
Liquorice is more than simple confectionery, and Oldtimers strives to break that category image. Following successful collaborations with other brands in the Concorp portfolio (like Autodrop and Fisherman's Friend), they partnered with The Valley to reach this objective. Together, we redefined Oldtimers' brand strategy to claim a unique domain and create more synergy between every touchpoint of the customer journey.
The quality, craftsmanship, and ingredients of liquorice make it a first-class product and a good reason for consumers to enjoy something delicious. The first expression of the new strategy in 2023 was changing the packaging in collaboration with Van Heertum Design, which created a more premium product feel. Next, Oldtimers built excitement and differentiation through seasonal flavours like ‘Stoofpeer’ in winter and Coconut during spring. "Oldtimers opts for a clear focus on the knowledge of liquorice and the passion for the product, as we previously saw with coffee, beer and chocolate," says Amber Verschuur, Brand Manager at Concorp. The first changes already position Oldtimers as high-quality liquorice for enthusiasts with an 'acquired taste'.
Campaign: A sensation that splashes from the screen
In 2024, this will be expanded upon with initiatives to create more awareness. The first delicious campaign is an ode to the craftsmanship of the liquorice makers and the high quality of their varieties. The newly introduced sugar-free liquorice is also supported. “The campaign honours the work of the modern liquorice maker. The attention, the enthusiasm for craftsmanship and the quality of the different types of liquorice splashes off the screen,” says Michelle Quekel, Creative at The Valley. In film and photography - directed and photographed by Michel Mölder - you can see up close how liquorice is made, which leads to a very sensory flavour experience. This new campaign starts an important year in which Oldtimers celebrates its 100th anniversary and launches several unique collaborations. More to come!