9004_034MIKE AND IKE®, the top-selling American fruit-flavoured candy brand, has announced a major new sales and distribution partnership with Jenks. Sales channel experts Jenks will be taking on UK sales and distribution for Mike and Ike with effect from March 9th.

Steve Foster, Regional Manager (Europe) for Mike and Ike, said that the partnership was a significant step in the continuing development of the brand in the UK market.

“We have achieved a number of important breakthroughs since launching Mike and Ike back in 2006 and we now feel there is a great opportunity to move to the next stage by working with one of Europe’s top sales and marketing companies,” said Steve Foster.

“Jenks has an excellent track record in building brands and we are delighted that they will be selling Mike and Ike at a time when we are launching our biggest-ever support programme for the brand.”

The star-studded Mike and Ike range features Fabulous Fruits, Berry Blast and Tropical Typhoon, all fat-free candies bursting with fruit juice flavours. Presented in colourful, eye-catching 55g packs and made-for-sharing family bags, Mike and Ike candies are produced in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania by Just Born Inc., the seventh-largest sugar confectionery manufacturer in the US and a proudly-independent, family-owned company.

Ross Beattie, joint Managing Director of Jenks, commented: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Mike and Ike, an iconic American product that is bringing excitement, innovation, a strong brand identity and quality to the UK’s growing chewy fruit-flavoured sweets category. This is a very strong addition to our portfolio of top-selling brands, which includes confectionery products such as Ricola, Ritter Sport, Topps, Fisherman’s Friend and Italo Suisse.”

Mike and Ike chewy fruit-flavoured candies first appeared in the US back in 1940. These American idols have regularly been featured in films and TV shows and celebrity fans include Will Smith and Steven Spielberg! Today, Mike and Ike candies are sold in more than 50 countries.

This year will see record-breaking levels of support for Mike and Ike, including advertising at leading football grounds, outdoor posters, national magazine and press campaigns. There will also be national consumer sampling at supermarkets, universities, major music festivals such as Glastonbury and Reading, football matches plus extreme and adventure sports events. The sampling campaign will allow more than 1.5 million consumers to “Make Friends with Mike and Ike”. The company will also continue to develop its popular website www.mikeandike.co.uk with new games, links and features.

The partnership announcement comes at a time when Jenks, a leading UK sales and marketing company for more than 45 years, is investing in a multi-million-pound switch of its entire operation to a purpose-built 320,000 sq ft warehouse and head office complex in Milton Keynes.

The new facility will bring the Jenks portfolio of brands under one roof. Holding around 40,000 pallets at any one time and with a throughput of 50 million cases a year, it will provide a central hub for a national distribution fleet operated from the site by Wincanton. In addition, all head office functions will also run out of Milton Keynes, bringing the site head count to more than 250.
Jenks has seen its business grow by 400% in the last five years and is now responsible for an annual sales turnover of £200m.

Sales enquiries relating to Mike and Ike should be directed to Jenks on 01844 293600. E-mail: general.enquiries@jenks.co.uk

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