Menz drops original name in sweets rebrand

Adelaide confectioner Robern Menz has ditched the original name that served the family business for almost a century for a rebrand.

The company’s best-selling product, Violet Crumble.

Phil Sims, CEO of Menz Confectionery, said the new name reflects the company’s growth in recent years, including the addition of the Violet Crumble and Pollywaffle brands, increased production, increased staff to meet demand and more growth in export markets including the US and Asia on the horizon.

The company acquired the Violet Crumble brand from Nestlé in 2017, followed by Pollywaffle in 2019.

It continued manufacturing Violet Crumble uninterrupted but is still working on a new production line to re-launch the Pollywaffle chocolate bar – not seen on shelves since 2009 – with the product most likely be brought back next year.

“Over recent years, we’ve been humbled to see the business grow and with this growth, has come a need to reflect on who we are as a business today and how we want to position ourselves moving forward,” Sims said.

“We’re a brand with a rich history in Australia, we’ve been around for 150 years, are the custodians of over 100 products and to ensure we’re still thriving in another 150 years. Our ultimate mission is to make life sweet for Australians and beyond and this brand shakeup is going to drive that goal for us into the future.

“We know that a great brand appeals to both the head and the heart, and here at Menz Confectionery, we are about evoking memories, bringing people together and making life sweet.”

The new brand identity, developed by Adelaide based agency Showpony, took twelve months of extensive research and included a logo refresh as well as identifying the businesses core values, purpose and narrative.

The new brand logo and identity hits close to home for the business, with each character purposefully customised and rounding at every point and corner to mimic the Menz brand icons, the Fruchoc and Crown Mint.

“The process to find the right brand for Menz Confectionery was meticulous and is representative of their forward-thinking and collaborative approach,” Showpony Adelaide Creative Director Rory Kennett-Lister said.

“We wanted to build a brand that speaks to the customer but also to the brand’s rich history and bright future.”

The rebrand comes at a time when the company is ramping up two major capital expenditure projects: the doubling of its honeycomb line and the re-introduction of the Polly Waffle chocolate bar.

The new honeycomb line will increase the company’s Violet Crumble capacity following a surge in demand during the coronavirus pandemic and increased exports to the United States and Asia.

The company began shipping Violet Crumbles to the US in 2018 and opened an office in California last year.

Sims and his brother Richard are the fourth generations to run the Robern company, founded by their grandfather Walter Sims.

Walter started a dried fruit business in Riverland in 1926 and named it in honour of Robert Burnley, a family friend of Rober who had died at the age of 14.

The Menz part of the story dates back to 1850 when Prussian immigrants Johan and Magdelena Menz started a bakery business on Wakefield Street in Adelaide. They developed the Yo-Yo and Bush Biscuit, which later gained national distribution through Arnott’s, and began production of confectionery, including Crown Mints, in 1892.

The first FruChocin – a chocolate-coated fruit ball – was made by the Menz family in 1948, after being sold in the 1960s.

Sims has been CEO since 2001 and joined the family business in 1992 when Robern bought Menz.

Leave a Comment