The company has launched a Colian UK business unit, bringing together the sales and distribution of its portfolio of chocolate confectionery brands, including Lily O’Brien’s and Elizabeth Shaw.
As part of the shake-up, Andrew Marjoram has moved to the position of managing director at Colian UK, having previously held the role of commercial director for Lily O’Brien’s.
Since the acquisitions of Elizabeth Shaw and Lily O’Brien’s by Colian in 2016-18, both brands had experienced ‘strong growth’, said Marjoram.
“It is now time to bring this talented team more closely together to spearhead growth across the group,” he added.
According to Nielsen figures from April 2021, the total inlaid box chocolates category is valued at £445m within the grocery market. Colian, meanwhile, estimates the total premium inlaid market to be £269m, driving overall category growth of +9.7%.
Marjoram believes there are ‘clear opportunities’ to drive sales as the market ‘begins the journey into a post-COVID world’.
“Families, friends and loved ones will be able to reunite at last, and confectionery gifting has an important role to play in making these moments extra special,” he said. “With 170 years of combined expertise, Lily O’Brien’s and Elizabeth Shaw are perfectly placed to capitalise on these trends.”
Marjoram said Lily O’Brien’s Desserts Collection was the ‘driving force’ behind Colian’s recent performance.
“Alongside this success, Elizabeth Shaw continues to innovate, and the brand’s iconic Mint Crisp has strengthened its CSR [corporate social responsibility] credentials, being gluten free, palm oil free and vegan friendly.”
“We will continue to invest in marketing and product innovation, putting us in a strong position for the future in one of the UK’s biggest FMCG [fast moving consumer goods] categories,” he added.
The global Colian Group employs more than 2,000 employees, with a product range including chocolates, cookies, wafers, pralines, dried fruit, spices and ice cream.