With its signature sovereign beaming from the wrapper, Carlos V has been 'a very well known brand in Mexico' for more than 50 years, said Patricia Bowles, manager, division and brand affairs for Nestlé USA confections and snacks division. 'It's something that definitely resonates with US Hispanic consumers; something we wanted to bring to them.'
Though the candy has been available in import/export shops and online on 'a hit or miss basis,' Bowles said, this is the first time Nestlé has made a concerted effort to introduce the brand on a wider scale.
A Hispanic-dominant PR and promotional campaign, coordinated by South Pasadena, CA-based Valencia, Perez & Echeveste, will included an in-store program in predominantly Hispanic-area groceries located throughout Southern California and a radio campaign.
A day-long family event, scheduled for Saturday, September 30 at Superior grocery store in Huntington Park, CA, was to include a live radio remote featuring La Nueva 101.9FM's DJ Pancho Mercado, product sampling, and a Dell computer giveaway, according to John Echeveste, a partner with VPE.
The firm has also relied on radio station visits and local media relations, Echeveste said, 'primarily targeting younger mothers with kids,' to promote the Carlos V brand.
'Carlos V is as popular in Mexico as [Nestlé brands] Nestlé Crunch and Wonka are in the US,' Bowles said.
The milk chocolate, she explained, 'is made in Toluca, Mexico and is as authentic as it can possibly be … it [inspires] childhood memories and a patriotic feel.'
The campaign includes promotional aspects, featuring a promotional display highlighting Carlos V alongside those two siblings.
This is not the first time Nestlé USA has attempted to introduce a 'foreign' candy bar to American consumers, Bowles noted. Earlier this year, the company brought Canadian chocolate bar Coffee Crisp to the US, and is now regularly importing it for domestic sales.
For now, Bowles said, Carlos V would be available in Southern California only through December. Nestlé would determine a future distribution plan based on its initial success.