Menz drops original name in candy rebranding

Adelaide pastry chef Robern Menz has ditched the original name, which has served the family business for nearly a century, in favor of a rebrand.

The Glynde manufacturer of FruChocs, Violet Crumble and Crown Mints will now be known as Menz Confectionery and has adopted the slogan “Making life sweeter”.

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

The company bought the Violet Crumble brand from Nestle in 2017 and followed it up in 2019 with the purchase of Pollywaffle.

It has continued uninterrupted production of Violet Crumble, but is still working on a new production line to relaunch the Pollywaffle chocolate bar – no longer seen on shelves since 2009. The product will most likely come back next year.

“Over the past few years, we’ve been humbled to watch the company grow and with this growth, it’s necessary to think about who we are as a company today and how we want to position ourselves in the future,” Sims said.

Sims and his brother Richard are the fourth generation to run the Robern company founded by their great-grandfather Walter Sims.

Walter started a dried fruit business in Riverland in 1926 and named it Robern in honor of a family friend, Robert Burnley, who had passed away at the age of 14.

The Menz portion of the story dates back to 1850 when Prussian immigrants Johan and Magdelena Menz started a bakery on Adelaide’s Wakefield Street.

They developed the Yo-Yo and Bush Biscuit, which was later distributed nationally through Arnott’s, and began manufacturing confectionery products, including Crown Mints, in 1892.

The Menz family produced its first FruChoc – a chocolate-covered fruit ball – in 1948.


The new Menz Confectionery logo.

The company was sold to major biscuit manufacturer Arnott’s in the 1960s, and the confectionery portion of Menz was sold to Robern in 1992 when Campbells Soup bought Arnott’s biscuit business.

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

“We are a brand with a rich history in Australia – we’ve been around for 150 years, managing over 100 products and making sure we’re still thriving 150 years from now,” he said.

“Our ultimate mission is to sweeten the lives of Australians and beyond and this brand change will bring that goal forward for us into the future.

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

Over the next two years, customers will see the new slogan and the abbreviated name ‘Menz’ on all packaging of the brand portfolio.

Robern Menz moved from Stepney to its current location on Glynburn Road, Glynde – the former Gibbs Pies factory – in 1995 and has approximately 160 employees.

The rebrand comes as the company is ramping up two major investment projects: doubling its honeycomb line and reintroducing the Polly Waffle chocolate bar.

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

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

Exports to the Philippines and Singapore have also increased.

Developed by Adelaide-based agency Showpony, the new brand identity took 12 months to develop. It includes a logo refresh and identifies the company’s core values, purpose and story.

Rory Kennett-Lister, Creative Director of Showpony Adelaide, said the process of finding the right brand for Menz Confectionery was painstaking and involved a collaborative approach.

“We wanted to build a brand that appeals to the customer, as well as to the brand’s rich history and bright future,” he said.

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