There are few more quintessentially Australian stories on the local sharemarket than the Yowie Group (YOW). The Perth based confectionary company is behind the resurrection of one of our most loved chocolate brands.There are few more quintessentially Australian stories on the local sharemarket than the Yowie Group. The Perth- based confectionary company is behind the resurrection of one of our most loved chocolate brands, Yowie.
Yowie is a mythical creature from Aboriginal folklore that inspired the creation of Yowie characters by famous authors Bryce Courtenay and Geoff Pike. In the 90s, Cadbury launched Yowie chocolates, which were a smash hit until they vanished after a dispute with the character’s creators. But the new Yowie team led by Wayne Loxton aimed further afield than Australia and snared the biggest possible customer – US mega retailer Walmart.
This generation of Australian kids won’t know Yowie but they would likely have had a Kinder surprise – a hollow chocolate with a toy inside. In the United States Kinder eggs are deemed hazardous and are banned, but the ban does not apply to Yowie’s eggs, which meet the specifications. Yowie’s exclusive patent for chocolate-encased toys expires in 2019, when larger players may look to bite into its market share.
The intriguing story and the giant customer caught the attention of a few opportunistic small cap fund managers who have climbed on board and enjoyed the adventure.
This year alone the stock is up more than 120 per cent, valuing the company at about $170 million. Much of the gain came in August after the deal to roll out Yowie’s chocolates to 4300 Walmart stores was revealed. Walmart took its chance on Yowie after a successful 50-store trial in Texas. Last week, Yowie announced a marketing tie up with US zoos and aquariums, while also trialling in stores in the Middle East, convincing more investors that, at least on the sharemarket, there may be more to the Yowie myth