Mars tries new Milky Way lines

Mars Confectionery is extending its Milky Way brand in the UK in a bid to arrest its declining market share.

The 61-year-old brand will have a twin bar variant containing wafer biscuit, called Milky Way Crispy Rolls. The product, which first appeared in Germany two years ago, launches next month.

The UK launch comes after last year’s roll out of Milky Way Magic Stars, star-shaped bite-sized pieces.

Sources say the new product will not be a direct competitor to more adult brands such as Nestlé-Rowntree’s Kit Kat, but will continue to be aimed at children.

The launch is expected to be backed by a generic TV advertising campaign for Milky Way through Grey Advertising.

Mars is expected to continue to use the Milky Way brand as a platform for further brand extensions. It already sells a bread spread version of the Milky Way bar on the Continent, and the brand could be used for flavoured milks, yogurts and desserts.

The company relaunched Milky Way in the UK in 1993, with different packaging and a new whiter centre, following Milky Way’s relaunch on the Continent in 1988. But it first appeared in the UK in 1935, although in the US a bar called Milky Way (similar to the UK Mars bar) has been available since 1923.

Milky Way’s value share of the countline market has dropped from 2.9 per cent in 1993 to 2.7 per cent last year (Datamonitor).

Mars Confectionery was unavailable for comment.

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