GSK relaunches Horlicks – for kids

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is planning to extend its Horlicks brand into the children’s market, in an attempt to take on the main drinking-chocolate brands.

Three new flavours, including chocolate and strawberry, in single-sachet packs are planned. There will also be new packaging, using animal characters. It is understood that the products will promote the overall brand claim that Horlicks helps people to sleep.

The launch is likely to be supported by a multi-million pound advertising campaign.

An industry observer says that the original Horlicks flavour is an “acquired taste”, not popular with children. He adds that decision to diversify the flavours and move into single sachets is being seen as a challenge to hot chocolate brands such as Options.

The Horlicks brand was revamped three years ago, with a focus on the claims that it promotes sleep (MW November 16, 2000). The strategy of focusing on functional benefits has been successful for GSK’s Lucozade brand, which is promoted as an energy drink.

GSK is planning to launch a limited-edition green Ribena as part of a tie-in with animated film Shrek 2. The DreamWorks film is due to be released on May 21, 2004. It is understood the limited-edition drink will be apple and cranberry flavour.

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