Masterfoods is delaying rolling out White Maltesers as a permanent line over fears about not being able to produce enough stock. The company has told retailers that once existing stocks run out, White Maltesers will not return until the autumn.
The confectionery company had intended to roll out White Maltesers as a permanent line from this month, but have decided to postpone the move until September. The delay will not affect the White Malteser Easter egg, but insiders are concerned that the decision to halt production temporarily may affect the long-term success of the White Maltesers brand.
It is thought that the decision not to press ahead with the launch is due to the introduction of a new Mars variant, Mars Delight. The product, which will be aimed at women, is also due to be launched this spring and is the company’s major launch for 2004.
Insiders say that Masterfoods is keen to get the Mars variant on shelves and is focusing support on that, rather than spreading its resources across a number of products.
The confectionery company is also launching a functional sugar-free sweet, Aqua Drop, which will be aimed adults. The launch, supported by &£2m-worth of marketing spend, is expected later this year (MW November 6, 2003).