Nestlé Rowntree is gearing up to take on Chupa Chups with the launch of Rowntree’s-branded sugar-free lollipops. It is understood that the company plans to invest &£1.5m in the launch.
The products, which are due to be launched in July, will be the first lollipops to be launched under the Rowntree’s brand. They will be available in a number of fruit flavours and will have a fizzy centre. Nestlé is planning to support the range with a television advertising campaign.
Industry insiders say the range will be positioned against the Chupa Chups brand, owned by Chupa Chups Perfetti van Melle UK, which has been carving out a niche in sugar-free confectionery. It is a category that is expected to see significant growth as result of the obesity debate.
The company launched its sugar-free Cremosa lolly last January. Cremosa is aimed at mothers and children as a low-calorie product and the company claims it protects teeth (MW January 15, 2004). It has now launched a second lollipop, Cuore di Frutta, which is low in sugar and has added vitamin C.
Chupa Chups formed a joint venture with Perfetti van Melle last month, following the collapse of Food Brokers. The company is also planning a low-sugar version of Fruitella, which will launch in Asda later this spring.