NestlÃ© Rowntree has been forced to delay the introduction of its Wonka bars as a permanent line because it cannot meet retailer demand. It is understood that the company has stopped delivery of the bars until the end of October.
It is also understood that the chocolate bar and sweet range, which was a tie-in with the film remake of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, has been so successful for the confectionery giant that it has been unable to produce enough of them to meet demand.
According to AC Nielsen figures, sales of the brand hit 3.6 million bars after just two weeks on the shelves.
An industry insider says that NestlÃ© is keen to introduce the range as a continuing line for the next couple of years owing to its popularity. But it has told retailers that it will be unable to fill orders until later in the autumn to allow it to build up stocks. It is expected to launch another burst of advertising at around that time.
NestlÃ© says: “Our new Wonka bars have been phenomenally successful and we are working round the clock to meet demand. As a result of the huge popularity of Wonka, we are considering future plans; details and timings are yet to be confirmed.”
The first range of Wonka chocolate bars were axed in 2003 following poor sales.
NestlÃ© revamped the range with the introduction of three bars – Triple Dazzle Caramel, Nutty Crunch Surprise and Whipple Scrumptious Fudgemallow Delight – and gift products such as a cane filled with Fruity Smarties. The launch was backed with a &£5m promotional campaign, which included a Golden Ticket competition and a &£1.5m television campaign.