Nestlé prepares to scrap Lion bar as sales plummet

Confectionery giant Nestlé is expected to scrap its iconic Lion bar brand after repeated relaunches have failed to stop falling sales.

Confectionery giant Nestlé is expected to scrap its iconic Lion bar brand after repeated relaunches have failed to stop falling sales.

It is thought that a growing consumer trend for smaller portions and healthier eating is to blame. Nestlé reduced the amount of transfat in the bars, but sales fell 18% between 2004 and 2005. In the past five years total volumes have declined from 30,000 tonnes to 18,000 tonnes.

The Swiss company is looking for a buyer for the Lion bar factory in Dijon but may axe the brand in any case. A final decision has yet to be made.

Lion bar was introduced in 1976, by Yorkshire confectionery company Rowntree – later bought by Nestlé – in response to a trend for “masculine” chocolate bars. Its marketing focused on its appeal to the “predator” within the male consumer, and advertising featured a trademark “roar’.

The brand was relaunched in 2004 and Nestlé Rowntree teamed up with TV channel Animal Planet to launch a co-branded in-store promotion in 2000 UK stores.

The promotion was backed by a sampling campaign designed to reach more than one million customers, as well as a TV campaign.

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