Mars UK is extending its Starburst sweets brand into fruit smoothies. It is understood that the new range is set to launch with a significant marketing spend, early next year.
The new product is thought to be a 100% pure fruit smoothie that will target young adults and children, with similar flavours to the fruit chews. The move will aim to improve Mars’ offering in the better-for-you snacks market.
The launch will build on its first move into the drinks market earlier this year. Starburst Drink, which was launched during the summer, is a combination of fruit juice and dairy ingredients. It comes in two flavours, Outrageous Orange and Pineapple, and Sensational Strawberry and Raspberry.
Industry experts say that Mars is one of a number of companies looking to extend into the £185m smoothies market. The sector is currently dominated by Innocent, which has a 72% share (IRI).
There is expected to be a raft of new products, including iced smoothies, such as Unilever’s Solero Smoothie ice-lolly – launched earlier in the year – which is aimed at children and contains only natural flavours and colours. Richmond Foods also launched an iced fruit smoothie under the Skinny Cow brand.
Mars has increased focus on its sugar confectionery range over the past year. It has revamped all of its sharing products into “hanging pouches” and it also launched its first new brand in the category, Choosers, earlier this year (MW February 22).