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.