Bendicks (Mayfair) is going head to head with the likes of Green & Black's with its premium chocolate bars.

In addition to a milk chocolate version, the company is joining Nestlé and Cadbury on the dark side, by including a dark chocolate version containing 72% cocoa solids.

The two confectionery giants are planning a dark chocolate edition of four-finger Kit Kat and Flake respectively and Nestlé said its research had shown that more than half of 35 to 45-year-olds ate dark chocolate.

Bendicks' new 125g bar format is made up of five individually wrapped pieces in packaging with deep colours aimed at creating strong on-shelf impact. They retail at £1.49 each and come in shelf-ready displays of ten bars to a pack.

According to the company, the premium chocolate bar sector is worth £43m and is the fastest growing in the confectionery market at 41% year-on-year, but it only has a 14% penetration rate so far.