Chewits is getting a redesign to boost its appeal among older children and reverse a 17% sales slump.

The updated packs, rolling out in April, will feature an older-looking Chewie, the brand’s mascot, and supplier Leaf UK hopes the new image will re-engage the target tweens audience.

“Our brief was to redraw Chewie as he had become dated and looked too young for today’s target audience,” said Joy McCallum, account director at Tayburn, the agency behind the redesign.

Leaf UK is also bringing back the ice cream-flavoured variant in response to consumer demand.

Last year, Chewits’ sales fell 17% to £10m [Nielsen MAT 27 December 2008], despite an attempt to reignite sales with the launch in March of Chewits Truly, the brand’s first health-orientated range.

Experts were sceptical about the revamp. “Characters need to be ‘real’ and the only way to achieve this is to give it a personality and support the hell out of it, and I can’t imagine that ‘Chewie’ is going to have a fortune spent on him,” said Don Williams, CEO of brand consultancy Pi Global. “The brand is a bit of a dinosaur itself and any revitalisation needs to be major.”