Kraft is bringing US candy Sour Patch Kids to the UK this month as it looks to return Maynards to growth.

Maynards Sour Patch Kids, a range of fruit flavoured candy characters in “tongue twisting sour” orange, lemon, raspberry, lime and blackcurrant, will roll out in a sharing bag (rsp: £1.52/160g) and 45g impulse pack (rsp: 50p).

With retail sales of $107m (£68m) in the US [IRI Info Scan, August 2011] Sour Patch Kids launched in the States in the mid-seventies - initially as ‘Mars Men’ - to become the fourth biggest seller in the total US ‘soft and chewy’ candy segment.

It is the first NPD for Maynards since the launch of Fruit Duos gums in 2010, which were supported by the memorable ‘loose moose’ campaign.

Kraft had made the flavours and shape more relevant to the UK - adding a blackcurrant variant to the range - while retaining the natural colour credentials of Maynards. The product was also softer and chewier than the US version and had fruitier end-notes than Maynards’ existing wine Gums Sours, it said.

Value sales of Maynards remained static over the past year at £64m - despite a lack of investment behind the brand as Kraft focused on its Cadbury brands in the run-up to the Olympics - and volumes declined 3.1% [SymphonyIRI grocery impulse 52 w/e 7 July].

Kraft plans to tap sales of the sours sub-segment, which is up 15% year-on-year to £46m [Nielsen 52 w/e 21 July 2012], with “an edgier” product for teens and young adults. “This isn’t a one-off, it’s the start of a new focus behind Maynards,” said senior brand manager for candy Zoe Howe, adding that more NPD was planned for next year.

Sour Patch Kids will be supported by a multimillion-pound marketing push early this month.