A new ambient fruit-based snacking brand is off to a healthy start with a nationwide Waitrose listing.

Crushed Fast Fruit Snack rolls into 220 of the retailer’s stores from 3 February on a three-month exclusive basis. The pouched product is made with 100% fruit and will initially be available in two variants - apple & banana and apple & strawberry (rsp: £3.50/four 100g pouches).

The brand is the brainchild of two mums who said the product was targeted at seven to 11-year-olds who might “sneer” at eating fruit.

Crushed would plug a gap in the market for an on-the-go snack that was both cool and healthy, said co-founder and sales director Jenny Salmon, who also runs two children’s nurseries.

She predicted that the brand, which is manufactured in Europe, would clock up £300,000 worth of sales in its first year.

The initial reaction from retailers had been “fantastic”, added Salmon. “Buyers have loved the flavours, consistency and branding,” she said.

The Manchester-based business is supporting the launch with a social media campaign alongside a partnership with national after-school clubs. It is also looking to expand the Crushed range with more flavours later this year.