A new start-up is trying to extend dairy into the confectionery market with the launch of chocolate-covered snacking bars made from quark.
Little Smoothie bars were developed by former Walkers marketing director Jonathan Turner, and have just secured their first listing in the mults, set to go into 50 Morrisons chillers in October (rsp: 65p).
They are made from quark - a type of low-fat soft cheese - and double cream, and covered in milk or dark chocolate. At launch, the flavours available will be vanilla & milk chocolate, orange & milk chocolate, and mint & dark chocolate.
Little Smoothie plans to spend about £1m to support the product over the next 12 months, including two bursts of marketing activity before and after Christmas 2013 with in-store sampling, posters and shelf barkers.
Because quark was naturally low in fat (each 45g bar contains just 2.2g of satfat and 105 calories), the company was hoping to position the lines as a low-fat and low-calorie alternative to traditional snack bars and chocolates, said Turner. Consumer research by Touchstone Partners suggested 36% of those who tried Little Smoothie would eat it instead of a chocolate bar, he added.
Quark has recently gained more traction in the UK following the launch of a range of Lake District Dairy Co-branded quarks from First Milk, but is still largely unknown, so Little Smoothie does not plan to market its bars on their quark content. “Ninety-five percent of people don’t know what quark is and, for that reason, it has no relevance,” said Turner. Instead, Little Smoothie would describe them on pack as “a creamy, dreamy, tasty dairy bite”.
Little Smoothie was likely to be merchandised in the chilled aisle of stores, close to yoghurts and potted desserts, although precise details were yet to be confirmed with Morrisons.