Dessert brand Gü is being extended into the chilled dairy drinks category through a licensing deal with Crediton Dairy.

Crediton said it was hoping to “redefine and reinvigorate” the category with the premium chocolate drinks, which can be heated or consumed cold. Launching next week in Waitrose stores and at the start of October in Tesco and Booths, the range comprises original hot chocolate, hot chocolate with mocha, and hot chocolate with salted caramel flavours in 750ml cartons (rsp: £1.99).

The collaboration was the first time Gü had licensed its brand to a third party, said Crediton sales and marketing head Nick Bartlett, and would help capitalise on the popularity of hot chocolate products. Value sales of hot chocolate have grown 8% year on year [Kantar Worldpanel 52w/e 5 January].

The products would open up the take-home market for “indulgent, café-style, adult focused dairy drinks,” added Bartlett, and would bridge the gap between “tired” ambient hot chocolate powders and the “fast growing fresh flavoured milk market, where chocolate is the most popular flavour.”

Bartlett added that Crediton had identified Gü as the perfect partner for a new hot chocolate as it sought to capitalise on its recent investment in production facilities at its Devon site.

“Our research indicates Gü resonates strongly with our target consumers,” he said, while Crediton MD Tim Smiddy described the partnership as “fully in line with our strategic focus of developing innovative, great-tasting milks that add value.”

The launch will be supported by in-store promotion and sampling in addition to selected print ads and social media campaigns. Bartlett added that a long-term aspiration for Crediton would be distribution in coffee shop chains.