As cost pressure on confectioners grows, Mars is looking to tap demand for “affordable treat-sized products” with a 23g Galaxy countline.

Industry insiders say the launch of Galaxy Little Treat - which will be backed with an £11m marketing push - is a savvy one, with the lower calorie count likely to appeal to the brand’s core female audience while offering an attractive price point. Rolling out from next month, the new countline carries a 35p rsp compared with the 60p average price of the 42g Galaxy single bar in the supermarkets.

Confectioners are under growing pressure from rising costs, with the price of core ingredient cocoa butter soaring 50% year on year [Mintec] due to growing demand for chocolate, particularly in Asia.

“Forced to increase the price of chocolate confectionery, Mars is presenting a way that they can keep prices lower - smaller products,” said Mintel insight director Marcia Mogelonsky. “This not only gives them a price point that will seem manageable for the consumer but also gives them a new product to promote, leveraging convenience, ‘treat-ability’ and other positionings that have become popular.”

Mars said Galaxy Little Treat would fill a gap in the market as consumers sought value. “This gives consumers more choice for an affordable self-indulgence.”

Claire Nuttall, partner at Thrive Unlimited, said smaller formats could prevent over-indulgence: “This may help develop more conscious eating behaviours if people appreciate how much is the right size to treat on vs the norms we have become accustomed to.”

The majority of small countlines are aimed at children and include Cadbury’s Freddo and Fudge fingers. Mondelez sells a ‘Pick n Mix’ range including 18g Crunchie and 14,4g Cadbury Dairy Milk Buttons.