Suppliers of dried fruit and nuts are developing healthy confectionery alternatives in an attempt to grab a bigger share of the school lunchbox market.

Sun-Maid has launched vanilla yoghurt raisins and milk chocolate raisins. The lines, which are already listed in Booker and Makro, are being positioned as a healthier alternative to traditional sweets by Glisten Confectionery, which has recently won the distribution and development rights for the Sun-Maid brand in the UK.

The 50g bags, priced 39p each, feature the red and yellow Sun-Maid logo and lady imagery.

"The new products offer a healthier choice compared with most traditional confectionery products," said Sue Graydon, brand manager at Glisten Confectionery. "The iconic brand presence has real strength within the consumer market and the products have been well received by buyers."

Though Sun-Maid is counting on the health credentials of raisins to appeal to mums, the dried fruit falls foul of Ofcom's controversial advertising ban on 'junk food' to children, which The Grocer has been campaigning against in Weigh It Up!

Meanwhile, Sun Valley has launched a range of confectionery fruit and nuts. The Just range is available in four varieties, including Berriez, a mix of dried cranberries, strawberries, cherries and raisins; Raisinz; and a Fruit 'n' Seedz variant that contains cranberries, sultanas, pumpkin and sunflower seeds. Tangy chilli and vinegar flavoured Nutz, which claims to be the only nut variant not to feature added salt, completes the line-up.

The range is being rolled out across 220 Co-op stores over the next three weeks and has secured listings with Asda and several wholesalers and cash & carries.

Marketing manager Jonathan Barr said the packaging had been designed to be more typical of confectionery. "The Just range has been given eye-catching packaging in bright zany colours, much like we have traditionally seen within the confectionery sector."