>>A monthly look at the most promising newcomers in key grocery categories.

This week: Confectionery

Product: Mars Delight
Company: Masterfoods
Launch date: March 2003

Mars Delight seems to have proved a winner among UK confectionery newcomers in spite of the criticism levelled at the chocolate bar over its high fat content before it even hit shelves.

Launched in March this year, the wafer, chocolate and caramel cream combination, which contains 14g of fat per 40g bar, is rolling out to 79% of all possible outlets [ACNielsen, 4 w/e to July 10 2004].

Supported by a £15m marketing spend in the first year, nearly 8% of consumers in ACNielsen’s panel have tried Mars Delight, while more than 22% of those have bought the chocolate bar for a second time.

Cadbury’s decision to add a fruity addition to its Allsorts line-up also seems to be paying off. Cadbury launched Fruit Allsorts in April this year and by the end of last month the brand extension had achieved 60% distribution.

However, less than 3% of the panel had tried the product but more than 19% of those had made a repeat purchase.

Things are not looking quite so rosy for Nestlé’s Kit Kat Kubes.

Launched in September last year, distribution of the newcomer reached a peak of 69% in November, but the figure had fallen to 54% by last month.

However, it is not all bad news: more than 12% of the consumer panel had tried Nestlé’s Kit Kat Kubes and an impressive 30% of those returned for a second purchase.