Ryvita is spreading from savoury biscuits into sweet for the first time to compete with healthier snacks such as the McVitie's Go Ahead! range.

Available in the new year, its Muesli Crunch is made from oven-baked crispbread with currants, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, sweetened with honey and brown sugar. Unlike existing products in the range, which are commonly used as an alternative to bread, it is designed to be eaten on its own without any topping.

The development follows the brand's move into bagged snacks and is part of the company's drive to create a portfolio for all snacking occasions. Its launch will be backed by TV advertising in the new year.

The rye-based product will benefit from the fact that it is wheat-free, which will widen its appeal among those with wheat intolerance. "Consumers are continuing to ask for sweet, healthier snacks from Ryvita," said marketing director Rob Murray.