A supplier of thick, Spanish-style hot chocolate is taking on Cadbury and Mars by adding a cheaper plastic alternative to its premium tin in an attempt to appeal to price-conscious consumers and double sales over the next year.

The Spanish Chocolate Company currently sells its thick, Continental-style cocoa powder in a tin with a premium-looking clasp for £3.99 at Tesco and Asda as well as independent delicatessens.

Overall sales of Spanish Chocolate which contains starch in the powder to give a thicker consistency than standard cocoa drinks have doubled to £650,000 over the past year following the listings win with Asda in February, but director Shafiq Shafi said the costly packaging was hindering future growth.

Before Christmas, Spanish Chocolate will also be available in a plastic tub with an rsp of £2.99 in line with Cadbury, Green & Black's and Mars' hot chocolate offerings, said Shafi.

"The lower price of the plastic format will entice more people to the brand and help us double sales again over the next 12 months," predicted Shafi.

"In fact we predict the supermarkets will want to only stock the cheaper plastic tub, but the delis will keep the metal tin. Switching to a semi-automated packaging process will be far less costly than the current metal format, which is partially being manufactured by hand."

The Spanish Chocolate Company, which is based in Leicester and launched 14-years ago, is also introducing a thick white hot chocolate variant to shelves next year, as well as flavoured milk chocolate drinks.