The Belgian chocolate-coated Chokablok on Sticks will launch into Tesco stores nationwide from 3 October in three flavours: Peanut Butter Nutter, The Chocolate Extremist and Billionaires Dynamite (rsp: £2.79/3 bars).
The tub version of Chokablok launched in June this year and has racked up sales of £1.5m. The range comprising Gold Digger Dynamite, Cookie Dough Mon-Star, Billionaires Shortcake, Cherry Bomb Brownie and The Chocolate Extremist retails at £3.99, but has been promoted by the retailer since launch. Tesco is adding two tubs to the portfolio next week: Peanut Butter Nutter and The Rocky Road of Love.
Chokablok is sold widely across Tesco's UK stores and earlier this year rolled out to Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia. "The customer response to Chokablok has been overwhelmingly positive," said Chokablok buying manager Lucy Tobin, who claimed the brand was on track to double its £3m sales target during its first year.
Chokablok was becoming a recognisable brand in its own right, but taking Magnum on would not be an easy task, said brand expert Richard Williams, chairman of Williams Murray. "I don't think Chokablok will be giving [Magnum owner] Unilever sleepless nights just yet," he added.
This summer, Chokablok was pulled from Tesco's website after supplies ran low. Although sales have been strong since launch, experts have questioned whether such venture brands will benefit Tesco's bottom line or drive significant innovation.
"Ice cream brands commit to marketing support that Chokablok can't get anywhere near for the foreseeable future and, if it does, Tesco will surely be wiping out the cost efficiencies that made private label attractive in the first place," said Joe Falter, partner of Cogn8, brand development and management consultancy for retail.