Indulgence, instant gratification and insufficient support sums up the chocolate spread sector. However the latter may change as the big chocolate confectionery brands reassess their role in this burgeoning sector which grew 6.7% year-on-year and is valued at almost £11.4m [Information Resources]. Ferrero UK claims more than 41.5% share and continues to be the sector's backbone, preparing to inject new life into the fixture and support for brand leader Nutella chocolate and hazelnut spread in 2002 by linking the spread with the live action Scooby-Doo movie. This hits the UK in June. Ferrero hopes the link-up will emulate its successful partnership with The Simpsons which raised the brand's profile and share by 5% to 49% during its promotional period, making it a must-have product for retailers. From March there will be Scooby-Doo collectables and, for the first time, a children's press and sampling campaign. Snapping at Nutella's heels, however, is Premier International Foods' Cadbury's Smoooth. The company has been carefully scrutinising its brands and believes Cadbury's has much more to offer. Group brand manager Michelle White says: "We are looking at the chocolate spread as there is potential there. Cadbury's has been holding its own against Mars' Milky Way spread, and we've plans for Cadbury in 2002 but not in the first half." Rival Four Square, a division of Mars, has a trio of chocolate spreads under the Galaxy, Snickers and Milky Way brands which it hopes to extend by introducing special flavours. Meanwhile Stute Foods is promoting its Choc-o-nut spread as an addition to enhance cakes, desserts and ice cream. {{FOCUS SPECIALS }}