Exclusive Karen Dempsey Golden Wonder has forged a "strategic alliance" with General Mills in a £5m push to trumpet the arrival of snack brand Bugles in the UK. Both companies are confident that Bugles ­ a corn based snack that has been in the US for 30 years and is distributed across Europe ­ will shake up the UK savoury snacks market. This has seen little innovation over the past year ­ at least, not since the launch of Doritos 3D. Bugles will be available from March in multiples and independents in Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Tyne Tees regions, with national roll out in January next year. Aimed at 18 to 35 year olds, Bugles come in three flavours: cheese, salt & vinegar and BBQ beef (rsp: 27p a pack). TV advertising, sampling and instore activity will accompany national roll out of the product. General Mills is the fifth largest food company in the world. It already has a presence in the UK through Cereal Partners Worldwide (a joint venture with Nestlé) and is in the process of buying Pillsbury's UK operations. Its European distribution arm is Snack Ventures Europe, a snack joint venture with Europe, but Golden Wonder will handle the manufacture, distribution and sales of Bugles in the UK. It is investing £3m in new manufacturing equipment. Bugles is to be the first of many launches from this new partnership. Golden Wonder commercial director Paul Monk said: "The Bugles brand is the most appropriate one to start with but we are looking to launch other new brands during 2002." {{P&P }}