l Bouchard l'Escaut, manufacturer of high quality Belgian chocolates, plans to become a mainstream brand in the premium sector to rival the likes of Guylian and Lindt. Its first retail offering, which debuts this month, is Croquant des Courses - a pack of 12 milk, white and dark Belgian chocolates with a smooth filling in the shape of a horse's head. Sales and marketing director Peter Torode says the chocolates are a popular item in the equestrian sector. Luxury Belgian chocolate bars are also being introduced. l Since its relaunch last year, GF Lovell has gained significant branded and own label business following its investment in a new product development strategy. Its launches over the year include 20p pocket money' chocolate bars ­ Milky Lunch, Orange Whip, Double Chocolate Whip, Dark & Coffee and Dark and Citrus. Its pick n mix' line has gained wider distribution. l Green & Black's organic chocolate is carving a growing market for its environmentally conscious products. Its Soil Association-certified range is made from Fair Trade beans from central American rainforest farmers that are free of pesticide residues and genetically modified ingredients. From the original dark chocolate made from 70% cocoa solids, the range has expanded to include milk, white, mint, hazelnut & currant and spicy varieties. l Fox's is moving its Echo chocolate biscuit bar snack, launched in January, into the confectionery arena as an out of home' snack. Marketing director Clare Field says the indulgent snack overlaps between biscuits and confectionery. "It's our first attempt to tap into this market, and we see it delivering significant incremental sales to the confectionery category." l This autumn, Paynes is supporting its leading brand Poppets with an £8.6m trade giveaway. Every outer dispatched from September to November will carry a leaflet offering retailers the opportunity to receive £50 off their next holiday. It also has a Get on board with Poppets' promotional campaign for teenagers underway which has already helped boost sales to £1m a month. l Sugar-free mini mint brand Smint is now available in a bigger size. Its new Mega Pack contains 120 pastilles for rsp £1.99, a 30% saving on the current 40 pastille size (rsp 99p). Brand manager Alex Armstrong says the new pack does not cannibalise 40 pastille pack sales. l The Day Chocolate Company says ethical consumers are snapping up its Divine and Dubble Fair Trade chocolate countlines and it now has new listings in Shell and Whistlestop. Dubble bears the Comic Relief logo ­ the only product to do so permenently ­ which has given it enormous brand equity, says the company. It's now launching dark chocolate countlines with 70% cocoa solids made from Ghanaian beans. {{FOCUS SPECIALS }}