Werther's Original is making a play for the diet market by launching its first sugar-free hard-boiled sweet.

The 90g bags are going into stores now in time for dieting resolutions for the new year. The product, which is also targeted at diabetics, is understood to be the first of several launches planned for 2008 for the £19.4m brand.

The product, which has an rsp of 95p, has taken 18 months to develop in order to accurately replicate the creamy taste of the main product.

"There is no need to compromise on taste for the sake of health. In fact, taste tests have found that 81% of respondents said the taste was good or very good," said trade marketing manager Gabrielle Bond.

The product has already gained listings in Asda, Sainsbury's, Tesco and Waitrose, where it will run two-for-one promotions in January. The launch will be supported with a consumer press campaign in the new year.