Mars extends branding into 'healthy' drinks sector

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Nutrition, Milk, Mars incorporated

US chocolate maker Mars has licensed a number of its confectionery
brands to compatriot Bravo! Foods, which will roll them out as
vitamin-enhanced milk drinks targeting the growing market for
healthy and indulgent products.

Bravo!​ will now be responsible for Milky Way, Starburst and 3 Musketeers single-serve, fortified milk products, which it will sell under its own Slammers label.

The Slammers Milky Way product will be made with reduced-fat fortified milk, Starburst will be a blend of low-fat milk and natural juice - initially strawberry, peach and orange - and 3 Musketeers will be made with low-fat milk and will have no added sugar.

"These are some of the most popular and recognised brands in the nation,"​ said Roy Warren, CEO of Bravo! Foods. "Each of these milk products will feature packaging that matches the candy brand with which it is associated."​ He added that the line should be available to ship to its national distribution network in the autumn.

Bryce Boynton, account manager at the company, said that all these products contained "10 essential vitamins and all the benefits of milk"​. However, he admitted there was something of a mixed message being given out because of the link up between a so-called healthy product and confectionery.

"Masterfoods [a subsidiary of Mars] and Bravo! are two separate companies, though, and we have signed up with them for the brand recognition,"​ said Boynton.

Bravo! was positioning itself as a "better-for-you"​ company, Boynton said, and that the link up with the confectionery company did not detract from that.

"The trend in the US is towards health products, especially in the milk industry,"​ he said. "Our role is to provide better-for-you products - they are all made from flavoured milk and nutritious, but are not extreme health products."

Mars has already rolled out a number of its confectionery brands as drinks, which have proved particularly popular with sweet-toothed consumers in the UK. Mars, Milky Way, Galaxy, Maltesers and Flyte are all available as drinks there, either in powdered format or, more usually, as ready-to-drink variants for the indulgent, on-the-go snacking market, rather than the health sector targeted by Bravo!

Related topics: Processing & Packaging, Mars

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