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Novel frozen candy bar spawns new segment as British ice cream competition heats up.

Novel Frozen Candy Bar Spawns New Segment As British Ice Cream Competition Heats Up

Publicity works with the speed of light, especially in the ice cream industry. Only last June (1988), the U.K. division of the international Mars Group won one of the prestigious Innovation Awards at the World Frozen Food Congress in Nice. The innovation was an ice cream Mars Bar: chocolate and fudge surrounding the regular ingredients, but vanilla ice cream. Suddenly the word was around that ice cream and confectionary were obvious soul mates and a new segment or seam was ready to be developed.

Walls came in with Bonanza, choc bars with roasted peanuts, soft caramel and smooth ice cream and looking for all the world like Mars Bars but at a much lower price. Meanwhile Findus were in the same section of the cabinets, with Anticipation...a dairy ice cream dessert with fruit sauce toppings.

Other new lines seen in U.K. Safeway cabinets in the same genre were Tia Maria liqueur dairy ice cream gateau; sorbet champenoisse and passion fruit from the Real Ice Cream Company; Safeway's own "Creamery Fare" creme de menthe dairy ice cream and sorbet naturel; Horton strawberry dessert.

Little of this fits in with today's healthy eating concepts, but like the yogurt dessert dish this reporter tried in a Georgia Baskin Robbins the other day, 300 calories slips down as a treat when it's real ice cream or creamy yogurt.

Yogurt has not yet caught the public imagination in Britain as it has in the U.S., where many ice cream companies are turning to frozen yogurt for growth. A fad in the 1970s, frozen yogurt went into a prolonged slump because many people didn't like the tart taste. But, reformulated, frozen yogurt has become a wild success. The difference is that today's rendition generally has far less live yogurt culture, so it tastes more like ice cream.

Market leader TCBY Entrprises Inc., which had sales of just $1.8m in 1983, expects to report volume of nearly $90m for this fiscal year. Yogurt makers are using the hard sell against ice cream. "Say goodbye to high calories. Say goodbye to ice cream," declares one commercial. And it will soon launch another assault when it debuts a no-cholesterol yogurt.

PHOTO : Wall's frozen Bonanza bars with soft caramel and nuts sell for 135p per five-pack box.

PHOTO : Relatively new to U.K. retail cases is Anticipation. The Findus product, priced at 199p

PHOTO : per 750 ml box, boasts real dairy ice cream wrapped around blackcurrant sorbet and topped

PHOTO : with sauce.
COPYRIGHT 1989 E.W. Williams Publications, Inc.
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Author:Kemp, Graham
Publication:Quick Frozen Foods International
Date:Oct 1, 1989
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