Launched in 2018, Wowsomes had 30% less sugar than similar chocolate products.
The manufacturer’s discontinuation represents the second flop of a high-profile healthier confectionery launch in just over a year. In late 2018, Mars Wrigley shelved its “biggest brand launch for 20 years”, Goodness Knows, after just 18 months.
Describing challenges for healthier launches, Mike Nichols, of Costcutter Dringhouses in York, said: “Cadbury also released a similar product with reduced sugar. However, we’ve not seen huge demand, as they just don’t taste the same as a chocolate bar with more sugar. When customers buy a bar, they usually want the full-sugar version.”
Jimmy Patel, of Premier Jimmy’s Store in Northampton, added: “Customers don’t really want the reduced versions. They buy them as a treat.”
Nestlé accepted that Milkybar Wowsomes “did not meet consumer expectations”, but added it had developed “even higher-performing, more versatile and affordable sugar-reduction technology”.
“We are now concentrating our efforts on a rapid rollout of this solution. The first launches using the new technology are scheduled to take place in mid-2020,” the company said.