Häagen-Dazs is entering into the handheld category with Stick Bars.

Available exclusively to the convenience channel in single packs, the product will be supported by a heavyweight 360 degree marketing campaign that includes PR, word-of-mouth, experiential partnerships, digital media activation and in-store point of sale material.

Retailing at £2.29, Häagen-Dazs Stick Bars are available in three flavours. The salted caramel variant features salted caramel ice cream with a salted caramel swirl and salted caramel brittle, all coated in a milk chocolate shell. The white almond flavour comprises vanilla ice cream with crunchy almonds and a white chocolate shell. The vanilla caramel almond variant comprises vanilla ice cream with a caramel swirl and a milk chocolate shell with crunchy almond.

Arjoon Bose, marketing manager (UK & Northern Europe) said: “Our research and development teams have ensured this breakthrough innovation meets demanding UK shopper needs, giving consumers a luxury stick bar that offers more than just a chocolate hit on the outside. Our new game-changing technology allows us to capture Häagen-Dazs ice cream flavour and texture inside our stick bar, enveloped in a coating of our rich signature Belgian chocolate with surprising inclusions like salted caramel brittle and crunchy almonds.”

Bose added: “Our on-the-go stick bars are ideal for convenience channel partners looking to boost their impulse ice-cream category. We are convinced we are offering them a unique point of difference and a clear competitive edge with the quality credentials of this NPD. Retailers can take full advantage of the launch and drive significant incremental sales via this ‘out of home’ consumption occasion by stocking up on our new range and utilising the extensive choice of bespoke POS to further maximise stand-out and visibility in-store.”

As well as the above the line campaign, Häagen-Dazs will be helping to drive further awareness with national sampling and consumer advocacy programmes and a raft of in-store display solutions.

Launched to great success in France last year, Häagen-Dazs’ Stick Bars are already worth €10.4m, with almost a third of consumers repeat purchasing .

The Ice Cream category is worth £132.7m, with Häagen-Dazs performing strongly and growing 2.9% year-on-year, claimed General Mills. The company said that sticks, cones and wafers were worth £99.1m and dominate the convenience sector. But with value sales in decline, down 5.9%, it claimed that innovation was required to drive growth.

The firm has high hopes for the new product, reporting that its 500ml packs of Häagen-Dazs salted caramel ice cream were performing well, growing 81% year-on-year with a retail sales value of £4.1m.