YORK confectionery giant Nestlé is to launch a new raisin-and-biscuit version of one of its best-loved children’s brands, Milkybar.

The new bar, which was conceived and developed in record time at the company’s York complex, is intended to extend the brand’s appeal to adults.

A spokesman said it was one of the biggest and most exciting confectionery launches of 2010, and would transform the white chocolate market, currently worth £70 million a year in sales.

He said the bar would be publicised by a £7 million media campaign, the biggest amount ever spent on Milkybar, which already has a 60 per cent share of the white chocolate market.

“The campaign includes new TV and outdoor advertising as well as significant digital support, which is all specifically tailored for adults,” he said.

Graham Walker, Nestlé UK trade communications manager, said this was the biggest news for the bar in years. “Traditionally enjoyed by kids, Milkybar is also incredibly popular with adults,” he said.

“In fact, more than 75 per cent of consumers like white chocolate and over 60 per cent of Milkybar singles are bought by adults for their own enjoyment.”

He said Nestlé expected the new bar’s packaging to attract even more adults and said the new launch provided further evidence of the commitment Nestlé had to York, and helped to safeguard jobs.

• By the time the bar is launched at the end of this month the York factory will have produced 570 tons of Milkybar raisin and biscuit – equating to more than 15 million bars.

• The production will involve 467 tons of white chocolate, 68 tons of raisins and 34 tons of biscuits.

• Every 24 hours, Nestlé will produce 860,000 bars, totalling 32 tons.

• Laid end to end, the new bars would stretch 1,725 kms – further than from York to Rome.