M&S introduces pic'n'mix sweet range

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Pick 'n' mix sweets are to re-appear on the British high street nine months after the demise of Woolworth's. Marks & Spencer will introduce self-select sweet displays for the likes of chocolate raisins, milk bottles and flying saucers from September.

Shoppers will use small plastic shovels to pour a range of 18 different sweets into a 200g cup for £2.49 or a 300g jar for £3.49. The move follows successful store trials of traditional wrapped and unwrapped sweets in nine outlets. "Pick 'n' mix creates a bit of buzz instore and I think the fact you are really showing off the sweets evokes nostalgia and takes people back to their childhood," said Lucy Clark, product developer for M&S confectionery.

"One thing we learned was how much people really want to revisit their childhood."

Pick 'n' mix will be introduced to 100 M&S stores from this September. Woolworth's was famous for its pick 'n' mix sweets before it went bust in January.

"We started last September so we had already had the discussions about trialling it," said Mrs Clark, who said the range would have no artificial colourings.

"When Woolworth's went bust I suppose we approached things in a different way and thought it should be a bigger opportunity and not something we wanted to miss out on."

Pick 'n' mix was trialled in six stores from April along with "grab and go bags" – three bags of traditional sweets for a £1 - which also proved very popular and will be introduced in 355 stores.

Percy piglets, chocolate-flavoured popcorn, midget gems, fruit salads and foam shrimps will be among the sweets.