The Spanish makers of Chupa Chups, the world's best-selling lollipop, have responded to growing market pressure by packaging the product in toys - according to a report on ft.com.
The toy packaging comes in various forms, including plastic dynamite sticks and hand grenades, make-up kits and paint cans.
The family-owned Catalan company has had merchandising deals with Barbie dolls, the Simpsons, Pokamon and the Spice Girls. It has become adept at cheeky publicity stunts, such as sending "the first lollipop into space" with Russian astronauts in 1995.
The increased market comes as last year the company experienced its first fall in sales in ten years. Now the company's goal is to transform Chupa Chups into "the Coca-Cola of lollipops", and the packaging of the product will come to form an important part of these plans.
The company is currently trying to extend its marketing reach. By marketing in the club scene and in clothes stores, the company has expanded its "target market" of seven-to-12-year-olds in the past three years to include teenagers, who now buy more than half of its lollipops. In Russia, where Chupa Chups set up a factory 10 years ago, the company sells 1 billion lollipops a year.
Further packaging innovations are expected to be launched in the space of the year and are expected to take the innovative edge of toy packaging one step further.