The UK unit of Swiss confectionery giant Nestlé is to launch a fruit-flavoured version of its Smarties confectionery brand later this year.

A spokeswoman for Nestlé Rowntree said fruity Smarties will go on sale in shops by the early summer, reported the Birmingham Post.

It will be the first chocolate-free version of the product, which has been around since 1937.

Smarties, which are made in York, England, are sugarcoated sweets with a milk chocolate centre. The sweets come in a mix of colours – red, yellow, orange, green, purple, pink, brown and blue. The orange sweet has orange flavouring in the chocolate centre.