The Aussie Yowie is set to invade the United States.
Yowie, a chocolate treat encasing toy animals, will go on sale at the world’s biggest retailer Walmart, despite a US ban on sweets with embedded toys because of choking risks.
The ban, which dates back to the early 1930s, has kept rival Kinder Surprise from selling its chocolate treats in the US.
However, Perth-based Yowie has jumped this hurdle by designing a special capsule and was granted the only patent for a chocolate-encased toy by the US Food and Drug Administration last year.
Shares in Yowie on the Australian stock market have rallied after the company confirmed on Tuesday that the checkouts of more than 1,500 Walmart supermarkets across the US, including at Walmart Supercentres, will sell its chocolates from March.
Yowies shares were up 0.79 per cent, or 0.5 cents, at 64.0 cents at the close.
Yowie has been handed a strong competitive advantage in a marketplace where rival, Italian-based Ferrero Group, the maker of the better-known global chocolate egg Kinder Surprise, is banned.
The deal follows a successful trial of Yowies at Walmart’s Texas supermarkets last year.
Walmart is the largest company in the world and the largest grocery retailer in the US.
“A successful rollout into Walmart stores is endorsement of the company’s strategic approach to the US market,” a statement from Yowie said.
The Yowie chocolate characters resemble Australian animals, including the kangaroo and wombat, and are the creations of best-selling authors Bryce Courtenay and Geoff Pike.
Inside the chocolates are replicas of wild animals, many of which are threatened species.
Yowie’s website says it’s primary mission is to education children and adults about ecology and the environment.
The chocolate brand was produced in 1993 by Kidcorp and Cadbury ANZ but Yowie Group formed in 1995 and the company first floated on ASX in December, 2012.