Consumer Preferences Drive Product Innovations for Mars Chocolate and Wrigley

Mars and Wrigley unveil more than 20 new items at 2016 NACS show.

ATLANTA, Oct. 19, 2016 (PRNewswire) — Mars Chocolate North America and Wrigley announced today an industry-leading lineup of new products that will hit store shelves in the coming months, including M&M'S Caramel Chocolate Candies and Orbit White chewing gum. These innovations will join newcomers MALTESERS Candies, SNICKERS & Hazelnut Bar, three new flavors of gluten-free goodnessknows snack squares, two new flavors of DOVE Fruit, TWIX White Chocolate Cookie Bars, Skittles Trick Plays, Juicy Fruit America Pop, Doublemint Perfectly Sweet and Extra and 5 gum Mega Packs. These new items will premiere at the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) Show in Atlanta this week.

"We are laser-focused on involving our customers and shoppers in our decisions. We're listening, sharing insights and evolving to meet their needs," says Tim LeBel, president of Sales for Mars Chocolate North America. "For example, we know that more consumers are sharing now more than ever, which has grown the Bite-Sized candy subcategory. Based on consumer and customer feedback, we're converting laydown bags to a redesigned stand-up pouch format for M&M'S Brand Candies, SNICKERS Bites and TWIX Bites. This conversion aims to transform the candy aisle by aligning packaging sizes and names across Mars' bite-sized portfolio. This will make it easier for retailers to promote and merchandise across brands, plus it will improve the shopping experience for consumers."

"The driving force behind our innovation is consumer choice. We dial into what consumers seek from our brands and implement our category-leading shopper insights to help our retail partners merchandise products to satisfy their shoppers' needs," said Edward Taylor, VP U.S. Sales and Operations for Wrigley. "Wrigley's new innovations intend to help grow the category by delivering relevant products that meet shoppers' needs. We know that consumers are often running low on gum, so we're giving them more gum in their favorite brands with the 35-stick Extra® and 5 gum® Mega Packs, and the new 40-count Orbit White soft chew that helps keep teeth white. We're also giving shoppers fun ways to celebrate their favorite occasions, from summer holidays to game day, with exclusive Skittles® America Mix, Juicy Fruit® America Pop and Skittles Trick Plays."  

New items Wrigley will feature at the NACS Show include:

  • Orbit® White: Orbit is introducing Orbit White, an all-new mint soft chew that is proven to help keep teeth white. Orbit White comes in a soft chew form, bigger in size than current Orbit pellets, and will be offered in two sugarfree flavors, Spearmint and Peppermint. (January 2017, $3.49 for 40-count bottles)
  • Doublemint® Perfectly Sweet: Doublemint Perfectly Sweet offers a new choice for consumers seeking gum sweetened only with real sugar and provides the taste people expect and love from Doublemint gum. (December 2016, $0.68 for 12-stick envelope pack)
  • Juicy Fruit® America Pop: Tapping into the success of this summer's special-edition Skittles America Mix, Juicy Fruit will launch new Juicy Fruit America Pop next summer. Each stick contains a blend of Cherry, Lemon and Blue Raspberry flavors channeling the delicious flavor of the red, white and blue ice pops. (May 2017, $1.19 for the 15-stick Slim Pack® and $2.69 for the Multipack with three 15-stick Slim Pack®)
  • Skittles® Trick Plays: Skittles is adding a fun twist on the popular football strategy with Skittles Trick Plays, which will keep fans guessing when the Skittles' colors on the outside don't match the flavors on the inside. Available for a limited time only, Trick Plays will be in stores just in time to engage with fans during the 2017 NFL season. (Early 2017, $0.99 for Single Pack)
  • Extra® and 5 gum® Mega Packs: Wrigley is extending its successful Mega Pack line to include Extra Peppermint and 5 gum as Front End Bulk is a fast-growing segment of gum. The Mega Pack holds over twice as much gum as a standard 15-stick pack, so consumers do not have to worry about running out as 50 percent of consumers are out of stock on a daily basis. (June 2017, $2.49 for the Extra Mega Pack and $2.99 for the 5 gum Mega Pack).
  • New Seasonal Items across brands including Skittles® Cauldron for Halloween, Life Savers Wint-O-Green Candy Canes and Skittles® Book of Awesome for the holidays as well as Altoids® Love Tins for Valentine's Day and Starburst Ice Cream Flavors Jelly Beans for Easter.

New items Mars Chocolate will display at the NACS Show include:

  • M&M'S® Caramel Chocolate Candies. The biggest launch in M&M'S® Brand history, this innovative treat features a creamy caramel center covered in delicious milk chocolate, enclosed in a colorful candy shell. Caramel is the fastest growing flavor segment in food, growing 15 percent in 2015. (April 2017, $1.09-$1.39 for 1.41-ounce Singles, $1.69-$1.99 for 2.83-ounce Share Size, $2.99-$3.99 for 9.9-ounce Sharing Size SUP)
  • Three New Flavors of Gluten-Free goodnessknows® snack squares. Building on its 2015 national launch, goodnessknows® snack squares adds three new flavors to its popular lineup that combines fruits, whole nuts and dark chocolate: Blueberry & Almond, Mixed Berry & Almond and Strawberry & Peanut. (December 2016, $1.59 - $1.99 for 1.2-ounce singles, $4.99 - $6.99 for a five-pack carton)
  • MALTESERS® Candies. As the #1 bite-sized chocolate brand in the U.K., this treat features a crispy, airy center, wrapped in a smooth, mouth-watering, chocolatey covering. (January 2017, SRP: $1.09-$1.39 for 1.3-ounce Singles; $1.00 - $1.70 for 3.0-ounce Theater Box; $1.80 - $2.40 for 3.52-ounce Peg Bag; $4.99 - $5.99 for 14.5-ounce Tub; $9.48 - $9.99 for 31.0-ounce Tub)
  • SNICKERS® & Hazelnut Bar satisfies with everything consumers love about SNICKERS®—peanuts, caramel and nougat covered in milk chocolate—with the addition of delicious hazelnuts. (December 2016, $.99 - $1.09 for 1.76-ounce Single, $1.69-$1.79 for 3.23-ounce 2 to Go)
  • DOVE® Fruit Mixed Berries Dipped in DOVE® Dark Chocolate. Featuring strawberries, blueberries and cranberries, this new flavor variety is the perfect combination of real fruit and America's #1 DOVE® Dark Chocolate. (December 2016, $3.99 - $4.29 for 5.5-ounce SUP)
  • DOVE® Fruit Dark Chocolate Cherry & Sea Salt Almond. Building on the popular DOVE® Fruit Cherry -- which was a top seller last year -- this new offering combines real cherries with the #1 nut in America -- almonds. (December 2016, $3.99 - $4.29 for 5.5-ounce SUP)
  • TWIX® White Chocolate Cookie Bars feature two crunchy cookie bars covered with smooth caramel and enrobed in creamy white chocolate. (Limited edition - October 2016, $0.99-$1.09 for a single package of two bars)
  • M&M'S® Brand Ice Cream Bars feature chopped M&M'S® Milk Chocolate Candies inside reduced fat vanilla ice cream, all smothered in creamy milk chocolate. (December 2016, SRP $1.79 for a 2.64-ounce single and $3.99 for a box of six 1.63-ounce bars)
  • New Seasonal Items span each brand portfolio, from TWIX® Brand Minis Cane for the Holidays to M&M'S® Milk Chocolate Bottles with graphics for Valentine's Day and Easter.

In addition to new product innovations, Wrigley and Mars Chocolate will introduce several co-branded initiatives at the show, including "The Candy Bowl" program that builds on the success of last year's inaugural joint Super Bowl promotion. The companies will also share details on their merchandising tools and insights, which are already being implemented with more than 18,000 retailers and provide customized recommendations on strategic product placements to maximize sales. These collaborative initiatives reflect the recent announcement from parent company, Mars, Inc., about the intent to combine the Chocolate and Wrigley segments to create Mars Wrigley Confectionery. The combination will help deliver greater value to customers, and enable the segment to address consumer trends and insights holistically in what is increasingly seen as one global confections category.

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