Mars Inc. said a range of new Mars Chocolate products are slated to roll out in December, including three new flavors of gluten-free goodnessknows snack squares (blueberry/almond, mixed berry/almond and strawberry/peanut), the Snickers & Hazelnut Bar, Dove Fruit Mixed Berries Dipped in Dove Dark Chocolate, Dove Fruit Dark Chocolate Cherry & Sea Salt Almond, Twix White Chocolate Cookie Bars and M&M’S Ice Cream Bars.
Also due out in December from Wrigley is Doublemint Perfectly Sweet, which the company said provides a new choice for consumers seeking gum sweetened only with real sugar.
Mars premiered the new items at the National Association of Convenience Stores Show in Atlanta.
“We are laser-focused on involving our customers and shoppers in our decisions. We’re listening, sharing insights and evolving to meet their needs,” stated 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 candies, Snickers Bites and Twix Bites,” he explained. “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.”
Both Wrigley and Mars Chocolate have lined up a series of new offerings to launch at stores next year, led by M&M’s Caramel Chocolate Candies and Orbit White chewing gum.
Coming out in January will be Orbit White, a mint soft chew that Wrigley said is proven to help keep teeth white. The sugar-free candy will be offered in spearmint and peppermint flavors. And slated to hit stores in April is M&M’s Caramel Chocolate Candies, described as the biggest launch in M&M’s history. The candy features a creamy caramel center covered in milk chocolate and enclosed in a colorful candy shell. Mars noted that caramel is the fastest-growing flavor segment in food, growing 15% in 2015.
Also due out from Mars Chocolate is Maltesers Candies in January. The company said the crispy chocolate candy with an airy center is the No. 1 bite-sized chocolate brand in the United Kingdom.
Early 2017 will also see Wrigley roll out a limited edition of its Skittles Trick Plays that the company said will keep fans guessing when the candy’s outside colors don’t match the flavors on the inside. Slated for May and June, respectively, are the Juicy Fruit America Pop red, white and blue ice pop-flavored gum and Extra peppermint and 5 gum Mega Packs.
New seasonal items include Twix Minis Canes for the holidays, M&M’s Milk Chocolate Bottles with graphics for Valentine’s Day and Easter, Life Savers Wint-O-Green Candy Canes, Skittles Book of Awesome for the holidays, Altoids Love Tins for Valentine’s Day and Starburst Ice Cream Flavor Jelly Beans for Easter.
“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,” commented Edward Taylor, vice president of 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,” he noted. “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.”