Goodness Knows What Mars Will Come Up With Next

Expands product portfolio with new snacks, merchandising displays, more

Mars goodnessknows snacks (CSP Daily News / Convenience Stores / Gas Stations)

CHICAGO -- Mars Chocolate North America is unveiling several new products, along with new consumer promotions and merchandising displays, at the National Confectioners Association (NCA) Sweets & Snacks Expo in Chicago this week.

It has announced the nationwide launch of goodnessknows snack squares. As part of Mars’ long-term commitment to health and well-being, goodnessknows is made with whole nuts, real fruits, toasted oats and dark chocolate. It is divided into four squares per serving for 150 total calories. It contains no artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners. Each goodnessknows snack square is nestled in a layer made with dark chocolate, and each serving contains 100 milligrams of naturally occurring cocoa flavanols.

Available in Cranberry Almond Dark Chocolate, Apple Almond & Peanut Dark Chocolate and Peach & Cherry Almond Dark Chocolate, goodnessknows Snack Squares are made with dark chocolate, slow-roasted whole almonds, toasted oats and real fruit. (July 2015, $1.39-$1.59 for 1.2-oz. singles, $4.99-$6.99 for a five-pack carton).

"Healthier ways to snack are important right now—and people want it all when it comes to taste, convenience and nutrition," said Kerry Cavanaugh, senior brand director of the goodnessknows brand. "This puts goodnessknows squarely at the center of a huge trend, and in addition to all of the real ingredients in goodnessknows, the individual snackable squares, dark chocolate and cocoa flavanols truly sets us apart from other snack bars out there right now."

Other new items include:

  • COMBOS Baked Snacks Sweet & Salty Chocolate Fudge Pretzel features creamy fudge filling surrounded by a salty, crunchy pretzel shell. (November 2015, $2.29 for 6.0-oz. medium bags).
  • The cranberry and cherry variants of Real Fruit Dipped in DOVE Dark Chocolate will be available in a new size: convenient, resealable 17-oz. standup pouches. (October 2015, $8.99-$10.99 for 17-oz. large standup pouch).
  • M&M's Brand To-Go Bottles are re-closable and reusable bottles with 3.5 ounces of M&M'S Brand Milk Chocolate Candies and M&M's Brand Peanut Chocolate Candies. (November 2015, $2.50-$3.50 for 3.5-oz. bottle).
  • M&M's Brand will re-launch the M&M's Brand Box Pack format in March 2016 with major marketing that includes the summer promotion "M&M's Brand Movie Ticket Mania."  (March 2016, $1.00-$1.99 per box pack).
  • Milky Way Brand Marshmallow with Caramel Bar (July 2015, $1.09-$1.39 for 1.72 oz. single)
  • Milky Way Midnight Bar will be available in a 2 To Go size enclosed in a resealable twist-wrap. It contains caramel and vanilla-flavored nougat coated in dark chocolate. (December 2015, $1.69-$1.99 for 2.83-oz. 2 To Go)
  • Snickers Brand Mixed Nuts Bar is a mix of peanuts, almonds and hazelnuts combined with Snickers Brand caramel and nougat, coated with milk chocolate. (November 2015, $1.09-$1.39 for 1.76-oz. single).
  • Starburst Brand Orange Sorbet Bars (February 2015, $2.99 for a four-count multipack)

Several seasonal innovations, with new flavors, packaging and displays, will offer retailers more ways to continue the sales growth of seasonally wrapped confections.

In addition to seasonal displays, Mars Chocolate will exhibit everyday display options, from traditional counter units and shippers to a Mixed Singles Skinny Tower that requires minimal floor space. Retailers also will see an option to display M&M's Brand Milk Chocolate Candies: the Single Face Carton. This new format allows for merchandising on the shelf, on the wall and on the counter.

"At the show, we'll also share with retailers our promotional calendar," said LeBel. "One of the ways that Mars Chocolate connects with our consumers is through promotions that encourage relationships with friends and family. We call them 'key moments' that bring family and friends together, whether they're celebrating holidays, sporting events or just sharing time."

Mars Chocolate upcoming key moments include:  NASCAR, Summer Road Trip, NFL, Holiday on the Go and Make Super Bowl 50 Even Sweeter. 

Another key moment Mars supports is "Red Nose Day" on May 21. This campaign raises money to transform the lives of children living in poverty in the United States and overseas.

Mars Chocolate North America, a unit of Mars Inc., is based in Hackettstown, N.J. Mars Inc., McLean, Va., has net sales of more than $33 billion and six business segments including Petcare, Chocolate, Wrigley, Food, Drinks, Symbioscience. Mars brands include Petcare (Pedigree, Royal Canin, Whiskas, Kitekat, Banfield Pet Hospital and Nutro); Chocolate (M&M's, Snickers, Dove, Galaxy, Mars, Milky Way and Twix); Wrigley (Doublemint, Extra, Orbit and 5 chewing gums, Skittles and Starburst candies and Altoids and Lifesavers mints); Food (Uncle Ben's, Dolmio, Ebly, Masterfoods, Seeds of Change and Royco); Drinks (Alterra Coffee Roasters, The Bright Tea Co., Klix and Flavia); and Symbioscience (Cocoavia and Wisdom Panel).