Mars Launching Milky Way French Vanilla & Caramel Bar

Limited-edition line extension is first since Simply Caramel Bar

HACKETTSTOWN, N.J. -- To extend the brand's reach,Mars in February 2013 will roll out a limited-edition Milky Way brand flavor--the French Vanilla & Caramel Bar--which combines caramel, French vanilla-flavored nougat and milk chocolate.

The Milky Way French Vanilla & Carmel Bar will be the brand's first new flavor offering since the launch of Milky Way Simply Caramel Bar three years ago, and sales of that product remain strong, the company said.

This new offering leverages the strength of the caramel segment, which is 16% of the chocolate category, according to IRI data, and capitalizes on the vanilla trend and helps grow the vanilla flavor segment, which SymphonyIRI data shows is outpacing growth in all major categories.

A digital/social media campaign on Facebook will support the introduction, along with public relations. The company said that it will provide a variety of displays, including mixed singles floorstands and counter units, to attract consumers and drive sales for retailers.

Research shows that consumers are willing to try new flavors from brands they already know, and in testing, 70% of consumers said they would definitely or probably purchase Milky Way French Vanilla & Caramel Bar, according to Nielsen BASES data.

The suggested retail price for the 1.72-oz. bar will be $1.09.

Mars Chocolate North America, Hackettstown, N.J., is the North American chocolate operations of Mars Inc. Based in McLean, Va., Mars Inc. has net sales of more than $30 billion and six business segments including Petcare, Chocolate, Wrigley, Food, Drinks and Symbioscience.

Mars brands include Chocolate: M&M's, Snickers, Dove, Galaxy, Mars, Milky Way and Twix; Petcare: Pedigree, Whiskas, Sheba, Cesar and Royal Canin; Wrigley: Orbit, Extra, Starburst, Doublemint and Skittles; Food: Uncle Ben's, Dolmio, Ebly, Masterfoods and Seeds of Change; Drinks: Alterra Coffee Roasters, The Bright Tea Co., Klix and Flavia; and Symbioscience: Seramis, Cirku and Cocoavia.