M&M's Brand Snack Mix Named a Product of the Year

Called most innovative in the Candy & Snacks category

HACKETTSTOWN, N.J. -- Mars Chocolate North America has announced that M&M's Brand Snack Mix was named the 2013 Product of the Year in the candy and snacks category by Product of the Year USA. The brand accepted the award during a special ceremony in New York City on Tuesday.

"Product of the Year recognition is especially sweet since it's decided by consumers," said Roy Benin, chief consumer officer for Mars Chocolate North America. "We think it's a great addition to our product lineup as it satisfies those looking for a creamy, crunchy, sweet and salty snack, all in one bag."

M&M's Brand Snack Mix features three core varieties: M&M's Brand Milk Chocolate Candies Snack Mix includes M&M's Brand Milk Chocolate Candies, mini chocolate chip cookies, peanuts and mini pretzel twists; M&M's Brand Dark Chocolate Candies Snack Mix features M&M's Brand Dark Chocolate Candies, raisins, almonds and mini pretzel twists; and M&M's Brand Peanut Chocolate Candies Snack Mix includes M&M's Brand Peanut Chocolate Candies, mini shortbread cookies, almonds and mini pretzel twists.

Hosted in 32 countries, Product of the Year is the world's largest consumer-voted program that recognizes innovation in consumer-packaged goods. Finalists for Product of the Year were judged on four key elements: appeal of innovation, usage, satisfaction and purchase intent. M&M's Brand Snack Mix was selected winner of the Candy & Snacks category by securing high marks across the board, particularly in satisfaction.

Consumers cited the combination of roasted peanuts, oven-baked mini cookies and golden pretzel twists as the perfect sweet and salty addition to any party.

This marks the fifth year that Product of the Year was conducted in the United States, with more than 50,000 American shoppers voting on products in a survey conducted by TNS, a custom research agency. According to the 2011 Product of the Year US Shoppers Survey, 68% of shoppers say a consumer-voted award means more for a new product than an expert's opinion.

Established 25 years ago in France, Product of the Year currently operates in 28 countries, backed by the votes of 60,000 consumers. Product of the Year accepts entries every year from consumer packaged goods (CPGs) that demonstrate innovation and were launched within the previous year. Entered products are then placed into specific categories such as food, beverages, personal care, household care and others, with a product then being chosen as a winner in its category through a nationally representative online study.

Mars Chocolate 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.