Mars Chocolate Offers New C-Store Products

Introducing 15 line extensions, seasonal confections

MCLEAN, Va. -- Mars Chocolate North America demonstrates recently introduced 15 new items, a revamped seasonal lineup designed specifically for convenience stores and small outlets and an innovative modular display system.

"Since c-stores have smaller footprints than other retailers, every square foot must drive profitability," said Jim Murphy, vice president of sales for Mars Chocolate North America. "Research shows that consumers want variety in their confections, so Mars is building on the success of our iconic brands by introducing 15 new flavors and size variants."

Seasonal confections are gaining popularity in c-stores, as the Seasonal Chocolate Immediate Consumption segment has grown 26% year-to-date in sales, the company said, citing IRI. Recognizing this trend, Mars will introduce a variety of treats ideal for the c-store consumer.

The company will relaunch its singles shapes portfolio, including Snickers Brand Eggs, Snickers Brand Peanut Butter Eggs and Milky Way Brand Simply Caramel Bunnies, all 1.1 ounces.

In addition to seasonal confections, Mars is also bringing out these new treats:

  • 3 Musketeers Brand Coconut Bar features the brand's signature chocolate nougat with coconut flavor, wrapped in milk chocolate (suggested retail price, $1.09; December 2011).
  • Dove Chocolate Singles Bars will relaunch in January with a wider size, 11% increased weight, new graphics and a new chocolate mould design at the same price for the two flavors of Dove Silky Smooth Milk Chocolate Singles and Dove Silky Smooth Dark Chocolate Singles (SRP $1.09; January 2012).
  • M&M's Brand Mint Dark Chocolate Candies feature mint combined with dark chocolate and coated in a crunchy candy shell (SRP $1.09; December 2011).
  • Available in three varieties, M&M's Brand Snack Mix offers a creamy-crunchy-sweet-and-salty snack in one 8-oz. resealable pouch (SRP $3.29; May 2012).
  • Snickers Brand 3X Chocolate 2 to Go Bars offer layer of roasted peanuts in chocolate caramel atop a chocolate-flavored nougat and covered in milk chocolate (SRP $1.69; December 2011).
  • Mars Ice Cream: Dovebar Mint Swirl Ice Cream with Dark Chocolate blends minty Dove Ice Cream with a ribbon of dark chocolate. The bar is then dipped in chocolate coating made with Dove Dark Chocolate (SRP $3.99; March 2012).
  • Mars Ice Cream: Milky Way Brand Chocolate Ice Cream Bars feature chocolate ice cream with a layer of caramel, then covered with a milk chocolate coating. It's available in three formats: single bars ($1.79/bar), six-packs ($4.29) and 80 calorie miniature bars ($4.29/12-pack). (March 2012).

To meet the growing consumer demand for value, portability and portion control, Mars is introducing five new shareable sizes for some of America's favorite confections. The 2 To Go and 4 To Go sizes, which include two or four bars in one package, feature a new wrapper that has memory film designed to tightly seal the remaining candy by twisting it, keeping the pieces clean and tightly wrapped.

The new sharable sizes are:

  • M&M's Brand Almond Chocolate Candies: new 2.83-oz. sharing size.
  • M&M's Brand Pretzel Chocolate Candies: new 2.83-oz. sharing size.
  • Snickers Brand Peanut Butter Squared Bars: now available as 4 to Go.

Mars is offering retailers a new merchandising solution that adds space to provide consumers more choices. The Modular Display System offers retailers the flexibility to stock the optimal candy and gum assortment anywhere, even using free air space above the counter. Setting up in less than five minutes, the modular display is durable, lasting a minimum of five years in-store, and its flexibility allows for SKU expansion to meet future needs.

Tests have shown a 10% lift against current displays, the company said.

Mars Chocolate North America is the North American chocolate operations of Mars Inc. Based in McLean, Va., Mars 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.