NEWARK, N.J. — Mars Wrigley U.S. announced a new lineup of products from some of its biggest brands, including Skittles, M&M’s and Orbit, among others. These products will join Mars Wrigley’s portfolio of chocolate, fruity confections and gum brands.
Mars Wrigley unveiled these items along with insights on the state of the candy category and anticipated future trends for treats and snacks, impulse and retail during its first-ever Mars Wrigley Unboxing Hour digital event for trade media. Together, these new insights and innovative products are poised to drive growth for the category as the industry continues to adapt to the changing retail environment due to COVID-19.
“Though the ways in which people interact with treats and snacks have fundamentally changed due to the pandemic, we know people are still looking to enjoy our products during moments that matter,” said Shaf Lalani, vice president of strategic demand leadership at Mars Wrigley U.S., Newark, N.J. “So, we’re doubling down, providing data-driven consumer insights and concrete recommendations to help retailers reprioritize and redesign their in-store and online shopping experience to meet consumers on their shopping journey faster than ever before.”
Here’s a look at some of Mars Wrigley’s insights and the new products coming to shelves now and in coming months …
State of the industry
The candy and snacks industry, along with most others, needed to quickly adapt early in 2020 as people evolved their shopping habits. More consumers than ever started shopping online and began stocking up on more products than usual, including gum and confections. Retailers have been faced with myriad challenges, with the top priority being keeping consumers safe in stores while also making the shopping experience as seamless as possible through channels of choice, whether online ordering, delivery and curbside pick-up, the company said. Quickly executing consumer research to better understand the new needs of shoppers this year was a top priority for Mars Wrigley as it partnered with retailers on developing clear strategies for growth.
Mars Wrigley’s research uncovered critical consumer insights the company quickly began leveraging with retailers to create new, improved shopping experiences. With shoppers migrating to digital shopping platforms, Mars Wrigley found that there are specific days and times when people are more receptive to receiving relevant messages for certain products, including confectionery. Additionally, research found consumers are continuing to use confectionery for celebrations but they’re also purchasing their favorite products on road trips, which are on the rise, and to treat themselves at home as a way of comfort and escapism.
“Treating and snacking has changed dramatically and even more so over the last six months,” said Jim Dodge, vice president of convenience at Mars Wrigley U.S. “Not only are we continuing to see people looking for wider variety in regard to flavors and textures, but we also know they are gravitating toward familiar brands they trust.”
Extra Refreshers Peppermint
Extra launched a new flavor of its Extra Refreshers gum, adding Peppermint to its portfolio, which also includes Spearmint, Polar Ice, Tropical Mist, Mint Mix and Berry Mix. Extra Refreshers Peppermint is available at retailers nationwide in 40-count bottle.
M&M’s Mix brings together three familiar M&M flavors in one convenient package. The new offer is available in two varieties: Classic, which includes M&M’s Milk Chocolate, Peanut and Peanut Butter, and Peanut, which includes M&M’s Peanut, White Chocolate Peanut and Dark Chocolate Peanut. Available in 2.5-ounce bags.
M&M’s Sugar Cookie
Created exclusively for the 2020 holiday season, M&M’s Sugar Cookie features a white chocolate, sugar cookie-flavored shell with a crispy center. Both the flavor and texture are reminiscent of homemade holiday cookies, the company said. M&M’s Sugar Cookie hit shelves in November in time for the holiday season. Available in 1.35-ounce bags.
Skittles Smoothies return for the first time since 2005 with a new recipe that contains a creamy yogurt flavoring that gives a flavor experience reminiscent of a real smoothie, according to the company. Available in five flavors: Strawberry Banana, Raspberry, Blueberry, Peach Guava and Mango. Skittles Smoothies will be available at retailers nationwide in Singles, Share Size and Sharing Size Stand Up Pouches this winter.
Snickers Peanut Brownie
Snickers Peanut Brownie will be available nationwide beginning in January. Snickers Peanut Brownie features two individual squares, coated in the Snickers chocolate, with a layer of caramel and a chewy peanut-brownie filling. Snickers Peanut Brownie is available in Single (1.2 ounces), Share (2.4 ounces) and Sharing Stand Up Pouch (6.61 ounces) sizes.