LAS VEGAS -- Flavor innovation is a vehicle for success in the candy business, and Mars Wrigley Confectionery debuted fresh takes on traditional products for convenience-store retailers at the 2018 NACS Show with one goal: to drive c-store sales and total category growth.
“Over 50% of all confectionery purchases are decided in-stores,” said Jim Dodge, vice president of the c-store channel for Mars Wrigley. “But only 30% of shoppers walk down the confectionery aisle, and when they do, they only stop for a short time. With this in mind, Mars Wrigley Confectionery has made key updates to the shelving principles focused on attracting c-store visitors to the confections aisle and ensure they can easily find what they want.”
Here are five new candy flavors the Chicago-based company is focusing on to spark c-store sales …
Photographs courtesy of Mars Wrigley Confectionery
Mars Wrigley’s newest M&M’s variety, Hazelnut M&M’s, is not by accident. The hazelnut flavor profile is a $1.3 billion segment and is growing at a 4% rate—second only to caramel, Dodge told CSP Daily News at the NACS Show. The circular candy is set to debut in April 2019 and features a creamy hazelnut center, covered by milk chocolate and wrapped in the brand’s signature candy shell.
3. Birthday Cake
Sales for birthday cake candy flavors have increased more than 29% since 2017, said Dodge. Additionally, the flavor has seen a 260% increase in trend engagement among millennials during the same period. As a result, Mars Wrigley will launch its first new 3 Musketeers variety in six years. The Birthday Cake flavored bar will come in both standard bar form and a share-size bag of minis early next year.
Cookie flavors accounted for 50% of confectionery innovation in 2017, said Dodge. To leverage this trend, Mars Wrigley will launch its Twix Triple Chocolate Bar in 2019. The treat combines chocolate cookie bars and chocolate caramel and is coated in milk chocolate. It contains triple the usual amount of chocolate in a traditional Twix Bar, according to the company. Besides the Twix Bar, Mars has also launched a chocolate cookie infused with Hazelnut M&M’s—a combination of two of its flavor trends.
5. White Chocolate
Mars Wrigley will release its Snickers White Chocolate Bar in early 2019, as well as release new sizes for its M&M’s White Chocolate Peanut, which originally debuted this September. The package sizes for the latter will include singles, share size and stand-up pouch.