Mars Chocolate North America announced a lineup of new products that will hit store shelves in the coming months, including SNICKERS Crisper and goodnessknows snack squares. These innovations will join newcomers COMBOS Baked Snacks Chocolate Fudge Pretzel, DOVE Chocolate Fruit & Nut, M&M’s Crispy Chocolate Candies, M&M’s Brand To-Go Bottles, MILKY WAY MIDNIGHT Bar 2 To Go and festive seasonal items. Mars Chocolate is unveiling these items, along with 2016 promotions and merchandising tools, at the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) Show in Las Vegas.
“SNICKERS Bar is the top-selling and fastest-turning item on shelf, so shoppers will be eager to pick up new SNICKERS Crisper,” says Tim LeBel, Vice President of Sales for Mars Chocolate North America. “This new item — along with new M&M’s Crispy Candies — answers consumers’ desire for new textures, which has created a Crispy Crunchy Segment within the Chocolate Category.”
LeBel explains that confectionery is the most responsive category to quality merchandising, so secondary displays are critical to a retailer’s success. Mars offers a wide range of display options, such as a new Counter Rack and C-store Endcap Display, both which include the core Mars and Wrigley brands.
At the NACS Show, retailers also will see a versatile option to display M&M’s Brand Milk Chocolate Candies: the Single Face Carton. This new format allows for merchandising on the shelf, on the wall, and on the counter. The smaller design creates four additional inches of shelf space, and the reduced carton count, from 48 to 36 singles, improves product shelf life by 6 weeks.
As retailers plan their merchandising strategies, LeBel reminds them to incorporate seasonal items. “All c-stores should offer a variety of seasonal confections to increase impulse purchases,” says LeBel. “Displaying seasonal in a specific area of the store will teach consumers to seek out new items in this space.” He points out that 67 percent of total annual confectionery sales across all channels occur during the four major seasons.
New items Mars Chocolate will display at the NACS Show include:
- SNICKERS Crisper combines crisped rice and peanuts topped with a layer of caramel and coated in creamy milk chocolate. Singles packs feature two pieces, each with 100 calories. (November 2015, $.99 – $1.09 for 1.41-oz. single, $1.69-$1.79 for 2.83-oz. 4 to Go, $2.69-$3.99 for 10.61-oz. Medium FUN SIZE Bag)
- goodnessknows Snack Squares — available in Cranberry Almond Dark Chocolate, Apple Almond & Peanut Dark Chocolate, and Peach & Cherry Almond Dark Chocolate — are made with whole nuts, real fruits, toasted oats and dark chocolate. (September 2015, $1.59 – $1.99, 1.2 oz. singles, $4.99-$6.99 for a five-pack carton)
- COMBOS Baked Snacks Chocolate Fudge Pretzel features a creamy fudge filling surrounded by a salty, crunchy pretzel shell. (November 2015, $2.29 for 6.0 oz. bags)
- DOVE Chocolate Fruit & Nut. Real fruit and spiced nuts joined with silky smooth DOVE Chocolate to create an explosion of flavors and textures. It will debut in three flavor combinations: Strawberry & Cocoa Almond, Blueberry & Vanilla Cashew and Raspberry & Honey Roasted Almond. (December 2015, $3.99 – $4.29 for 5.5-oz. small SUP)
- M&M’s Brand Crispy Chocolate Candies launched in January 2015 and feature a unique, crispy center covered in creamy milk chocolate, enclosed in a colorful candy shell. ($1.09-$1.39 for 1.35 oz. single, $1.69-$1.99 for 2.83 oz. Sharing Size, $2.99-$3.99 for 9.9 oz. bag, $9.49-$10.49 for 30 oz. stand-up pouch)
- M&M’s Brand To-Go Bottles are innovative, re-closable and reusable bottles containing M&M’s Brand Milk Chocolate Candies or M&M’s Brand Peanut Chocolate Candies. (November 2015, $2.50-$3.50 for 3.5 oz. bottle)
- M&M’s Brand will re-launch the M&M’s Brand Box Pack format in March 2016 with major marketing that includes the blockbuster promotion “M&M’s Brand Movie Mania.” (March 2016, $1.00-$1.99 per box pack)
- MILKY WAY MIDNIGHT Bar will be available in a 2 To Go Sharing Size. With two pieces enclosed in an innovative, resealable twist-wrap, the 2 To Go format provides consumers with portability and portion control. (December 2015, $1.69-$1.99 for 2.83 oz. 2 To Go)
- Seasonal Shapes in singles and 2 To Go formats make snacking more festive, including TWIX Brand Ghosts, Santas, Hearts and Eggs; SNICKERS Brand Pumpkins, Christmas Trees, Hearts and Eggs; and MILKY WAY Simply Caramel Bunnies.
- For Easter 2016, consumer favorite M&M’s Brand Peanut Butter Eggs will be available in a convenient 1.3-ounce pack for immediate consumption.