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Mars Wrigley U.S. unveils new products and category insights at exclusive unboxing hour

By reimagining consumer experiences and introducing new innovations, the world's favorite treats and snacks maker seeks to drive category success and future of impulse shopping

Mars Wrigley U.S., the global confectionery leader, announced a new lineup of products from some of America’s favorite brands including SKITTLES®, M&M’S®, and ORBIT®, among others. These products will join Mars Wrigley’s portfolio of blockbuster chocolate, fruity confections and gum brands, continuing to bring people better moments and more smiles now and into 2021.

Mars Wrigley unveiled these items along with the latest insights on the state of the category and anticipated future trends for Treats & Snacks, impulse and retail during its first-ever Mars Wrigley Unboxing Hour digital event for trade media this week. 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. “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.”

The Treats & Snacks industry, along with many 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 a myriad of 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. 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.

Armed with these insights, Mars Wrigley re-shaped campaigns and developed new programs for retailers. Mars Wrigley re-imagined Halloween, the biggest confectionery holiday of the year, and launched TREAT TOWN™an app-based digital experience and seasonal portfolio mix for families to virtually trick or treat for their beloved brands. Further leveraging the findings, the company shared publicly for the first time the launch of its Never Stop Summering program in 2021, through which Mars Wrigley is tapping into other at-home and on-the-go activities during the summer season. This new program will offer retailers one cohesive portfolio summer program to drive consumer engagement and awareness with the category during the critical summer selling season.

Mars Wrigley is introducing new innovations across its brand portfolio, which bring exciting, relevant products to surprise and delight consumers as well as meet their changing needs for the category.

“Treating and snacking has changed dramatically and even more so over the last six months. 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 towards familiar brands they trust,” said Jim Dodge, VP Convenience at Mars Wrigley U.S. “Mars Wrigley is laser-focused on listening and responding to our consumers and this shift in behavior has driven us to evolve our approach and introduce new products, like new SKITTLES® Gummies. We know that convenience shoppers can’t get enough of our gummies – from LifeSavers® to Starburst® – and we’re excited to bring them a new experience with SKITTLES®.”

The following are new and recently introduced Mars Wrigley innovations:

  • COMBOS® Cheddar Cheese Bacon: COMBOS® Cheddar Cheese Bacon is the newest COMBOS® innovation which launched nationally in June 2020 in medium 6.3oz Peg Bags.  COMBOS® Cheddar Cheese Bacon is a winning combination delivering the second highest appeal in the COMBOS® portfolio as it combines two enduring flavors to create even greater taste satisfaction.
  • DOVE® Truffle Gift Tubes: New DOVE® Truffle Gift Tubes simplify the art of everyday gifting with silky smooth DOVE® Milk Chocolate Truffles wrapped in beautiful keepsake packaging. This gifting product from DOVE® launched exclusively on Amazon in February 2020 and is available year-round.
  • EXTRA® Refreshers Peppermint: The No. 1 selling gum brand in the U.S., EXTRA®, launched a new flavor of its EXTRA® Refreshers gum. The first-ever soft chew added to the EXTRA® portfolio is expanding its flavor offerings — Spearmint, Polar Ice, Tropical Mist, Mint Mix and Berry Mix – to include Peppermint, a fan-favorite flavor that continues to deliver new, refreshing experiences. EXTRA® Refreshers Peppermint is available at retailers nationwide in 40-Count Bottle.
  • EXTRA® Rockin’ Raspberry Lime: EXTRA® is launching EXTRA® Rockin’ Raspberry Lime – a new limited time offer that packs seriously fruity flavor in every piece and continues to celebrate life’s small moments of connection. EXTRA® Rockin’ Raspberry Lime will be available at select retailers nationwide in 15-Stick Slim Packs.
  • M&M’S® Chocolate Popcorn: Released in July 2020, M&M’S® Chocolate Popcorn is the new fall flavor featuring a milk chocolate popcorn-flavored shell with a crispy center.
  • M&M’S® Mix: M&M’S is thrilled to announce M&M’S® Mix – a new flavor experience that brings the classic M&M’S® flavors you love altogether in one convenient package. Highly requested by fans for years, M&M’S® Mix creates a new snacking experience in Classic and Peanut varieties. Classic includes three traditional flavors: M&M’S® Milk Chocolate, M&M’S® Peanut and M&M’S Peanut Butter. Peanut includes three peanut flavors: M&M’S® Peanut, M&M’S® White Chocolate Peanut and M&M’S® Dark Chocolate Peanut.
  • 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. M&M’S® Sugar Cookie will hit shelves November 2020 just in time for the holiday season.
  • ORBIT® Mega Packs: In April 2021, ORBIT® will be BIGGER and BOLDER with the launch of ORBIT® Mega Packs – a proven upsize pack containing 30 pieces so people can chew more gum. New ORBIT® Mega Packs are portable and keep gum fresh, offering shelf longevity. Available in Peppermint and Spearmint flavors.
  • RESPAWN by 5™: In September 2020, RESPAWN, the mental performance nutrition brand made for gamers, announced the expansion of its consumable lineup with RESPAWN by 5™ created in collaboration with Mars Wrigley’s 5™ gum. RESPAWN by 5™ provides a steady flow of energy and concentration addressing the clear market for food and beverage products in gaming that help players maintain focus and mental agility during gameplay. RESPAWN by 5™ comes in three long-lasting, invigorating flavors – Cool Mint, Tropical Punch, and Pomegranate Watermelon.
  • SKITTLES® Gummies: Introducing new SKITTLES® Gummies, an exciting pop-able gummy candy sure to satisfy cravings with a burst of fruit flavor. Available in the Original Five Fruity Flavors and Wild Berry varieties, SKITTLES® Gummies offer the same intense fruit flavors you know and love in a delicious innovative gummy form. SKITTLES® Gummies will be available at retailers nationwide in Peg Bags and Sharing Size Stand Up Pouches. (Spring 2021)
  • SKITTLES® Smoothies: SKITTLES® Smoothies are making a return for the first time since 2005 with a new and improved recipe that contains a creamy yogurt flavoring that gives a flavor experience reminiscent of a real smoothie. Not only is the recipe new and improved but so are the Five Creamy, Fruit Smoothie 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. (Winter 2020)
  • SNICKERS® Peanut Brownie: Earlier this year, SNICKERS® introduced an irresistible combination of two beloved treats – SNICKERS® bars and brownies – to create SNICKERS® Peanut Brownie. Available nationwide beginning January 2021, SNICKERS® Peanut Brownie features two individual squares, coated in the classic SNICKERS chocolate, with a luscious 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.
  • Zombie SKITTLES®: After its debut for Halloween 2019, Zombie SKITTLES® returned in 2020! Zombie SKITTLES® feature a spooky mix of Five Fruity Flavors: Petrifying Citrus Punch, Mummified Melon, Boogeyman Blackberry, Chilling Black Cherry and Blood Red Berry. But beware—there’s a Zombie hidden in each pack ready to attack your palate with notes of soil and decay. Do you have the guts to give it a go? Zombie SKITTLES® will be available at retailers nationwide in Share Size, Lay Down Bags and Fun Size Bags. (Fall 2020)

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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