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Flavor equation

BY Barbara White-Sax

HACKETTSTOWN, N.J. — Mars Chocolate North America has added a new product to the Snickers portfolio. Snickers Peanut Butter Squared adds peanut butter to the classic Snickers combination of peanuts, caramel, nougat and milk chocolate. The candy is the top-testing new bar launch for Mars in the last three years.


Each 1.78-oz. single pack includes two square-shaped bars and carries a suggested retail price of 89 cents. The bars also are available in fun-size bags in two sizes: 11.5 oz. and 21.5 oz.


Mars is supporting the launch 
with a consumer promotion program; print, TV, online and in-store advertising; and a national public relations campaign.

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‘Constant newness’ makes gum sales pop

BY Barbara White-Sax


Continued product innovation in the sugarless gum segment helped push dollar sales ahead nearly 5% for the 12 weeks ended Nov. 28, 2010, according to SymphonyIRI Group.


“Constant newness has been driving the category, and as manufacturers continue to invest in advertising, consumer interest remains high,” said Lisbeth Echeandia, VP trade marketing for consulting group Frey Enterprises.


New introductions that combine a health halo of added benefits may bring new users to the category. Trident recently introduced Vitality, which includes three flavors: Vigorate contains vitamin C, Rejuve is a blend of mint and white tea and Awaken contains peppermint and ginseng.

 

The article above is part of the DSN Category Review Series. For the complete Gum Sell-Through Report, including extensive charts, data and more analysis, click here.

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Candy: New twists on classics sweeten sales

BY Barbara White-Sax

New twists on classic candy brands helped propel dollar sales in the chocolate candy segment ahead nearly 10%. An increase in prices contributed to the dollar sales gain, but a big boost came from line extensions and limited-edition flavors.

“The old standbys are comfort brands for consumers, and manufacturers continue to trade off their following with new products,” said Lisbeth Echeandia, VP trade marketing of consulting firm Frey Enterprises.

Jack Russo, an analyst with Edward Jones, said line extensions were a low-risk, high-reward approach for the companies.

M&M Mars has been bullish on extending its brand franchise. “Offering new products invigorates the category,” said Lauren Nodzak, a spokeswoman for Mars Chocolate North America. “Consumers trust brands they love, so they’re open to trying new flavor variations.”

With 6-of-the-top-15 chocolate brands, Mars has plenty of room for variation. After introducing
M&M coconut chocolate candies as a limited-edition release in summer 2009, Mars made the extension permanent at the end of the year. In May, the company introduced M&M’s pretzel chocolate candies. The product was ranked by Forbes as the No. 3 most-memorable product launch of the year, and scored the brand a place on Advertising Age’s list of America’s Hottest
Brands for 2010.

Other introductions were Dove sugar-free chocolates with peanut butter crème, Snickers peanut butter Squared and Dove brand chocolate swirl in two flavors. Twix coconut cookie bar will launch in April as a limited-edition product.

Rival Hershey also has carefully added its own brand extensions — notably Reese’s minis and Hershey’s drops, as well as Pieces versions of its York, Almond Joy and Special Dark brand. Hershey has scaled back on limited-edition candies after retailer resistance to too many extensions several years ago caused the company to refocus its strategy.

 

The article above is part of the DSN Category Review Series. For the complete Candy Buy-In Report, including extensive charts, data and more analysis, click here.

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