While disruption remains the overarching effect of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the confection market is growing in the convenience channel and the folks at Mars Wrigley are keeping busy with new product innovations.
The candy giant introduced a fresh angle into its industry-leader Skittles – new Skittles Gummies, destined for store shelves in spring of next year. The new take on the classic hard-shell Skittles is an exciting pop-able gummy candy with a burst of fruit flavor.
Strengthened by a $12 million ad campaign, Skittles Gummies will be available in the Original Five Fruity Flavors and Wild Berry varieties. The Spring 2021 release offers retailers nationwide two bag options, Peg Bags and Sharing Size Stand Ups.
Among the other innovations Mars Wrigley has had on the burner are:
- Combos Cheddar Cheese Bacon in 6.3-ounce peg bags.
- Extra, the No. 1-selling gum brand in the U.S., now includes two new flavor options – Refreshers Peppermint, in a 40-count bottle; Rockin’ Raspberry Lime, a limited time only (LTO), packeged in 15-stick slim packs.
- M&Ms Sugar Cookie, created exclusively for the 2020 holiday season, and a two versions of the new M&Ms Mix, with Classic (milk chocolate, peanut and peanut butter) and Peanut (peanut, white chocolate peanut and dark chocolate peanut) options.
- Snickers Peanut Brownie, introduced earlier this year, will be available nationwide in January. Each combination Snickers bar and brownie features two squares with a layer of caramel and chewy peanut-brownie filling covered by classic Snickers chocolate.
Mars Wrigley this week told a late-afternoon online press gathering it dubbed “Candy Hour,” that the pandemic catapulted the company’s digital plans forward to meet consumer demands brought about by the health crisis.
Mars Wrigley Vice President of Convenience Jim Dodge outlined how COVID-19 accelerated the need for digital apps and app technology, as well as how consumers now expect frictionless and curbside conveniences.
“If it’s not digital, it’s not happening,” explained Mike Gilroy, vice president of trade development and sponsorship at Mars Wrigley. “Try to meet the consumer where the consumer wants to be met.”
This past Halloween saw the introduction of Treat Town, a website and app alternative that allows virtual trick-or-treating and other electronic device-based activities to keep the spooky holiday fun and interactive.
Dodge is pleased with how the company found opportunity out of adversity during a pandemic; a tall order for an industry heavily woven into personal contact. Which explains why Dodge is optimistic. “I’m excited about Halloween next year.”