Mars Snackfood U.S. is hoping to boost sales with a new line of snack and candy products.
The company is rolling out a new flavor to its Combos line: Jalapeno Cheddar Tortilla. The snack includes jalapeno peppers with cheddar cheese and corn tortillas.
On the chocolate side of the business, Dove will offer Dove Promise, a bite-size piece of milk chocolate or rich dark chocolate, and Snickers Fun Size from countertop displays in December. Dove Chocolate is also making large-size bars available in Creamy Cappuccino and Mandarin Orange flavors.
Mars unveiled the new products at the National Association of Convenience Stores Show at McCormick Place in Chicago, which runs through today.
Other new offerings include Skittles Crazy Cores, a new product that offers two flavors in one candy. Each pack will contain an assortment of five flavor combinations, including Strawberry-Watermelon, Cherry-Lemonade, Mango-Peach, Blue Raspberry-Lemon and Berry-Melon. Starburst, too, is getting a facelift with its Starburst Fruit Chews pack in an all red fruit flavored pack. In addition, the Starburst Sour Gummi Bursts will feature liquid-filled gummi candy with sour flavor, available in January.
Despite the economic downturn, candy sales remain strong in the convenience channel. Chocolate sales increased 4.1% over the 52-week period ending Aug. 10, according to Information Resources, Inc. And during that same timeframe, sales of chocolate from Mars Snackfood U.S. rose by 9.1%.
The company is supporting some of its existing candy brands with a host of consumer promotions and events. Snickers, for instance, is out with a sweepstakes offering 17 people the chance to win tickets to the Super Bowl XLIII in Tampa, FL. People can enter the “Snickers NFL Live Your Super Bow Fantasy Sweepstakes” through Dec. 28 by entering a code from candy bars bearing the sweeps logo. The promotion includes an integrated marketing campaign featuring football great Michael Strahan.
A second Super Bowl promotion will begin on Dec. 26. People who buy Snickers, M7M’s, 3Musketeers, MilkyWay and Twix candy can enter UPC codes through Feb. 1 for a chance to win a grand-prize trip to the Big Game to participate in the on-field post-game Super Bowl celebration.
Meanwhile, 3 Musketeers will be the official chocolate bar of this year’s Times Square New Year’s Eve Celebration. The promotion will include 3 Musketeers signage in Times Square during December, two 15-second TV spots on the LED screens in Times Square on New Year’s Eve and commercials on “Dick Clark’s New Years Rockin’ Eve” show. In addition, reps will distribute 25,000 samples and premiums to the crowd and brand a “Wishing Wall” in Times Square with messages read on-air throughout the night.
And for Valentine’s Day, the M&M’s brand will display limited edition, all-green candy in all-green packaging. The promotion will begin in January.