M&Ms undergo fashion-forward makeover

HERSHEY, Pa. M&M’s are getting glammed up to join other name brand chocolates like Dove bars and Hershey’s kisses that fashionably going premium.

A new line of Premium M&Ms is set to hit retail shelves in June. The premium chocolate candies were designed based on traditional M&Ms with an upgrade from milk chocolate to premium chocolate, a new marbleized candy shell and colorful foil wrappers to spruce up the candy line. Premium M&Ms will come in flavors chocolate almond, mint chocolate, mocha, raspberry almond and triple chocolate, and will retail for around $4 per box.

“It’s all about fashion, vibrancy and indulgence,” a spokesman from Mars Snackfood U.S., Ryan Bowling, said. “It’s a fun side of the premium chocolate category.”

Sales of premium chocolate—called premium, because it generally has a higher cacao content—shot up 129 percent to $2 billion, between 2001 and 2006, according to Mintel, a market research group based in Ithaca, N.Y. Mintel said that premium chocolates will likely increase by another 73 percent by 2011.

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