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Caramel M&Ms isn’t the only new product coming from Mars

BY Gina Acosta

ATLANTA — Mars Chocolate North America and Wrigley have announced a blockbuster lineup of new products that will hit store shelves in the coming months, including M&M'S Caramel Chocolate Candies and Orbit White chewing gum.

These innovations will join newcomers MALTESERS Candies, SNICKERS Hazelnut Bar, three new flavors of gluten-free goodnessknows snack squares, two new flavors of DOVE Fruit, TWIX White Chocolate Cookie Bars, Skittles Trick Plays, Juicy Fruit America Pop, Doublemint Perfectly Sweet and Extra and 5 gum Mega Packs. 

"We are laser-focused on involving our customers and shoppers in our decisions. We're listening, sharing insights and evolving to meet their needs," says Tim LeBel, president of sales for Mars Chocolate North America. "For example, we know that more consumers are sharing now more than ever, which has grown the Bite-Sized candy subcategory. Based on consumer and customer feedback, we're converting laydown bags to a redesigned stand-up pouch format for M&M'S Brand Candies, SNICKERS Bites and TWIX Bites. This conversion aims to transform the candy aisle by aligning packaging sizes and names across Mars' bite-sized portfolio. This will make it easier for retailers to promote and merchandise across brands, plus it will improve the shopping experience for consumers."

New items include:

  • Orbit White: Orbit is introducing Orbit White, an all-new mint soft chew that is proven to help keep teeth white. Orbit White comes in a soft chew form, bigger in size than current Orbit pellets, and will be offered in two sugarfree flavors, Spearmint and Peppermint. (January 2017, $3.49 for 40-count bottles)
  • Doublemint Perfectly Sweet: Doublemint Perfectly Sweet offers a new choice for consumers seeking gum sweetened only with real sugar and provides the taste people expect and love from Doublemint gum. (December 2016, $0.68 for 12-stick envelope pack)
  • Juicy Fruit America Pop: Tapping into the success of this summer's special-edition Skittles America Mix, Juicy Fruit will launch new Juicy Fruit America Pop next summer. Each stick contains a blend of Cherry, Lemon and Blue Raspberry flavors channeling the delicious flavor of the red, white and blue ice pops. (May 2017, $1.19 for the 15-stick Slim Pack and $2.69 for the Multipack with three 15-stick Slim Pack)
  • Skittles Trick Plays: Skittles is adding a fun twist on the popular football strategy with Skittles Trick Plays, which will keep fans guessing when the Skittles' colors on the outside don't match the flavors on the inside. Available for a limited time only, Trick Plays will be in stores just in time to engage with fans during the 2017 NFL season. (Early 2017, $0.99 for Single Pack)
  • Extra and 5 gum Mega Packs: Wrigley is extending its successful Mega Pack line to include Extra Peppermint and 5 gum as Front End Bulk is a fast-growing segment of gum. The Mega Pack holds over twice as much gum as a standard 15-stick pack, so consumers do not have to worry about running out as 50 percent of consumers are out of stock on a daily basis. (June 2017, $2.49 for the Extra Mega Pack and $2.99 for the 5 gum Mega Pack).
  • New Seasonal Items across brands including Skittles Cauldron for Halloween, Life Savers Wint-O-Green Candy Canes and Skittles Book of Awesome for the holidays as well as Altoids Love Tins for Valentine's Day and Starburst Ice Cream Flavors Jelly Beans for Easter.
  • New items Mars Chocolate will display at the NACS Show include:
  • M&M'S Caramel Chocolate Candies. The biggest launch in M&M'S Brand history, this innovative treat features a creamy caramel center covered in delicious milk chocolate, enclosed in a colorful candy shell. Caramel is the fastest growing flavor segment in food, growing 15 percent in 2015. (April 2017, $1.09-$1.39 for 1.41-ounce Singles, $1.69-$1.99 for 2.83-ounce Share Size, $2.99-$3.99 for 9.9-ounce Sharing Size SUP)
  • Three New Flavors of Gluten-Free goodnessknows snack squares. Building on its 2015 national launch, goodnessknows snack squares adds three new flavors to its popular lineup that combines fruits, whole nuts and dark chocolate: Blueberry & Almond, Mixed Berry & Almond and Strawberry & Peanut. (December 2016, $1.59 – $1.99 for 1.2-ounce singles, $4.99 – $6.99 for a five-pack carton)
  • MALTESERS Candies. As the #1 bite-sized chocolate brand in the U.K., this treat features a crispy, airy center, wrapped in a smooth, mouth-watering, chocolatey covering. (January 2017, SRP: $1.09-$1.39 for 1.3-ounce Singles; $1.00 – $1.70 for 3.0-ounce Theater Box; $1.80 – $2.40 for 3.52-ounce Peg Bag; $4.99 – $5.99 for 14.5-ounce Tub; $9.48 – $9.99 for 31.0-ounce Tub)
  • SNICKERS Hazelnut Bar satisfies with everything consumers love about SNICKERS—peanuts, caramel and nougat covered in milk chocolate—with the addition of delicious hazelnuts. (December 2016, $.99 – $1.09 for 1.76-ounce Single, $1.69-$1.79 for 3.23-ounce 2 to Go)
  • DOVE Fruit Mixed Berries Dipped in DOVE Dark Chocolate. Featuring strawberries, blueberries and cranberries, this new flavor variety is the perfect combination of real fruit and America's #1 DOVE Dark Chocolate. (December 2016, $3.99 – $4.29 for 5.5-ounce SUP)
  • DOVE Fruit Dark Chocolate Cherry & Sea Salt Almond. Building on the popular DOVE® Fruit Cherry — which was a top seller last year — this new offering combines real cherries with the #1 nut in America — almonds. (December 2016, $3.99 – $4.29 for 5.5-ounce SUP)
  • TWIX White Chocolate Cookie Bars feature two crunchy cookie bars covered with smooth caramel and enrobed in creamy white chocolate. (Limited edition – October 2016, $0.99-$1.09 for a single package of two bars)
  • M&M'S Brand Ice Cream Bars feature chopped M&M'S Milk Chocolate Candies inside reduced fat vanilla ice cream, all smothered in creamy milk chocolate. (December 2016, SRP $1.79 for a 2.64-ounce single and $3.99 for a box of six 1.63-ounce bars)
  • New Seasonal Items span each brand portfolio, from TWIX Brand Minis Cane for the Holidays to M&M'S Milk Chocolate Bottles with graphics for Valentine's Day and Easter.

 

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Sparkling Ice debuts new flavor, accelerates retail expansion

BY Gina Acosta

PRESTON, Wash. — Sparkling Ice is launching a new flavor and accelerating a Spanish-label retail expansion into stores in Mexico.

In addition to the debut of the brand's newest flavor, Grape Raspberry, Sparkling Ice is rolling out a Spanish-label retail expansion into all 7-Eleven store locations in Mexico. The Mexico expansion follows an international growth period for the brand, which recently launched in the UK and Ireland.

Sparkling Ice Grape Raspberry will be available in Kroger stores this month, and at retailers nationwide starting in January. 

In addition to the new flavor unveiling, Sparkling Ice is announcing that the brand will be added to all 1,976 7-Eleven retail locations in Mexico. Starting in October, 7-Eleven will begin to roll out a variety of Sparkling Ice flavors with new Spanish-language labeling, including Black Raspberry, Orange Mango, Kiwi Strawberry and Strawberry Watermelon.

As a result of the international retail expansion and new Grape Raspberry flavor, Sparkling Ice says it will increase opportunities for new distribution and sales channels for the brand within the convenience industry. Sparkling Ice is now available in nine countries including the United States, Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, Ireland, the Caribbean, Costa Rica and Mexico.
 

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Pure Leaf targets tea lovers with expanded product portfolio

BY Gina Acosta

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J. — Popular ready-to-drink tea brand Pure Leaf is launching bagged and loose teas. 

Available in 16-count jars, Pure Leaf bagged teas are offered in seven varieties—Black Tea with Vanilla, Chai Tea, Green Tea with Mint, Iced Classic Black Tea, Iced Black Tea with Peach, Iced Black Tea with Raspberry, and Iced Green Tea with Citrus. Pure Leaf loose teas are offered in three varieties—English Breakfast Black Tea and Iced Classic Black Tea, both available in 4.7-oz. jars, and Gunpowder Green Tea, available in 5.8-oz. jars.

"We at Pure Leaf believe that the most delicious tea is real tea, simply picked, rolled and crafted from sustainably grown leaves," said George Hamilton, tea director at Unilever. "We have poured all of our expertise into this new range, which we hope people will enjoy drinking as much as we do."

The new bagged and loose teas join the popular Pure Leaf brand, comprised of Pure Leaf Iced Tea and Pure Leaf Tea House Collection, and are manufactured and distributed by Unilever. All products are available at retailers nationwide.

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