Mars Wrigley Unwraps New Innovations

Convenience Store News got an exclusive first look at what's in the pipeline for the candy and snack maker.
Danielle Romano
Managing Editor
Mars Unwrapped
Vice President, Trade Development & Sponsorship Mike Gilroy highlights new flavor innovation as attendees snacked on samples.

NEWARK, N.J. — As the largest confectionery company in the world, the leading pet care company in the world and the fastest-growing food business, Mars Inc. thinks in terms of generations, not quarters, Anton Vincent, president of Mars Wrigley North America and Global Ice Cream, expressed during a recent exclusive event aptly called Mars Unwrapped.

Held at the Mars Wrigley headquarters in Newark, the event provided a first-look showcase at innovations from Mars' portfolio of brands, spanning Mars Wrigley, Mars Food and Mars Petcare.

[Read more: Mars Snacking Brings New Campaign to Uber Eats]

"We're a private, family-owned company and we're still learning how to present ourselves to the public. We have a purpose-driven business, and we have a tremendous economic model that is designed to do good," Vincent addressed to attendees.

Convenience Store News had the opportunity to attend the innovation-packed event. Here, we share what's to come from snacking powerhouse Mars Wrigley:

Fan-Favorite Flavors

Combos Ranch Dip

A new addition to the Combos portfolio, Combos Ranch Dip offers consumers a bold and zesty ranch flavored-filling inside a crunchy baked pretzel shell, making it ideal for an on-the-go snack. The offering is available nationwide now in a medium bag (6.3 ounces).

M&M'S Peanut Butter Mega provides the fan-favorite peanut butter flavor in an even bigger format. As the newest and biggest innovation from M&M'S, M&M'S Peanut Butter Mega delivers a rich, peanut-buttery taste in a crunchy candy shell in every mega bite, according to the maker.

Staring in January 2024, the mega candies will be available in sharing size (2.83 ounces) and a sharing stand-up pouch (8.6 ounces).

Then, tapping into consumers' love for peanut butter and building onto the Snickers Hi Protein line is Snickers Hi Protein Peanut Butter. The bar features a distinct peanut butter taste and the same satisfying chocolatey and peanut flavors iconic to Snickers, but now packed with 20 grams of protein.

Snickers Hi Protein Peanut Butter is available at retailers nationwide in a single size bar (2.01 ounces) and four-count box (8 ounces). 

Gum Makes a Comeback

More than one-third of adults 18 years or older report being self-conscious about their smiles, Mars Wrigley reported. The Orbit brand is introducing White Sweet Mint, the newest soft-chew innovation for the brand, which helps keep teeth white and provides a clean and fresh feeling for the ultimate confidence boost. The gum will be available starting in January in a 40-count bottle across retailers nationwide.

Hubba Bubba Mini Gum

Also in the new year, Hubba Bubba will branch out for the first time from its typical forms of Chunk and Tape into a soft-chew experience with Hubba Bubba Mini Gum. This new variety offers a sugar-free experience in Skittles Original flavors. Hubba Bubba Mini Gum will be available in 40-count bottles and 120-count standup pouches.

Big Flavor, Little Formats

Fulfilling particularly Generation Z's desire for experiential snacking, Mars Wrigley is driving big innovation in small formats from now into the new year.

This year, Skittles introduced its newest, and littlest, innovation with Skittles Littles, which puts a mini twist on the classic candy. Bursting with the same five iconic fruity flavors of Skittles Originals, the tiny format allows for a more poppable experience to enjoy on the go. Skittles Littles are available at select retailers in share size mega tubes (1.9 ounces) and grab-and-go pouches (7.2 ounces).

[Read more: Mars Reveals Route to 50 Percent Emissions Reduction]

The M&M'S lineup will also grow in the mini-format space with M&M'S Peanut Butter Minis. The candies deliver a rich, peanut-buttery taste and satisfying crunch in a teeny-tiny bite. The product launched in September at select retailers nationwide in tubes (1.74 ounces) and a sharing size stand-up pouch (8.6 ounces).

Chew on This

Starburst Gummies Original

Coming in the spring of 2024, Starburst will release its newest innovation, Starburst Gummies. The new chewy confection delivers the iconic true-to-fruit Starburst flavors, now in soft, chewy gummies made with real fruit juice. The sensational gummies will be released in three varieties: Original, fan-favorite All Pink and Sours.

All three varieties will be available in a share size (3 ounces), peg bags (5 ounces) and a sharing size stand-up pouch (9 ounces).

Seasonal Confections

When it comes to seasonal snacking, Mars Wrigley plays a role in triggering memories and nostalgia with products that connect consumers and allow them to share moments of joy, Mike Gilroy, vice president, trade development and sponsorship, told CSNews

Fall Festiveness 

Delivering on the feel-good flavor of fall, M&M'S Pumpkin Pie features a blend of pumpkin pie flavors and hints of ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice that are balanced in a milk chocolate shell. The festive candies are in a fall color blend of orange, brown and cream, making it ideal to display all season long, according to the maker.

M&M'S Pumpkin Pie are available at retailers nationwide in single-size packaging (1.35 ounces), share size (2.47 ounces) and lay down bags (7.44 ounces).

Making Spirits Bright

This holiday season, consumers will find a festive treat that is ideal for baking, dressing up a holiday dish or spreading holiday cheer with M&M'S White Chocolate Toasty. The limited-edition flavor features a mix of white chocolate, cinnamon and vanilla. The candies are available at retailers nationwide.

Also new this holiday season is Dove Milk Chocolate Cherry Cordial Promises. Inspired by the rich flavors of the season, the offering is filled with a sweet, creamy cherry-flavored centered, covered in the silky-smooth milk chocolate Dove fans know and love, the candy maker stated.

[Read more: 2023 Category Captain for Candy: Mars Inc.]

Dove Milk Chocolate Cherry Cordial Promises will be available this holiday season at retailers nationwide in 7.94-ounce bags.

Hopping Into Spring

M&M'S Easter Sundae

M&M'S Easter Sundae will launch in time for the Easter 2024 season. The candies blend the creamy notes of ice cream vanilla with hot fudge, finished off with a light "cherry on top" flavor, to create a burst of sweet nostalgia in every bite, the maker said.

The candies will be available at retailers nationwide in the spring of 2024 in 7.44-ounce bags.

Novelty Frozen Treats

The freezer case will also see new innovation across the Dove, Milky Way and Twix brands. Products include:

  • The Dovebar is the first Mars Ice Cream product to enter the sustainability space, made with 100 percent real ice cream using sustainably sourced vanilla. It is available in two classic varieties: Dark Chocolate and Milk Chocolate. The Dovebar is available at retailers nationwide in single size (2.89 ounces) and packs of three.
  • In honor of 100 years of Milky Way, the brand is celebrating the milestone anniversary with the fan-favorite ice cream bar made with 100 percent real ice cream. The frozen treat features creamy chocolate ice cream and smooth caramel, cloaked in a chocolatey shell. The novelty frozen treat is available in a six-count box (12 ounces).
  • Twix will bring back Twix Cookies and Crème Ice Cream Bars. Featuring a crème-filled center packed with chocolate cookie bits and caramel, the bars make a tasty and convenient on-the-go treat. They will be available at retailers nationwide in 2024 in single size (2.9 ounces) and a six-count box (11.58 ounces).
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