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Mars takes wraps off latest chocolate varieties

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HACKETTSTOWN, N.J. — Mars Chocolate North America has unveiled new flavor extensions to some of its leading chocolate brands, as well as a roster of new seasonal items.

Mars_Snickers-Hazelnut_Twix-White-ChocolateMars said this week that the new product launches, running from this spring into early next year, include the Snickers, Twix, Dove, M&M’s, Milky Way and 3 Musketeers brands.

Out first are M&M’s Candies in Red, White and Blue, intended for holidays such as Memorial Day and Independence Day. The tricolor combination is available in milk chocolate and peanut chocolate varieties and comes in a 42-ounce stand-up pouch ($9.99), 11.4-ounce bag ($3.29), and 3.14- and 3.27-ounce sharing sizes ($1.79).

Also rolling out this spring are Dove Sorbet Bars, which offer the taste of chocolate-covered berries with a frozen, fruity twist, as juicy sorbet is dipped in Dove chocolate. The 150-calorie bars come in two flavors, Dove Strawberry Sorbet with Milk Chocolate and Dove Raspberry Sorbet with Dark Chocolate, and are priced at $4.95 for a six-bar box.

Due out in October are Twix White Chocolate Cookie Bars, which feature two crunchy cookie bars covered with caramel and encased in creamy white chocolate. The limited-edition item is priced at 99 cents to $1.09 for a single package of two bars.

Slated to launch in December is Snickers Hazelnut, which adds the flavor of hazelnuts to the iconic Snickers taste combination of peanuts, caramel and nougat covered in milk chocolate. The product will carry a price of 99 cents to $1.09 for 1.76-ounce single and $1.69 to $1.79 for a 3.23-ounce “two to go” size.

And earmarked for a national launch next April is Dove Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate Promises. Each individually wrapped piece pairs smooth Dove dark chocolate with peanut butter cream. Mars said Dove Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate Promises will be priced at $4.09 to $4.79 for a 7.94-ounce laydown bag.

Mars announced the new products, along with new consumer promotions and merchandising displays, at the National Confectioners Association (NCA) Sweets & Snacks Expo this week in Chicago.

“Consumers are always excited to try new flavors combined with their favorite chocolate brands,” stated Timothy LeBel, vice president of sales at Mars Chocolate North America. “Through extensive consumer research, we’ve created line extensions that will resonate with shoppers. For example, confections containing hazelnuts have increased 14% in sales, so consumers will want to try our limited-edition Snickers Hazelnut. We also believe our new Twix White Chocolate Cookie Bars will be a hit, since the white chocolate segment is growing.”

Looking ahead to the fall and winter holiday seasons, Mars said its 2016 Halloween lineup will include new Snickers Crisper Fun Size plus a Dove Milk Chocolate Treat Size and Crunchy & Crispy Lovers Mix Variety stand-up pouch. New offerings planned for this Christmas include Snickers and Milky Way Bites Mixed Ornament pouches, a Twix Minis Cane and a Dove Promises Silky Smooth Milk Chocolate large gift box.

Following for Valentine’s Day 2017 will be the new M&M’s Milk Chocolate Cupid’s Messages, Twix Fun Size Valentine’s Exchange Bag, and a Dove Milk Chocolate Creamy Caramel Premium Heart Tin.