October 11 2018  |  Confectionery & Fine Foods

M&M’s® to drive confectionery growth in 2019

By Hibah Noor

Mars Wrigley Confectionery International Travel Retail (Mars ITR) addressed the number one challenge for the category in the industry which is converting travelers to shoppers, last week in Cannes.

The company revealed its latest category insights and new travel retail innovations designed to meet those findings.Encompassing brands, products, packs and campaigns, the focus for 2019 will be led by M&M’s®.

New products are being introduced in the category heartland of CONNECT and CELEBRATE, which together account for 90% of sales, as well as REFRESH and REWARD. An updated M&M’s® gifting offer is designed to attract more adult travelers by playing into the universal appeal of the brand.

While travel retail is historically strong in Celebrate (gifting), and this remains important. Mars ITR believes it is key to deliver across all the traveler needs.

“Connecting with others is a key reason for purchase and M&M’s® is perfect for meeting this need for travelers of all age groups and demographics– it’s one of the reasons why it’s a winning global brand,” said Raghav Rekhi, Category Director Mars ITR.“At the same time, the diversity of our portfolio means that we can also meet the requirement for Celebration (gifting), Refresh and Reward (personal enjoyment), enabling us to create experiences instore that will truly engage with travelers in a fun, exciting and – importantly – relevant way.”

Mars ITR believes that, headed by M&M’s®, its international travel retail portfolio will “create a compelling offer for 2019 that addresses all consumer needs and reasons for purchase,” emphasized Sales Director Christophe Bouyé. “Together with our other blockbuster brands SNICKERS®, TWIX®, EXTRA®, SKITTLES®, and MALTESERS®, Mars ITR is firmly in the driving seat of total confectionery growth within global travel retail. We will continue to work with our retail partners to execute the best possible environment for connecting travelling consumers to our brands through disruptive display and merchandising techniques, promotional support, and maximizing purchase opportunity from the shop floor through to the checkout and point of sales.”

The new line up of products comprises:


M&M’s® Salted Caramel 370g Sharing Pouch, Travel Retail Exclusive.

This new Limited Edition flavor for Asia Pacific, South America, Europe and Middle East is introduced to meet the growing demand for sharing formats and new choices. Following the success of M&M’s® Crunchy Caramel this year, Salted Caramel capitalizes on the huge popularity of these food flavors and is the first of its kind in the bite-sized confectionery category. Soft and creamy caramel with a twist of salt, in a crunchy candy shell, this new flavor is sure to be a winner with passengers in 2019.

M&M’s® Mix. 400g Sharing Pouch, Travel Retail Exclusive.

M&M’s® global favorite flavors Chocolate, Peanut and Crispy come together in a sharing mix, perfect for all travelers. Available for Asia Pacific, South America, Europe and the Middle East, the M&M’s® Mix gives consumers yet more choice in the popular sharing category.

SKITTLES® Tropical Fruit Mix Pouch 400g Limited Edition,

A mix of Pineapple, Watermelon, Orange, Tropical Punch and Passion Fruit flavors is ideal for CONNECTING. The attractive Caribbean sky blue packaging will attract travelers far and wide. Only available for a limited time in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, Skittles® Tropical Fruit Mix Pouch is perfect for friends and family to enjoy.


Mars ITR is updating its gifting range to play to the universal appeal aspect of M&M’s®. "This is both an opportunity to align our portfolio to attract more adult travelers to meet the strict Mars Marketing Code,” explained Rekhi. The range includes four new fun designs: Fan, Torch, Flip and Funnel – all exclusive to travel retail – featuring the iconic Red and Yellow characters.

M&M’s® Fan

A new design to an old favorite and a previous top seller in the low-price gifting range. Travel can be hectic but this brightly colored M&M’s® fan offers instant cooling relief at the press of a button. There is a little bag of M&M’s chocolate inside, to enjoy while the fan cools you down. Includes a 20g bag of M&M’s®.

M&M’s® Torch.

Perfect for every day gifting, this useful torch will lighten and brighten any dark place. Contains a 20g of M&M’s®.

M&M’s® Flip.

A new look to the popular M&M’s® dispenser featuring Red and Yellow characters. Simply flip the dispenser upside down to release the M&M’s® chocolate lentils. Each one comes with a 45g of M&M’s®.

M&M’s® Funnel.

Another version of the dispenser that has proven to be universally popular. Bound to attract more shoppers, the dispensers are ideal for all M&M’s flavors; Peanut, Chocolate, and Crispy to enjoy with family, friends and co-workers. Comes with a 45g bag of M&M’s®.

M&M’s® Christmas and Easter Tins.

Seasonal tins that take advantage of favorite gifting times of the year. Perfect for friends and family to add festive fun! Available in Europe.

M&M’s® Mini’s Tube

A perfect lower-prize option for gifting. Each 49g tube offers the classic taste of M&M’s in a colorful candy shell, just a smaller version. Available in the US.


Finally, Mars ITR will deliver on the “Recharge” needstate with EXTRA® Strawberry 10-pack. Strawberry is the number one fruit flavor globally, and adding this relevant fruit flavor to the portfolio will attract new users into the category and generate incremental growth.

To support the offer, Mars ITR has also developed a new creative advertising campaign: ‘Who Would You Share Yours With’ that focuses on CONNECT, encouraging travelers to share a pack of M&M’s® during key moments of travel – such as waiting time or screen time. This engaging and amusing campaign will feature in key airports in creative ways that suit the fun brand. “We know why travelers shop, and one of the key reasons is to connect to others. This happens during screen time, or waiting time, for instance. Our campaign targets these moments at the heart of the travel experience,” added Rekhi.

And a redesign…

Cannes also saw the launch of redesigned packaging for M&M’s®, SNICKERS®, MALTESERS® and CELEBRATIONS®, being introduced throughout the year to reinforce the travel retail exclusive advantage and highlighting updated brand logos.

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