New technology insights and on-trend product innovations further support the snacks and treats maker’s industry-leading omnichannel strategy, creating better moments
NEWARK, N.J., May 23, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — For more than 100 years, Mars Wrigley, a leader in the snacks and treats category, has kept a pulse on consumer trends to ensure its business and its retail partners identify and adopt innovations to exceed shoppers’ expectations. Today, at Sweets & Snacks Expo in Chicago, the company is announcing its latest initiative to support retail customers – The Transaction Zone Team: a newly established internal consultancy of front-end experts dedicated to identifying and implementing market solutions that help category managers, store operations, and shoppers grow the transaction zone.
“At Mars Wrigley, we’re always listening to our consumers and working with our retail partners to re-shape the future of the industry by creating better moments in-store and on-shelf,” said Tim LeBel, President of Sales at Mars Wrigley. “Beyond being at the forefront of the snacks and treats category, we are thought leaders in understanding retail challenges and identifying pivotal solutions to make the shopping experience more efficient and engaging, maximizing shopper loyalty and retailer profits.”
Self-checkout has been around for more than two decades, but only about half of transactions go through it.1 Less than a year after Mars Wrigley revealed its Accelerating Impulse Moments (AIM) program – a four-pillar platform focused on developing conversion strategies to reimagine impulse shopping through transaction zone reinvention, snack aisle optimization, secondary display growth, and digital solutions execution – the company has invested heavily in strategically growing The Transaction Zone Team around shopper insights that are critical to evolving check out.
“At Mars Wrigley, we’re committed to category leadership and are laser focused on industry growth,” said Mike Weinstock, Vice President of Category Leadership at Mars Wrigley. “That’s why we’re doubling down efforts to identify solutions that solve for front-end challenges, including the industry-wide self-checkout gap. Our new Transaction Zone Team has already established itself as a go-to resource for retail partners looking to reinvent the transaction zone.”
Since the consultancy was initially formed in September 2021, it has built proprietary tools that unlock insights around transaction zone performance at retail, developed a new conversion model that identifies solutions for key transaction zone audiences, and extended the company’s reach by engaging not just with large retail, but with all retail formats. Together, these actions have informed Mars Wrigley and its retail partners about the most impactful ways to optimize checkouts now, reimagine the self-checkout terminal and queue area next, and grow frictionless checkout in the future.
Beyond the transaction zone, this past year Mars Wrigley has also helped retail partners reach shoppers through Voice AI advancement studies and has motivated consumer purchases with innovative, on-trend product offerings that satisfy shoppers’ values and evolved tastes.
Leveraging Voice AI Technology to Reach Consumers
An important omnichannel tool, Voice AI is increasingly becoming embedded in all areas of consumers lives. This new technology is shifting consumer behavior, evolving how brands show up, and making shopping easier than ever. Informed by one-of-a-kind research, Mars Wrigley recently piloted a series of Voice driven programs around Halloween that increased brand engagement via a spooky Voice alarm and social media, facilitated hands-free shopping with a Voice activated shopping list, and reached new-to-brand buyers via Voice activated ads.
To learn more, attendees of this year’s show can join the “What’s Next in Shopping with Voice AI?” session on May 24, 2022, at 3pm CT, at the Insights Stage.
Aligning With Shopper’s Societal and Environmental Values
As a purpose-led organization, Mars Wrigley is constantly innovating and evolving in ways that affirm its commitment to make a positive impact on the world. The global commitment made by Mars Wrigley’s M&M’S® brand to leverage the power of fun to increase the sense of belonging for 10 million people by 2025 is one of many actions being taken by the treats and snacks manufacturer to help foster a more inclusive society. Similarly, Mars is committed rethinking its approach to packaging. Recently, the M&M’S brand eliminated the traditional plastic overwrap from its theater boxes, making the packaging fully recyclable and removing 98 metric tons of plastic waste a year. Mars also announced that all Mars bars sold in the UK, Ireland and Canada will be certified as carbon neutral by 2023. That’s over 220 million chocolate bars a year that will be carbon neutral.
Evolving Product Innovations to Meet Consumers’ Needs
To ensure product innovations continue to surprise and delight shoppers, Mars Wrigley consistently keeps a pulse on what motivates consumers. Like last year, the snacks and treats manufacturer is positioning seasonal products as year-round opportunities and this summer, its M&M’S brand will be rolling out new music-centric programming to attract and engage shoppers and drive conversion by tapping into nostalgia to spark fun and connection. Additionally, across its portfolio, Mars Wrigley is unveiling several new offerings that deliver on shoppers’ requests for a wider variety of offerings that balance satisfaction, taste, and preference.
M&M’S Crunchy Cookie – A hybrid of the iconic M&M’S candy and nostalgic chocolate chip cookie, M&M’S Crunchy Cookie candies feature a great-tasting cookie center covered in delicious milk chocolate, all wrapped in the colorful, M&M’S candy shell offering shoppers a satisfying treat with one-of-a-kind taste and texture.
M&M’S Munchums – Available at select retailers, this limited time offering delivers a totally new experience that bridges the world of chocolate and snacking, while serving as a gluten free option. The chocolate-based snack features a proprietary, one-of-a-kind crunchy baked outer shell made with chickpea. Its two flavors – Milk Chocolate and Salted Caramel – give consumers more options while still providing the satisfying crunch and taste they have come to expect from the brand.
M&M’S Nut Brownie MIX: Rolling out later this Summer, this new variety features a delicious blend of fan favorite M&M’S Peanut Chocolate Candies and M&M’S Fudge Brownie Chocolate Candies. Requested more than 35,000 times on social media, shoppers won’t be able to get enough of this nutty, chocolatey mix that combines tastes and textures into one bag.
DOVE® Large PROMISES®: DOVE Chocolate expanded its PROMISES collection with its two new DOVE Large PROMISES flavor variations: Milk Chocolate & Caramel and Dark Chocolate & Peanut Butter, to bring consumers a more indulgent experience to eat on the go, with a larger size and irresistible filling.
TWIX® Salted Caramel: The newest addition to the TWIX portfolio, TWIX Salted Caramel Crunchy Cookie Bars, feature the same three layers that everyone loves, with an extra pinch of salt for a new crunchy sweet & salty experience.
SKITTLES® PRIDE Packs: As part of its ongoing mission to increase LGBTQ+ visibility and celebrate those within the community, SKITTLES is once again giving up its signature rainbow during Pride to celebrate the one that matters most. The brand’s annual Pride packs – which have historically been all-gray to represent the brand’s cemented efforts of support – received a splash of color in 2022 thanks to six talented artists within the LGBTQ+ community who crafted original designs that represent how they “see the rainbow” every day. From May 9 – July 15 for every SKITTLES Pride pack purchased, $1 will be donated (up to $100,000) to GLAAD.
STARBURST® Airs: A first-of-its-kind aerated gummi candy, STARBURST Airs, offer a twist on the original STARBURST candy. Available in Original and Sour Tropical packs, the new candy has an inflated texture, resulting in a fluffy gummi packed with the juicy STARBURST flavor shoppers know and love.
EXTRA® Refreshers Fruit Mix: Uniquely combining three refreshing fruity flavors together in one bottle, EXTRA Refreshers Fruit Mix is perfect for everything from first dates to weekend getaways. Consumers can enjoy incredibly fresh breath with this delicious new mix of strawberry freeze, tropical mist and lemonade chill.
For more information on the latest news from Mars Wrigley, visit www.mars.com/made-by-mars/mars-wrigley. If you are attending the Sweets & Snacks Expo, please stop by booth 11504.
About Mars, Incorporated
For more than a century, Mars, Incorporated has been driven by the belief that the world we want tomorrow starts with how we do business today. This idea is at the center of who we have always been as a global, family-owned business. Today, Mars is transforming, innovating, and evolving in ways that affirm our commitment to making a positive impact on the world around us. Across our diverse and expanding portfolio of confectionery, food, and pet care products and services, we employ 133,000 dedicated Associates who are all moving in the same direction: forward. With $40 billion in annual sales, we produce some of the world’s best-loved brands including DOVE®, EXTRA®, M&M’s®, MILKY WAY®, SNICKERS®, TWIX®, ORBIT®, PEDIGREE®, ROYAL CANIN®, SKITTLES®, BEN’S ORIGINAL™,
WHISKAS®, COCOAVIA®, and 5™; and take care of half of the world’s pets through our pet health services AniCura, Banfield Pet Hospitals™, BluePearl®, Linnaeus, Pet Partners™, and VCA™. We know we can only be truly successful if our partners and the communities in which we operate prosper as well. The Mars Five Principles – Quality, Responsibility, Mutuality, Efficiency, and Freedom – inspire our Associates to take action every day to help create a world tomorrow in which the planet, its people, and pets can thrive.
1. Videomining, Grocery Checkout Meta Study, October 2020
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SOURCE Mars Wrigley