Mars launches attack on boxed chocolate sector

Global confectionery giant Mars is launching its first boxed chocolate brand to compete head on with Cadbury’s Roses and Nestlé-Rowntree’s Quality Street.

The launch is the result of Mars’ investigations into the boxed chocolate sector, first revealed by Marketing Week (October 13 1995).

Celebrations, an assortment of twist-wrapped miniatures such as Mars bars, Topic, Snickers and Galaxy Caramel, will be test marketed in Tyne Tees before a national roll-out at the end of this year.

The launch will be backed by advertising through Mars roster agency Abbott Mead Vickers. BBDO, which already handles Bounty, Snickers and M&Ms.

Mars has been criticised for its poor record on new product development in the past, but has recently achieved considerable success with new packs and portion sizes.

Mars Miniatures, a bite-size product, was launched last year and targeted specifically at women.

Celebrations will be sold in 200g and 400g boxes. The boxes are believed to be a similar shape to Roses and Quality Street.

One industry insider says: “The brand should do well because it will appeal to both adults and kids.”

The boxed chocolate sector is worth about 620m of the 3.3bn a year chocolate market, according to industry estimates. Roses is the market leader, followed by Quality Street and Cadbury’s Milk Tray.

A Mars spokesman confirmed the launch, but refused to comment further.

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