Mars backs innovation to grow brands

Mars has accelerated plans to grow its chocolate brands by creating a raft of marketing roles to develop innovation strategies for its chocolate brands such as Twix and Snickers in the UK over the next five years.

Galaxy

The UK confectionery company will ramp up investment in its marketing and product development offerings in a bid to identify new “branded concepts” in the UK market, similar to what it has done in the past with its Celebrations range and M&M branded store in London.

A spokesman for Mars Chocolate UK says: “Innovation is a key growth lever for Mars Chocolate. We have already set up new innovation teams, and are creating several new roles in marketing and R&D to build our cross-functional innovation capability.”

Rival confectionery business Kraft said that the UK chocolate bar market had slowed down in terms of growth in recent years and needs brands to launch innovative products and be more creative in their marketing to stimulate demand.

Mars, which claims it spent an additional £56m on media for its chocolate brands between 2011 and 2009, has previously extended its chocolate brands through non-traditional channels.

Last July, it opened a M&M branded store at Leicester Square as part of an ongoing strategy to increase the amount of time consumers spent with its brands.

Last week Mars announced plans to stop producing king-sized chocolate by 2013, as part of a initiative to stop selling bars that exceeded 250 calories. The business, which has signed up to theGovernment’s Responsibility Deal, said it would it would not purchase advertising slots if more than a quarter of the target audience is under 12-years old, and that it would no longer advertise on websites aimed at the demographic either.

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