Confectionery giant Mars is believed to be launching a boxed chocolate brand in the run-up to Christmas to compete with established lines such as Cadbury’s Milk Tray and Roses.
The company already sells gift boxes of some of its sweet brands but the new product will be a separate moulded chocolate brand.
Mars is not thought to be taking on the premium end of the market, where it would compete with brands like Nestlé’s Black Magic and Terry’s All Gold.
The launch is significant for the company, which has long been criticised for its poor record on new product development. Mars is thought to have test-marketed a similar product in Germany a few years ago, but did not proceed with it.
The company is understood to be using Abbott Mead Vickers. BBDO for the launch. Any advertising will be up against one of the most famous figures in advertising – the “man in black” who risks life and limb to deliver a box of Milk Tray to a beautiful woman.
The Milk Tray ads are produced by EURO RSCG Wnek Gosper.
The boxed chocolate market is worth around 700m a year, according to industry estimates, which represents just under a third of the total chocolate market. Category leader is Cadbury’s Roses, with sales of over 90m last year.