Mars shelves 2008 Fling launch after stock fears

MarsMars has pulled its only major new product development for 2008, Mars Fling, over concerns that it could not produce enough stock for the launch.

The launch of Mars Fling, which has already been test marketed in Australia, was originally planned for the first quarter of this year (MW November 29) but was put back until the autumn. Industry sources say that it now will not appear until early next year.

One source says the product has been “in planning for about ten years” and that Mars was concerned that “it couldn’t do the launch justice because it wouldn’t have sufficient stock”.

It is understood that Mars Fling was going to be its “biggest launch for some time” and would have received significant marketing support, including TV, and would be positioned as a female-oriented product. The “two stick” chocolate bar has a light biscuit base and a whipped nougat topping and it aims to build on the success of Mars Delight, which was launched for the female market in 2004.

The company had similar problems with the launch of White Maltesers in 2004. The company was forced to delay the launch of the product as a permanent line after failing to produce enough stock (MW February 12, 2004). It had originally been launched as a limited edition.

Mars denies the Fling product is being launched in the UK. It is currently launching Starburst Twisted Chews, which combine two flavours (MW February 14), and is relaunching the core Starburst line as Opal Fruits as a limited edition in the summer.