shell-free Skittles and mini Starburst

Who the heck doesn’t like the crispy coating on Skittles? Shockingly, such people exist - and Mars Wrigley is pandering to them with the launch of Skittles Chewies.

Admittedly, the shell-free sweeties look delicious and will probably sell by the bucketload. (Mars is predicting first-year sales of £16m when combined with the equally new Starburst Minis.)

Most surprising about this week’s chewy NPD isn’t, however, those shell naysayers but the fact Mars is adding headline-worthy innovation with regularity. Maltesers Truffles launched just weeks ago, preceded by February’s Starburst Chewing Gum.

The US confectioner was never prolific, but with its category under so much pressure from the never-ending war on sugar, healthier snack options and soaring costs, it looks like general manager David Manzini is now pulling out the stops to add value and keep punters keen.

The enterprising Frenchman, who became Mars UK boss a little under a year ago, deserves props for his populist touch, combining interesting ideas with classic brands.