Mars is moving into the mint market for the first time this month with the launch of new Skittles variants, and it is putting £4.5m ­ the brand's biggest marketing budget so far ­ behind them. The new packets follow the Skittles Fruit brand's multi-flavoured Taste the Rainbow theme, with five different tastes ­ toffeemint, sweetmint, coolmint, spearmint and peppermint ­ in five different colours, blue, white, green, yellow and lime. A new £2m mint specific TV ad, set to kick off in May, is aimed at highlighting the new flavours and boosting consumer awareness of the brand. Mars plans a link up with UGC cinemas and blockbuster films, The Wedding Planner and Men of Honour, for a sampling campaign involving 300,000 samples soon after the launch date. The company puts Skittles Fruits' growth at 17% year on year and says mint is one of the biggest growth areas in confectionery. Small mints in particular have seen a lot of activity, with last year's launch of Trebor Mighty Mints and hefty ad campaigns behind Smint and Tic Tac. {{MARKETING - P&P }}