Mars Chocolate is increasing its media spend 42% this year to £49.5m to back what MD Fiona Dawson this week promised would be an "unprecedented" level of NPD for 2010.

Dawson said activity such as Mars' sponsorship of the England football team and the Rainforest Alliance certification of Galaxy meant 2010 was the perfect time for NPD.

"We will always do NPD in a year when we have a very solid base, because otherwise it can steal from your core business," she said. "We've the strongest activity planned for 2010 that I've ever seen, and I've been in this job for five years." As part of its Confectionery Market Review, Mars also announced a "total store approach", The Arc of Ease, to encourage independents to drive impulse sales.

So far this year, Mars has launched Galaxy Bubbles, relaunched Galaxy Counters and introduced Milky Way Stars in bitesize packs.