Masterfoods hopes new twists on its Mars and Maltesers brands will bolster its share in handheld ice creams this season - come rain or shine.
The company is launching a white chocolate version of the established Maltesers ice cream stick and a dark chocolate variant of its Mars ice cream bar, which will be called Mars
Midnight. Both are expected to add incremental sales to the Masterfoods’ range.
Last year the ice cream market fell by 9.4% in value across impulse and take-home after a wet August. The Mars brand dropped 11.4% in value [ACNielsen 52 w/e October 2, 2004] but Masterfoods’ overall branded confectionery portfolio, which includes Galaxy, Bounty, Snickers and Starburst, held its 14% of wrapped handheld ices.
Brand manager Laura Sheard said product development was the best defence against a bad summer. “There’s not a great deal we can do about the weather. So in terms of preparation, all we can do is look at innovation.”
Maltesers ice cream sticks, launched in 2002, were hailed as one of the most successful ice cream launches, adding incremental sales to the category. The white variant is also expected to grow the market.
It will retail at £1.10 as a single or £2.59 in a three-pack, and will benefit from a £14m advertising spend behind the Maltesers brand in 2005. Mars Midnight carries an rsp of 70p or £2.59 for a four-pack.
Mick Whitworth