Mars Chocolate North America announced an industry-leading lineup of new products that will hit store shelves in the coming months, including Snickers Crisper and goodnessknows snack squares. These innovations will join newcomers Combos Baked Snacks Chocolate Fudge Pretzel, Dove Chocolate Fruit & Nut, M&M'S Crispy Chocolate Candies, M&M'S Brand To-Go Bottles, Milky Way Midnight Bar 2 To Go and festive seasonal items. Mars Chocolate unveiled these items, along with 2016 promotions and merchandising tools, at the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) Show in Las Vegas this week.

"Snickers Bar is the top-selling and fastest-turning item on shelf, so shoppers will be eager to pick up new Snickers Crisper," says Tim LeBel, Vice President of Sales for Mars Chocolate North America.  "This new item -- along with new M&M'S Crispy Candies -- answers consumers' desire for new textures, which has created a Crispy Crunchy Segment within the Chocolate Category."

LeBel explains that confectionery is the most responsive category to quality merchandising, so secondary displays are critical to a retailer's success. Mars offers a wide range of display options, such as a new Counter Rack and C-store Endcap Display, both which include the core Mars and Wrigley brands.

At the NACS Show, retailers witnessed a versatile option to display M&M'S Brand Milk Chocolate Candies: the Single Face Carton. This new format allows for merchandising on the shelf, on the wall, and on the counter. The smaller design creates four additional inches of shelf space, and the reduced carton count, from 48 to 36 singles, improves product shelf life by 6 weeks.

As retailers plan their merchandising strategies, LeBel reminds them to incorporate seasonal items. "All c-stores should offer a variety of seasonal confections to increase impulse purchases," says LeBel. "Displaying seasonal in a specific area of the store will teach consumers to seek out new items in this space." He points out that 67 percent of total annual confectionery sales across all channels occur during the four major seasons.