MERCHANDISING: Mars Offers Back-to-School Candy and More

Grocery retailers will be able offer kids returning to school an unparalleled selection of merchandise featuring the classic M&M’s, Snickers, Skittles and Starburst brands. This fall, Mars Retail Group (MRG), a division of McLean, Va.-based Mars, Inc., is offering numerous merchandising options and is able to create customized kiosks at virtually any price point. Henderson, Nev.-based MRG’s cohesive plans for displays and end caps encompass candy, novelty and gifting.

“The M&M’s brand offers the two key things that independently can drive any retail sales program: iconic brands and recognizable characters,” explained John Capizzi, MRG’s general manager, licensing. “We are one of only a few companies that can bring both to the table in a meaningful way.”

Cincinnati-based Kroger, for example, will be rolling out a collection of M&M’s brand licensed products for back-to-school in select store locations. Featured items will include apparel, loungewear and kitchen/home products.

Among the items that grocery retailers can offer to appeal to college-bound seniors who need to dress up a dorm room are the M&M’S® Brand iPod digital alarm clock, M&M’s brand desk lamp, M&M’s brand USB-powered desk fan, and M&M’s brand blankets and pillows.

Meanwhile, grocers with “tween” and teen shoppers can offer M&M’s brand themebooks, pencils and portfolio folders; M&M’s brand ear buds, available in five colors (red, pink, blue, orange and white); and Skittles brand Lip Smacker lip gloss from Bonne Bell.

Additional new items from MRG include Games for Nintendo DS and Wii, and M&M’s brand jackets from JH Design.

For additional information, call (702) 458-8864.
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