M&M'S® Peanut Chocolate Candies Powers 25th Annual Peach Drop New Year's Eve Celebration

Beloved Brand Promises Celebrity Entertainers and Surprise Twist to Ring In the 'Year of Peanut'

Dec 06, 2013, 06:00 ET from Mars Chocolate North America

HACKETTSTOWN, N.J., Dec. 6, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- New Year's Eve in Atlanta is going to be nuts – deliciously so. Today, Mars Chocolate North America and Underground Atlanta announced M&M'S® Peanut will be the presenting sponsor of the "25th Annual Peach Drop," an Atlanta tradition and the largest New Year's Eve celebration in the southeast.

New Year's Eve 2014 marks the official launch of the "Year of Peanut," an innovative, year-long integrated marketing campaign to celebrate M&M'S Peanut – one of America's favorite candies since 1954. Although the year-long program will include awe-inspiring, mouth-watering activations from coast to coast, Atlanta is the perfect place to ring in the "Year of Peanut," considering peanuts have been the official crop of Georgia since 1995 and the state annually produces roughly half of the United States' yield – upwards of 1.7 million tons in 2012 according to the Georgia Peanut Commission.

"Georgia and M&M'S share a passion for quality peanuts," said Roy Benin, Chief Consumer Officer, Mars Chocolate North America.  "In fact, only 1 in 100 peanuts is lucky enough to find its way into a bag of M&M'S Peanut, so we think it's only fitting that we kick-off our exciting 2014 campaign in what many people consider the Peanut Capital of the U.S."

The 25th Annual Peach Drop Powered By M&M'S® Peanut takes place on Tuesday, Dec. 31 at Underground Atlanta and will feature a full day of activities and entertainment, including live performances throughout the day and night. And in one of the South's most beloved traditions, the event will culminate with the dropping of an 800-pound illuminated peach, which begins its descent just before midnight.

Beyond sponsoring the event, M&M'S® Peanut is bringing a number of surprises to the party, including a celebrity emcee and headlining performer, which will be announced later this month, as well as a unique "peanut addition" to the traditional peach drop at midnight.

"The 25th annual Peach Drop is an incredible, long-standing tradition and the perfect way to introduce 2014 as The Year of the Peanut," added Underground Atlanta President, Dan O'Leary. "As we get ready to ring in the New Year, we look forward to announcing the wonderful talent and sweet new additions this M&M'S partnership will bring to the 25th anniversary of the largest New Year's Eve celebration in the Southeast."

To learn more about the 25th Annual Peach Drop Powered by M&M'S® Peanut visit www.peachdrop.com.  Peach Drop is an Underground Atlanta signature event.

About Mars Chocolate North America

Mars Chocolate North America is the North American chocolate operations of Mars, Incorporated.  In 1911, Frank C. Mars made the first Mars candies in his Tacoma, Washington kitchen and established Mars' first roots as a confectionery company.  In the 1920s, Forrest E. Mars, Sr. joined his father in business and together they launched the MILKY WAY® bar. In 1932, Forrest, Sr. moved to the United Kingdom with a dream of  building a business based on the objective of creating a "mutuality of benefits for all stakeholders" – this objective serves as the foundation of Mars, Incorporated today. Based in McLean, Virginia, Mars has net sales of more than $33 billion, six business segments including Petcare, Chocolate, Wrigley, Food, Drinks, Symbioscience, and more than 72,000 Associates worldwide that are putting its Principles into action to make a difference for people and the planet through its performance.

Mars brands include: Petcare – PEDIGREE®, ROYAL CANIN®, WHISKAS®, KITEKAT®, BANFIELD® Pet Hospital, NUTRO®, SHEBA®, DREAMIES® and CESAR®; Chocolate – M&M'S®, SNICKERS®, DOVE®, GALAXY®, MARS®, MILKY WAY® and TWIX®; Wrigley – DOUBLEMINT®, EXTRA®, ORBIT® and 5™ chewing gums, SKITTLES® and STARBURST® candies, and ALTOIDS® AND LIFESAVERS® mints.  Food – UNCLE BEN'S®, DOLMIO®, EBLY®, MASTERFOODS®, SEEDS OF CHANGE® and ROYCO®; Drinks – ALTERRA ® Coffee Roasters coffee,  THE BRIGHT TEA CO.® tea, DOVE®/GALAXY® Hot Chocolate, and FLAVIA® brewer; Symbioscience – COCOAVIA™, WISDOM PANEL™ and SERAMIS®. 

For more information, please visit www.mars.com.  Follow us: facebook.com/mars, twitter.com/marsglobal, youtube.com/mars.

About Peach Drop

The 25th annual Peach Drop powered by M&M'S Peanut is the Largest New Year's Eve Celebration in the Southeast, a 16-hour event with a full day of family fun and an evening of top-notch entertainment!  Beginning at 11 a.m., Underground Atlanta will be filled with carnival-style rides, live music, face painting, street performers and festival food. As 2014 nears, the main stage will light up with live performances and the 800-pound Peach will begin its decent just before the clock strikes midnight.  The party will continue in Kenny's Alley until 4 a.m.!  Packed full of excitement, the Peach Drop is Atlanta's favorite way of ringing in the New Year!

About Underground Atlanta

A festival marketplace located in the heart of the downtown, Underground Atlanta is one of the city's favorite attractions and a cultural hub. Opened in 1969 as a "city beneath the streets," Underground Atlanta still exhibits many of the significant architectural features from its original structure. Visitors can pick up a self-guided History tour brochure at the information booth and discover the history firsthand. Explore six city blocks, 12 acres and three levels of 225,000 square feet of shopping, restaurants and entertainment at Underground Atlanta, a destination with more than 100 years of history. Visit on Wednesdays at lunchtime for a selection of Atlanta's most delicious food trucks lining the street or stop by the world's first Pac-Man Play Arcade. Underground Atlanta offers a year-round calendar of cultural, entertainment, community and family programming with its signature events being Peach Drop on New Year's Eve and Heritage Arts Festival in July. For more information, visit www.underground-atlanta.com or call 404-523-2311.

SOURCE Mars Chocolate North America