HACKETTSTOWN, N.J., Feb. 9, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Mars Chocolate North America announced that M&M'S® Pretzel Chocolate Candies were named the 2011 Product of the Year in the candy and snacks category by Product of the Year USA. The brand accepted the award during a special ceremony in New York City last evening.
"This award is especially gratifying because it was decided by consumers," said Debra A. Sandler, Chief Consumer Officer of Mars Chocolate North America. "We felt confident that the delicious combination of salty and sweet was a winner, but this award solidifies that M&M'S Pretzel are truly irresistible."
Hosted in 28 countries, Product of the Year is the world's largest consumer-voted program that recognizes innovation in consumer-packaged goods. Finalists for Product of the Year were judged on four key elements: appeal of innovation, usage, satisfaction and purchase intent. M&M'S Pretzel was selected winner of the Candy & Snacks category by securing high marks across the board, particularly in satisfaction. Many consumers cited the delicious combination of salty and sweet flavors as a key attribute, as well as the fact that the snack contains 30 percent less fat – on average – than other leading chocolate snacks, providing a sensible bite-sized treat for any party.
This marks the third year that Product of the Year was conducted in the United States, with over 60,000 American shoppers voting on products in a survey conducted by TNS, the world's largest custom research agency. According to the 2011 Product of the Year US Shoppers Survey, 68 percent of shoppers say a consumer voted award means more for a new product than an expert's opinion.
M&M'S Pretzel is just one of many M&M'S iconic flavors including Milk, Peanut, Peanut Butter, Dark Chocolate, Dark Chocolate Peanut, Coconut and Almond. Chocolate and pretzel lovers alike are able to find M&M'S Pretzel Chocolate Candies in food, mass, convenience, drug and specialty stores, as well as vending machines nationwide. For more information about M&M'S Pretzel, visit www.mms.com or www.facebook.com/mms.
M&M'S® has been producing colorful chocolate fun for Americans since 1941. There are more than eight permanent varieties of M&M'S® Chocolate Candies, in addition to Seasonal Candies made for special occasions including Easter, Holiday, Halloween and Valentine's Day. Customers seem to be most passionate about the color found in each bag of M&M'S® Chocolate Candies. Existing product lines include: M&M'S® Milk Chocolate Candies, M&M'S® Dark Chocolate Candies, M&M'S® Peanut Chocolate Candies, M&M'S® Dark Chocolate Peanut Candies, M&M'S® Almond Chocolate Candies, M&M'S® Peanut Butter Chocolate Candies, M&M'S® Chocolate Mini Baking Bits, MY M&M'S® Milk Chocolate Candies and M&M'S® MINIS® Milk Chocolate Candies. Please visit mms.com
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 our first roots as a confectionery company. In the 1920’s, Forrest 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 philosophy of a “mutuality of benefits” for all stakeholders – this vision serves as the foundation of the Mars, Incorporated we are today. Based in McLean, Virginia, Mars has net sales of more than $30 billion, six business segments including Chocolate, Petcare, Food, Gum & Confections, and Symbioscience, and more than 65,000 Associates worldwide that are putting our Mars Principles in action to make a difference for people and the planet through our performance.
Mars brands include: Chocolate – M&M’S®, SNICKERS®, DOVE®, GALAXY®, MARS®, MILKY WAY® and TWIX®; Petcare – PEDIGREE®, WHISKAS®, SHEBA®, CESAR® and ROYAL CANIN®; Wrigley – ORBIT®, EXTRA®, STARBURST®, DOUBLEMINT® and SKITTLES®; Food – UNCLE BEN’S®, DOLMIO®, EBLY®, MASTERFOODS® and SEEDS OF CHANGE®; Drinks – KLIX® and FLAVIA®; Symbioscience –SERAMIS® and CIRKU™.
About Product of the Year:
Product of the Year is the only consumer product award that rewards innovation and is voted on by real consumers. Established 25 years ago in France, POY currently operates in 28 countries with the same purpose: Guide consumers to the best products in their market and reward manufacturers for quality and innovation. Backed by the votes of 60,000 consumers, the distinct red POY logo serves as shortcut for shoppers in the supermarket, saving them time and money. For manufacturers of the winning products, the award is a powerful marketing message proven to increase retail distribution and sales by an average of 10-15%. Product of the Year accepts entries every year from consumer packaged goods that demonstrate innovation and were launched within the previous year. Entered products are then placed into specific categories such as food, beverages, personal care, household care, etc. with a product then being chosen as a winner in its category through a nationally representative online study. For more information visit www.productoftheyearusa.com.
TNS, which recently merged with Research International, is the world's largest custom research agency, delivering actionable insights and research-based business advice to its clients so they can make more effective business decisions. TNS offers comprehensive industry knowledge within the Consumer, Technology, Finance, Automotive and Political & Social sectors, supported by a unique product offering that stretches across the entire range of marketing and business issues, specializing in product development & innovation, brand & communication, stakeholder management, retail & shopper, and qualitative research. Delivering best-in-class service across more than 70 countries, TNS is part of Kantar, the world's largest research, insight and consultancy network. Please visit www.tns-us.com for more information.
SOURCE Mars Chocolate North America