Mars to Scale Back M-Azing Brand

Will Discontinue All but One of the M&M-Embedded Candy Bars

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NEW YORK ( -- M&M Mars will discontinue all but one variety of the M-Azing candy bar line launched with great fanfare in 2004, and plans to rebrand the bar in 2008.
A contortionist doing something amazing for M-Azing.
A contortionist doing something amazing for M-Azing.

Ad spending
As Mars refocuses on its core businesses, it has been quick to dispense of under-performing brands, including Aquadrops and Cookies &. Looking at the data, M-Azing has certainly been among them. TNS Media Intelligence figures show the company has spent $39 million in media on the brand since its August '04 debut, yet M-Azing sales fell 38% to $14 million for the 52-weeks ended Oct. 8 in food drug and mass outlets excluding Wal-Mart, according to Information Resources Inc.

A company spokeswoman said Mars will discontinue all but the strongest M-Azing item, the M-Azing Crunchy Singles bar. The line has included a Crunchy Peanut Butter Singles bar and miniatures of both varieties.

Could be re-introduced
An executive close to the company said M-Azing, which embeds M&M's into a chocolate bar, is expected to be reintroduced in 2008 under a different name, "and they'll do a better job telling consumers what it is." Ads for M-Azing, mainly TV spots from Omnicom Group's BBDO Worldwide, New York, have featured amazing human tricks people performed that magically opened the chocolate bar with M&M Minis. The tagline avers, "M-Azing. Are you?"

Instead of focusing as much on M-Azing this year, Mars will put its energies toward the new limited-edition Snickers Dark, coming in December, as well on new Dark Peanut M&M's. The company also plans to relaunch its Twix Peanut Butter bar with a new formulation and to open its third M&M's World retail location, this one in Times Square.

Despite the failure of M-Azing to thrive, Mars gained share recently on rival Hershey Co. in chocolate, with sales growing 14.5% to $99 million for the four weeks ended Oct. 7 while Hershey sales fell 5% to $133 million.
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