Hershey, Wrigley Freshen up Mint Category

Both Plan to Introduce Tins of Dark Chocolate Mints This Winter

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Can dark chocolate save the mint category? With the $311 million mint business growing stale, leading breath-freshener
dark chocolate
The York and Altoids brands will both launch new dark chocolate mint products in December.
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players Hershey Co. and Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. are introducing tins of dark chocolate mints under the York and Altoids brands, respectively, this December.

Hershey's Ice Breakers leads the category in food, drug and mass merchandisers excluding Wal-Mart with a 37% share for the 52 weeks ended July 16, according to Information Resources Inc., while Wrigley has seen its share slip to 28%. Wrigley's Altoids, once the category darling, have been curiously not so strong of late, with sales of the base brand plunging 10% to $65 million.

Building on success
Hershey plans to build on its success by expanding the classic York Peppermint Patties into a poppable five-calorie mint. A campaign for the York Tins, from Havas' Arnold, New York, will break in January.

Meanwhile, under the gun to boost the brand it's been criticized for buying from Kraft Foods, Wrigley is launching Altoids Chocolate Dipped Mints in peppermint, cinnamon and ginger. To begin the buzz, it recently launched an auction for three tins of the Chocolate Dipped Mints, one of each flavor, on eBay, with the proceeds donated to the American Red Cross. A campaign is expected from Publicis Groupe's Leo Burnett, Chicago, this winter.
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