NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- 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.
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.