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M&M'S® Brand Snack Mix Awarded Product of the Year

50,000 Shoppers Select M&M'S® Brand Snack Mix as Most Innovative Product in the Candy & Snacks Category

HACKETTSTOWN, N.J., Feb. 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Mars Chocolate North America announced M&M'S® Brand Snack Mix was named the 2013 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.

M&M'S Brand Snack Mix features three core varieties:

  • M&M'S Brand Milk Chocolate Candies Snack Mix includes M&M'S Brand Milk Chocolate Candies, mini chocolate chip cookies, peanuts and mini pretzel twists.
  • M&M'S Brand Dark Chocolate Candies Snack Mix features M&M'S Brand Dark Chocolate Candies, raisins, almonds and mini pretzel twists.
  • M&M'S Brand Peanut Chocolate Candies Snack Mix includes M&M'S Brand Peanut Chocolate Candies, mini shortbread cookies, almonds and mini pretzel twists.

"Product of the Year recognition is especially sweet since it's decided by consumers," said Roy Benin, Chief Consumer Officer, Mars Chocolate North America. "We think it's a great addition to our product line-up as it satisfies those looking for a creamy, crunchy, sweet and salty snack, all in one bag."

Hosted in 32 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 Brand Snack Mix was selected winner of the Candy & Snacks category by securing high marks across the board, particularly in satisfaction. Consumers cited the combination of roasted peanuts, oven-baked mini cookies and golden pretzel twists as the perfect sweet and salty addition to any party.

This marks the fifth year that Product of the Year was conducted in the United States, with over 50,000 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 Brand Snack Mix is just one of many M&M'S iconic varieties including Milk, Peanut, Peanut Butter, Dark Chocolate, Dark Chocolate Peanut, Coconut, Almond and the most recent addition, Pretzel. Consumers can find M&M'S® Brand Snack Mix nationwide in the candy aisle in drug, grocery, mass, specialty and value stores now.  For more information about M&M'S® Brand Snack Mix, visit www.mms.com or www.facebook.com/mms.

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 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 and six business segments including Petcare, Chocolate, Wrigley, Food, Drinks and Symbioscience.  More than 65,000 Associates worldwide are putting our Mars Principles in action every day 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 – ALTERRA COFFEE ROASTERS™, THE BRIGHT TEA CO.™, KLIX® and FLAVIA®; Symbioscience –SERAMIS®, CIRKU™ and COCOAVIA™.

For more information, please visit www.mars.com.

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.

About TNS:
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

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