M&M’s are turning 75 years old, and Mars has big plans to celebrate.
The company is taking a page from Lay’s by letting fans pick a new flavor from options that include chili nut, coffee nut and honey nut. Brand managers also plan to address shifting consumer tastes by including more natural colors.
“That’s the beauty of this brand,” Tracey Massey, president of Mars North America, told USA Today. “You can really innovate all over the place.”
M&M’s marketing team also released a new commercial that celebrates its history, featuring a remix of the iconic “Candyman” song from Zedd and Aloe Blacc:
Massey told CNBC that the normally press-shy company is making a push now because millennial consumers “want to know more about the companies behind the brand.”
USA Today reported that the brand’s “flexibility may be what helps M&M’s stay on top at a time when many shoppers are cutting back on sugary treats.” As more and more brands struggle with similar changes in consumer behavior, PR and marketing pros will have to act in like manner.
M&M’s are the biggest product line for Mars, which is the world’s largest candy company, grossing $33 billion in sales each year. M&M’s, which were launched during World War II as a way to get chocolate to troops without melting, account for roughly $1 billion of that revenue.