Mars Canada has begun rolling out M&M’s Caramel across the country, with a massive marketing campaign to follow soon.
Mars said distribution is ongoing and within several weeks the newest version of the iconic candy would be available at most major retailers across Canada.
The company announced the new product was coming last October. It said at the time it was making its biggest investment ever in a product launch, that it required the development of technology to create the new M&M’s—soft caramel centre with a candy coating that wouldn’t crush too easily—and reportedly spent $100 million expanding its facility in Topeka, Kansas to produce the candy.
“Caramel is the No.2 preferred chocolate flavour in North America following plain, and it is the fastest growing flavour segment outside of confectionery,” said Diana Frost, vice-president of marketing chocolate at Mars Canada.
The marketing campaign to support the launch is the “biggest 360-degree marketing support plan of any launch in the past seven years,” she said.
One ad posted online earlier this month and airing in the U.S. now, shows caramel as the new guy meeting the other familiar M&M's characters, hoping to join them as a spokesperson for the brand. The Canadian campaign launches June 12 and will cover TV, online, out-of-home, digital/social and in-store display.
And while the candy has only just appeared on store shelves, the M&M’s Caramel quickly generated some surprising buzz from online pundits who detected an unusual message in the packaging. If Caramel M&M was supposed to be one of the new living, breathing, talking spokescandies for the brand, why were Red and Yellow tearing apart one of the new Caramel M&M’s? Mars didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the packaging.