Warren Buffett knows sweets. His Berkshire Hathaway is the largest shareholder in Kraft Foods, which made an unsolicited — and rebuffed — $16 billion bid for Cadbury. The Wall Street Journal reported that the trust that holds voting control of Hershey has hired Buffett’s favorite banker, Byron Trott, as it also weighs whether to pursue the British chocolate maker.
Walk down the chocolate aisle in a grocery store, and the premium names leap out at you: Lindt, Ghirardelli, M&M’s.…
That’s right, M&M’s. Mars Snackfood U.S. is using the M&M’s brand — a well-known mass candy brand — to launch a new entry in the fast-growing premium chocolate market.
Dove is usually the Mars brand most associated with premium chocolate. M&M’s are more known as the candy that doesn’t get kids’ hands messy, because it melts in their mouths.
But Mars said that this summer it is launching M&M’s Premiums, a take on traditional M&M’s with a thinner candy shell and flavors like mocha and raspberry almond … not exactly kid’s stuff.
The price isn’t exactly for kids, either. A six-ounce package will be priced at $3.99, or 66.5 cents an ounce. In contrast, a 1.69-ounce bag of standard M&M’s costs 79 cents, or 46.7 cents an ounce, according to Mars.
The premium chocolate segment has well outpaced growth in regular chocolate in the United States.
But tell us, is a premium M&M what you are looking for?
And speaking of what consumers may or may not be looking for, how about chewing gum made with tree bark extract.
Wrigley, which is being bought by Mars, is including magnolia bark extract in its Eclipse gum and mint, which Wrigley says kills the germs that cause bad breath. Twelve pellets of the gum will be priced at $1.09.
Check Out investors waking up to a sweet deal on Monday morning.
M&M’s maker Mars Inc and Berkshire Hathaway Inc are buying Wm Wrigley Jr Co, the largest U.S. chewing gum maker, for $23 billion.
The deal will create a confectionary giant, bringing together Wrigley’s Altoids, Extra and Eclipse brands, with Mars’ M&M’s, Snickers, Starburst and Twix.