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Mars follows Hershey’s lead with bite-size Snickers

NEW YORK — Copying the strategy of Hershey Co., its archrival Mars has introduced a bite-size Snickers and will begin promoting it Monday through advertising and social media.

Mars began distributing the new product, Snickers Bites, in May. It is a small, unwrapped cube of Snickers, sold in a 2.83-ounce bag and an 8-ounce resealable pouch, which is meant to be shared. Suggested retail prices are $1.49 and $2.99.

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Snickers Bites is the first new Snickers product introduced by Mars since it began selling Snickers Peanut Butter Squares in 2011; Mars has been selling the original Snickers candy bar, which it created, since 1930. Mars introduced Milky Way Bites in May.

Matthew Hudak, who follows the candy industry for Euromonitor International, a market research company, said Mars was copying Hershey’s introduction of miniature, unwrapped versions of its candies, which began in 2011.

These include bite-size Hershey’s Milk Chocolate and Cookies’n’Creme Drops, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and Rolo and Kit Kat candies, with pouch packaging Mars also has copied.

Jeff Beckman, a spokesman for Hershey, said the company “realized that consumers didn’t want to go through unwrapping and they also wanted to be able to reseal the bag.”

He said miniature candies have become a “broad line” that Hershey would continue to expand.

These candies are “trending a lot more with younger consumers, who like the ease of eating more convenient snacks,” Hudak said. “They grew up in households where both parents were working, and they had no one at home, so snacking became more common.”

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