The reduced calorie version of the classic candy – known as ‘Mars Caramel’ – has 56 fewer calories than a conventional Mars bar and will be launched as a ‘limited edition bar in UK stores in the next few weeks, the firm said.
The drop in calories does come at a cost. As the name suggests, Mars Caramel does not contain the original Mars bar’s classic thick layer of nougat. However, Mars said its UK launch of the ‘limited edition’ product capitalises on increasing consumer preferences for caramel – which is now one of the top three flavours in the chocolate category.
It added that the slimmed down little sister to the flagship Mars bar has already been a success in the US, Canada and Australia.
Low calorie commitment
The launch of the lower calorie variant of its flagship brand comes months after Mars made a commitment to reduce the calorie content of its chocolate via efforts in reformulation by the end of 2013.
The confectionery giant made the pledge to stop selling chocolate products with more than 250 calories globally.
It first announced the R&D initiative earlier this year and has since revealed plans to reduce the size of its bars by more than 10%, after is revealed that reformulating certain recipes will not provide enough of a calorie reduction.
Mars suggested that launching the product – at least initially – in the limited edition market represents a huge opportunity for retailers:
“Consumers are always excited by novelty chocolate creations, particularly those from their favourite brands. Limited Edition products that tap into growing consumer preferences for new flavours and varieties, like Mars Caramel, appeal to both new and existing customers,” said Bep Dhaliwal, trade communications manager at Mars Chocolate.
It is not known how long the ‘limited edition’ run last for, with Mars refusing to rule out the possibility of making the bar a permanent addition to its portfolio depending on sales.
The Caramel bar will be available in stores across the UK from the 10th September.