M&M’s comes in two varieties including chocolate and peanut, and is currently available in two shareable sizes of 45 g pack and 100 g pack, priced at INR 80 ($1.25) and INR 150 ($2.35) respectively, according to Mars.
The launch of M&M’s is the latest addition to Mars’s existing chocolate portfolio in India, which is comprised of Snickers, Galaxy, Mars, Bounty and Twix.
Andrew Leakey, general manager at Mars India and Indian sub-continent, said, “India is a priority market for Mars and we are committed to bring our best-loved brands to Indian consumers.”
“Our product portfolio in India reflects the same promise while offering our consumers the power to make informed choices,” he added.
Mars ranks fourth in India’s chocolate confectionery category in terms of retail value in a market dominated by Mondelēz's Cadbury brand, according to the latest Euromonitor data.
Chocolate confectionery in India
The overall chocolate confectionery segment in India showed a slowdown in 2015 due to price hikes combined with Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) restrictions on sales of chocolates made with vegetable oils and fats. However, growth of the category accelerated slightly in 2016 because of changes made to FSSAI, according to a Euromonitor report.
“In August 2016, the FSSAI allowed the sale of chocolate confectionery with up to 5% vegetable fat, which is likely to benefit imports and spur chocolate confectionery sales growth,” Euromonitor said.
Chocolate with toys was the fastest growing category in 2016, as its low base and expanding availability in traditional grocery outlets underpinned a 27% rise in value sales, the market data provider said.
Additionally, the majority of manufacturers, including Mars and Mondelēz, are expanding their premium chocolate confectionery offers in India as these products are used as gifts during festival seasons and occasions, Euromonitor added.
“Premium chocolate products are mostly available in modern retail channels, such as hypermarkets, supermarkets and chemists/druggists across India, though they are slowly penetrating rural India as well,” Euromonitor said.