How Canada’s new candy giant will move forward

Marketing VP Diana Frost wants to grow the newly merged Mars Wrigley and attract top talent.

Now that Mars and Wrigley are operating as one unit in Canada, Diana Frost (right) has been tasked with overseeing all of the confectionery brands now operating under its unified reporting structure as VP, marketing for Mars Wrigley Confectionery Canada.

DianaFrostFrost has been with Mars since 2007, when she joined from Pepsico as a senior brand manager in the chocolate vertical.

Frost tells strategy that last week’s merger (which formally united the two companies that had been operating at arms-length since 2008) won’t be overtly visible to consumers.

“It’s all about our namesake, credibility and the quality of our brands,” she says. The newly combined Mars Wrigley name will appear on packages of Skittles, Snickers and its other snack-able products, but more in the hopes it will signify quality instead of pushing a new kind of branding message.

“While we won’t necessarily communicate to consumers on TV or on social, we look at it as credibility to attract talent. Historically, we’re known by our brands, and this is a unique opportunity to attract great talent,” she says.

There’s no official word on how the merger will affect individual brand teams at the now-combined company, and Frost declined to comment on whether the merger created redundancies.

Frost doesn’t anticipate a large-scale shift in marketing strategy “at this point,” but has begun a review of each product line and its market to see what best suits Canadian shoppers.

The company is re-grouping its combined product lineup into three pillars: gum and mints (for products like Juicy Fruit and Excel), fruity confections (Starburst and Skittles) and chocolate (Dove and other bars).

“We’re not looking at discontinuations… We’re mapping out major innovations for M&Ms and Excel, all our brands, to look at fuelling growth,” she says.

“This is a growth play, not an efficiency play,” Frost adds.