Mars and Wrigley brands unite

A 10-year-old acquisition culminates in a single business with some of the world's biggest candy brands.

There is a great deal of change on the Mars brand these days. Not only has its global parent put its media business up for review (an account worth more than US$1.4 billion), but it has formally merged the confection side of its business with Wrigley, a confection brand it acquired more than a decade ago.

The newly created Mars Wrigley Confectionery business began operating as a division of Mars Canada earlier this week. Wrigley was acquired by Mars in 2008 for an estimated $23 billion and has operated at arm’s length ever since.

The merger combines brands such as Juicy Fruit and Skittles with M&Ms and Snickers under one corporate umbrella. The combined organizations both have strong regional and global branding campaigns.

“This is a symbolic start to 2018,” said Jeremy Daveau, general manager of Mars Wrigley Confectionery, in a statement. “Together we will help deliver category leadership to our customers and beloved brands to our consumers.”

The US$2.5 billion chocolate confection market in Canada is led by international players such as Nestle, Mondelez and Hershey. Mars ranked forth with 11.3% share in 2017, according to Statista. Jeremy Daveau, GM for the new operating unit, recently told Canadian Grocer that the market grows about 2% annually.

The company has not responded to requests for comment on how the merger will affect marketing or leadership teams.