Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Mars taking shots at Hershey

Mars recently took over the top spot in the candy biz, with its takeover of Wrigley, and now it seems to have set its sights on catching up to Hershey in the chocolate arena. There's a ways to go, Hershey's market-share lead is 42-30, but Mars is attacking hard, following the dictum that aggressive marketing in a downturn is an effective way to grab share in the recovery.

Mars is using recent ingredient changes to suggest quality problems with Hershey products, as well as trumpeting Hershey plant closures in the US.
Mars also has pivoted its PR messages to chide its rival: Its premium brand Dove is "Made in the USA" and Mars can be trusted "to provide pure, rich chocolate," it says.
And just to drive the point home, Mars recently opened the "Dove Chocolate Center of Excellence" right on the outskirts of Hershey, Pennsylvania.

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