Premium M&M’s Make Fashionable Debut

NEW YORK Mars’ new line of premium chocolate M&M’s made a fashionable debut Sunday when new pitchwoman Eva Longoria Parker unveiled the candy collection at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in New York.

The launch of the upscale chocolate candy line coincides with a multiplatform marketing blitz by Mars Snackfood U.S., Hackettstown, N.J., rolling out this week that showcases the brand’s sexiest M&M, Ms. Green, via TV and print.

Animated TV spots spoof Ms. Green’s popularity as the frisky M&M, who is portrayed as a sultry screen siren as she’s being filmed for an ad by fellow M&Mers, Red, Yellow and Blue, who are mesmerized by her presence and sexy voice and rendered speechless.

M&M’s candies were introduced as part of a mini fashion show that featured an appearance by Longoria Parker. The animated green candy hosted the show via video broadcast.

A collection of five gowns was created by fashion designer Pamella Roland and featured vibrant jewel tones inspired by the upscale chocolate varieties and the packaging of the new products. “We are certain that our new ‘gems’ will add a splash of style and fun to the premium chocolate category,” said Michele Kessler, vp, marketing, in a statement.

Roland also designed the shimmering chocolate speckled dress worn by Longoria Parker, who spoke to the media at an event held Sunday inside the tents, where designers this week are showcasing their 2009 spring collections.

“Premium M&M’s offer a little bit of luxury with each bite,” said Longoria Parker, noting that her favorite candy is the mocha, then rethinking her choices and correcting herself, saying that she enjoys all five varieties of the chocolate candies.

Premium M&M’s are aimed at adult palates and feature a soft, speckled shell of dark chocolate and are filled with either dark, milk or white chocolates that come in a collection of five varieties: mint (a dark chocolate shell filled with white mint chocolate); mocha (filled with mocha-flavored milk chocolate); triple chocolate (filled with dark, milk and white chocolates); raspberry almond (dark chocolate shell and filled with raspberry white chocolate and a roasted almond); and chocolate almond (filled with milk chocolate and a roasted almond).

M&M’s premium candies are available in six-ounce packages at food, mass, convenience and drugstores at a suggested retail price of $3.99

Masterfoods USA, which markets M&M’s, spent $100 million in 2007 on advertising for M&M’s (not including online), per Nielsen Monitor-Plus, and $35 million through April of this year.