NEWARK, NJ. — Adaptation has been key for the treats and snacks category this year as the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic caused consumers to adjust their shopping habits, according to research that Mars, Inc. revealed during its Mars Wrigley Unboxing Hour digital event Nov. 11.

More consumers have started shopping online and stocking up on products like gum and confections, Mars said. Additionally, consumers are purchasing treats and snacks on road trips, which are on the rise, and to treat themselves at home as a way of comfort and escapism.

“Though the ways in which people interact with treats and snacks have fundamentally changed due to the pandemic, we know people are still looking to enjoy our products during moments that matter,” said Shaf Lalani, vice president of strategic demand leadership at Mars Wrigley US.

To meet consumers’ changing needs for the category, Mars Wrigley has unveiled an array of innovations across its brand portfolio, including such new products as chocolate popcorn flavored M&M’s, Snickers Peanut Brownie, Extra Rockin’ Raspberry Lime gum and Skittles Gummies.

“Treating and snacking has changed dramatically, and even more so over the last six months,” said Jim Dodge, vice president of convenience at Mars Wrigley US. “Not only are we continuing to see people looking for wider variety in regard to flavors and textures, but we also know they are gravitating toward familiar brands they trust. Mars Wrigley is laser-focused on listening and responding to our consumers, and this shift in behavior has driven us to evolve our approach and introduce new products like new Skittles Gummies. We know that convenience shoppers can’t get enough of our gummies — from Life Savers to Starburst — and we’re excited to bring them a new experience with Skittles.”

 View slideshow of new products from Mars.