Inside Mars Wrigley’s ‘bold ambition’ to create a $1.1B ice cream business

Whereas Mars Wrigley manufacturers corresponding to Snickers, M&M’s, Twix and Milky Approach are greatest identified in confections, the corporate is transferring aggressively to broaden its presence in ice cream — an “untapped alternative” for the greater than 100-year-old firm, in keeping with a high govt.

“We have the runway to develop as a result of we do have a number of the greatest manufacturers on the sweet aspect that we consider are very relevant within the ice cream enterprise,” mentioned Shaf Lalani, common supervisor for Mars Ice Cream.

The corporate first entered the ice cream house in 1986 when Mars purchased Dove Bar. It launched its Snickers to the frozen class 4 years later — the primary Mars model to make the transfer. At present, its Mars Ice Cream division is an integral a part of its future regardless that it’s a a lot smaller enterprise in comparison with the dad or mum firm’s multibillion-dollar sweet operations, Lalani famous.

Shaf Lalani, Mars Wrigley

Shaf Lalani

Permission granted by Mars Wrigley


Mars Wrigley has a “daring ambition” to triple the dimensions of its ice cream enterprise to $1.1 billion in gross sales globally by 2024, in keeping with the corporate. It mentioned the U.S. market the place it will get the lion’s share of gross sales within the frozen class “is essential to our success.” 

Mars Wrigley has been on a scorching streak. Final 12 months alone, gross sales within the $6.5 billion U.S. frozen novelty enterprise jumped 5.8%, in keeping with Nielsen. Mars Ice Cream doubled that greenback gross sales development proportion. 

Mars Wrigley mentioned it has the highest model in a slew of frozen novelty classes, together with in comfort shops with Snickers Ice Cream Bar, sandwiches with M&M’s, and non-dairy in Variety Frozen. In the meantime, gross sales for its Twix ice cream bar have risen 20% yearly for the final two years, in keeping with the corporate.

Mars Wrigley, ice cream

Non-compulsory Caption

Retrieved from Mars Wrigley.


Mars Wrigley, which is privately held, declined to offer extra particular figures on gross sales for ice cream or its development fee within the class.

Lalani mentioned the CPG’s various ice cream portfolio permits it to achieve shoppers relying on their wants. 

Dove is located in premium, for instance, whereas M&M’s and Twix are extra mainstream. These avoiding dairy can flip to Variety bars, pints and smoothies. For now, the corporate doesn’t anticipate to deliver different sweet manufacturers in its portfolio into ice cream, or take one defining model attribute, like Variety in non-dairy, to one thing like Dove. 

“To not say we would not have a look at different choices, however now we have no plans on altering our merchandise in the present day,” Lalani mentioned. 

Mars Wrigley’s ice cream manufacturers profit from the widespread reputation of its sweet staples which have been in the marketplace for many years, he mentioned.

“Customers have grown up with these and in a whole lot of instances, it’s new to them once they discover out we make ice cream,” he mentioned.

Whereas gross sales and model consciousness for Mars Wrigley’s ice lotions have been climbing for years, Lalani mentioned many individuals are nonetheless unfamiliar with them. To bridge that hole, the corporate has been investing extra in innovation and new digital campaigns on-line for manufacturers corresponding to Snickers. It not too long ago spent cash to market its M&M’s ice cream sandwiches for the primary time in 13 years. 

Greater than 30 years after getting into the ice cream class, Mars Wrigley remains to be making its frozen treats at a 145,000-square-foot facility in Burr Ridge, Illinois, and will likely be for the foreseeable future. Earlier this 12 months, it introduced it could make investments $50 million within the plant to maintain up with future demand. 

It additionally has introduced partnerships with Walmart, Kroger, Instacart and Doordash, amongst others, on e-commerce efforts to get their frozen merchandise into the palms of extra internet buyers. Digital gross sales for ice cream on the firm soared 70% final 12 months, Lalani famous.

Ice cream “is an untapped alternative,” he mentioned, noting that individuals who attempt their frozen treats usually develop into repeat prospects. “Now we have some runway in entrance of us to proceed to develop and get into extra households and get folks to attempt us.”

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