- M&M’s is partnering with quick delivery platform Gopuff to aid Halloween planners who underestimate how much candy is needed for the holiday, per a press release.
- Starting at 3 p.m. ET on Oct. 31, consumers who live in areas covered by Gopuff can call on the M&M’s Halloween Rescue Squad to request a free refill of confections provided by parent company Mars. Delivery orders promise to be fulfilled in 30 to 60 minutes while supplies last.
- M&M’s is angling to boost the visibility of a new Campfire S’Mores product variant and court favor with consumers anxious over having enough sweets to please trick-or-treaters and guests. About half of U.S. shoppers have held such concerns in the past, according to data from a Morning Consult survey commissioned by Mars.
Mars is looking to land in the good graces of Halloween celebrants who miscalculated their candy stores with the M&M’s Halloween Rescue Squad. The partnership with Gopuff, a platform that bills itself around ultrafast delivery, speaks to how packaged goods marketers are experimenting more with on-demand models that can meet consumer expectations around convenience, which have been elevated since the pandemic. The rescue squad concept also seeks to address how holiday planning and purchasing habits have changed.
“The Halloween season is expanding, and enthusiasm is driving consumers to shop earlier and more frequently,” said Tim LeBel, Mars Wrigley’s president of sales, in a press statement. LeBel also wields the thematically appropriate title of “Chief Halloween Officer.”
Calls to the M&M’s Halloween Rescue Squad can be placed via a special website, where consumers can also start picking up products like M&M’s and Mars variety packs now. Those who purchase $15 to $30 worth of select Mars products between Sept. 1 and Oct. 31 can also upload their receipts to Mars Wrigley's online Halloween destination to claim up to three free months of Peacock premium, the ad-free tier of NBCUniversal’s streaming service.
Halloween is an essential sales window for confectionary marketers, and 2023 is shaping up to be a strong year despite inflationary pressures. The National Retail Federation forecasts spending around the spooky season will increase 15% year-over-year to reach a total of $12.2 billion this year, a new record. Consumer participation in the holiday is also expected to rise, the trade group said, another indication that people continue to shake off COVID-19 concerns even as the virus again rears its head.
Mars is relying on Gopuff’s delivery network to help consumers whose candy buckets begin to dwindle. The company delivers to over 1,000 cities in North America and Europe, according to its website, including New York, Philadelphia and Chicago.
Like many delivery startups, Gopuff boomed in the early days of the pandemic as consumers avoided physical shopping trips when possible, but has struggled as a sense of normalcy returns. Gopuff in March laid off about 2% of its global workforce, its third round of layoffs since the spring of 2022.