- Mars has launched The Cocoa Exchange, a direct to consumer platform, according to a company release. The Cocoa Exchange offers Dove Signature, Pure Dark and Pod & Bean brands.
- With the products, consumers can host an in-home tasting experience for friends and family. The party host can earn credits that they can use to shop with and have their own personal online store that collects orders.
- Mars said products in the exchange are designed to be experienced, not to sit on a store shelf, which is why the brand brings them to consumers directly through specially curated in-home experiences.
Mars is getting into the chocolate party profession, allowing consumers to throw their own in-home experiences with friends and family, the same way Tupperware, Avon and Pampered Chef have done in the past.
It’s an innovative way to get people excited about cocoa products and chocolate, not that the category is seeing any decline. In fact, the U.S. chocolate candy market was estimated at $22 billion in 2016, 18% of which is premium chocolate’s market share, according to a Packaged Facts report.
Millennials are starting to throw get-togethers for food-related products as the rise of “foodies” has been trending big with this generation. Mars is attempting to penetrate this category by giving them a fun, original way to throw a party while enjoying sweets. It seems like an idea that could pay big dividends.
If nothing else, Mars will get a lot of buzz and publicity about the move, and these parties will surely become social media fodder as photos from parties start making their way across Facebook and Instagram and Twitter feeds become flux with description. As more millennials communicate and share their opinions and tastes on the web, Mars could be a major beneficiary with its forward-thinking Cocoa Exchange.