Mars Wrigley taps marketing vet as new global president
- Andrew Clarke has been named global president of Mars Wrigley Confectionery at Mars. Inc., according to the company. He will start in September.
Clarke joined Mars in 2000 and has served as Mars Wrigley Confectionery’s chief marketing officer since 2015. He replaces Martin Radvan, who is retiring after a 32-year career with the candy maker.
Clarke's “track record for driving ambitious change while delivering results is the fuel our business needs to thrive in an ever-changing consumer and retail landscape,” Grant Reid, CEO of Mars Wrigley Confectionery said in a statement.
Despite Mars Wrigley being the world's largest confectionery company, with 12.8% of the global market, according to research company Euromonitor, it is not immune to changing consumer habits. No longer are snacks predominately an impulse buy dominated by cash register stands or aisle end caps.
Food companies like Mars Wrigley are searching for the best way to get their products into the hands of consumers. The U.S. market recently got a bit more challenging for candy players as Italian confectionary company Ferrara Candy snapped up Nestlé's popular roster of brands, including Butterfinger, BabyRuth, SweeTarts and Nerds.
Already Mars Wrigley has devoted resources to marketing through targeted advertising and candy coupons based on comments. Clarke is stepping in to use his 16 years of experience in marketing to more explicitly bring a commercial lens to the brand’s innovative interactions with customers while tying marketing and selling together so they can be executed in a seamless click of a button.
Clarke, who has been with Mars for nearly two decades as the snacking world has shifted, could be ideally positioned to assume this new role. He was under Radvan when the company merged with Wrigley, and he also has overseen global marketing – which is decentralized and headed by regional brand directors – to increase diversity, bring brands into the digital age and tailor them specifically to local regions. Having this mindset makes him a prime candidate to tackle the relentlessly changing world of sales and marketing within the food space.
In his new role, he will likely have to focus even more of his attention on social media in an effort to lure millennials and other younger consumers from around the world to the company's products. He'll have to develop creative ways to keep consumers interested and find ways to spur impulse buys as more grocery shopping moves online.
For Mars Wrigley to stay ahead of the pack, it is going to require creative direction. Clarke has the advantage of having a popular roster of candies and gums to work with, including M&Ms, Snickers, Twix, Altoids, Lifesavers, Juicy Fruit and Hubba Bubba. Since choice is abundant and messaging is so pervasive as to create a wall of noise that many brands may struggle to break through, Clarke will have to work to make decisions easier for consumers and not contribute to their decision fatigue.