Catching Up With...

Catching Up With John Capizzi

Mars Retail Group is the licensing wing of the Mars, Inc. The company’s stable of properties includes candy brands like M&M’s, Snickers, Skittles, Starburst, 3 Musketeers, Milky Way, and Twix, as well as the Pedigree and Whiskas pet brands.

Chris Adams: The Mars licensing program has grown significantly over the past few years. Why was the timing right for this growth?

John Capizzi: Over the past few years, we’ve invested in our licensing program. We’ve grown from 12 licensees to nearly 60 in the past four years, and we’ve assembled a team of experts to really move the licensing program forward. In this economic climate, consumers focus on evergreen brands, like our M&M’s brand. When spending their hard-earned dollars, consumers look for high perceived value, affordability, and trusted brands.

C.A.: In what ways do you meet the needs of the retailers carrying Mars Retail Group-licensed products?

J.C.: Our goal is to promote a one-voice strategy between the licensees, Mars Retail Group and other Mars divisions. By bringing together two or three licensees, we can offer retailers a cohesive, differentiated plan for displays and endcaps that includes candy, novelty, and gifting.  We can create a miniature M&M’s World experience for any retailer at virtually any price point.  We’ll design a unique display for each retailer, allowing it to provide consumers with a one-of-a-kind experience.

C.A.: What are Mars Retail Group’s international licensing plans?

J.C.: Our program is structured in a way that lends itself to future international expansion. We’re currently rolling out a new program with Coles Australia; it’s a comprehensive display we put together and executed in less than a month. It includes a variety of M&M’s-themed items, including plush, coffee mugs, candy dispensers, ear buds, candy and more.