Mars Wrigley revives classic Opal Fruit branding for a final special summer swansong

Following strong consumer demand, Mars Wrigley UK is set to bring back its much-loved Opal Fruits to British shelves for one final time after the made to make your mouth water series sold out in a few weeks on its re-release last summer, reports Neill Barston.

The classic treat will also be offered in its original flavour format, with nostalgic fan able to enjoy both a lemon and lime treat, some 23 years after its name became Starburst, and blackcurrant replaced the much-loved citrus stalwarts in 1998.

Shoppers won’t have  long to get their hands on the iconic confection, though. The limited-edition Opal Fruits is now on shelves for a special edition limited run of only 12-weeks, and only while stocks last.

The move follows as a similar re-emergence of another British classic, the Marathon bar last summer, with fans of the brand expressing a desire to see its return in its original format, having been transformed into ‘Snickers’ to fit in with branding in other territories including the US.

Mars Wrigley’s Head of Fruit Confections, Victoria Gell, said: “Opal Fruits were snapped up at lightening fast speed last year. It was the hottest confectionery ticket in town! So much so in fact, our sweet factory has been working overtime to make sure Brits who love their retro treats get their fruity fix one last time before Opal Fruits disappear from shelves forever.” Opal Fruits, which will be widely available nationwide, is available as a Share Pouch (152g, RRP £1).

Environmental move

In a further move by the business in the past week, Mars has established a  trial in Tesco stores to pilot a new material made from cocoa bean shells for promotional displays, which is thought to be a global first.

The new material, dubbed ‘Bean Board’, is made from 70% recycled paper and 30% waste cocoa bean shells. The displays have been developed in conjunction with sustainability innovation partners Medoola, ECOR and strategic display production partner DS Smith.

When compared to an equivalent corrugated board display, typically used across the retail industry, this new design requires 93% less land to be used– with no virgin tree fibres being used in the manufacture of the new material.

Adam Grant, General Manager, Mars Wrigley UK, commented: “We’re on a mission to future proof the growing confectionery category. While we’ve typically been focused on sustainable innovation from bean to the bar, we’re now looking further to explore new routes beyond our direct supply chain.

:The new ‘Bean Board’ material is a prime example of how FMCG manufacturers can look beyond their production line to help create the world we want tomorrow and we’re looking forward to seeing how the trial goes so the wider industry can also benefit from using the new material.”

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