Mars Wrigley’s festive ‘Bounty ban’ prompts social media industry response
The decision by Mars to temporarily remove "Bounty's" from Celebrations has been met with concern in some industry quarters. Pic: Shutterstock
A decision by Mars Wrigley to trial festive Celebrations tubs without Bounty sweets in the wake of a consumer survey has seemingly divided the confectionery sector, prompting concern expressed on social media, writes Neill Barston.
The manufacturer’s announcement this week stirred a note of concern from a number of long-term fans and industry observers, who questioned why the company would wish to dispense with such an established staple of its range.
But according to the business, fresh research of 2,000 shoppers has found that 39% of British shoppers wanting them removed from Celebrations tubs completely – with 58% agreeing that it ‘would lead to a family argument’ if the classic coconut flavoured chocolate treats were the only choice left in a portion of sweets.
For a limited period from 8th November, customers in a total of 40 Tesco stores number stores featuring the Christmas Market pop up, will be able to exchange tubs bought in-store that day with a new No Bounty Celebrations tub, in a business trial that will put this chocolate debate to the test.
For these limited-edition tubs, additional Mars, Snickers, Milkyway, Galaxy and the all-time favourite – Maltesers, will be drafted in to make up for the missing Bounty’s.
Andy Baxendale, known as the ‘sweet consultant’ and board member of Confectionery Production, was not amused by the move to axe the classic confectionery. He posted on Linkedin :”What are you doing, playing with People’s Christmas?”
Colin Weir, of RJCW, noted: “Their PR is working a treat, I bought a Bounty for first time in years yesterday,” while Robert Whittleston, of House of Sarunds, added that “l love it when nobody likes them, more for me!”
Meanwhile, Diane Clifford, of Krispy Kreme UK, welcomed the move from Mars. She said :”Best decision ever, I don’t buy Celebrations because I don’t like Bounty, will buy them now.”
As the company added, the decision comes after 18% of Brits revealed they would feel irritated if they opened a Celebrations tub to find only Bounty’s were left, and a whopping 58% said this would lead to a family argument.
The study, which polled Brits aged 18 – 65, also revealed that 22% of people surveyed like Bounty the least out of all the chocolates in the Celebrations tub. Moreover, a hard lined 28% of us believe that coconut does not belong in a chocolate bar at all.
But it seems that taste in chocolate is a serious matter for Brits, as 42% of those polled admitted they have rowed with friends or family because of it, and 18% would even go as far avoiding romantic involvement with someone whose tastes differed to their own.
However, the company moved to offer reassurance for fans of the coconut is not lost for Bounty, as the research also showed it’s the tub-favourite for a proud 18% of coconut-loving Brits, with a further one in five (20%) even admitting they shyly keep their love of Bounty chocolates to themselves. Furthermore, the study shows it is a more mature palette that craves the coconut chocolate most, with 38% of over 55’s choosing it as their favourite.
This year’s No Bounty Celebration tubs, follows the brand’s successful ‘Bounty Return Scheme’ in 2021, which encouraged Bounty haters to return their unwanted chocolates and swap them for more-loved Maltesers after the Christmas period.
Emily Owen, Mars Wrigley’s Head of Celebrations Festive Cheer said: ‘Christmas is the time for giving – but it seems this year, the British public are keen for us to take away…Bounty. Last year, we gave customers the opportunity to return their unwanted Bounty chocolates. Now, off the back of public demand, we’re trialling taking them out of the tub altogether. You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone! And to those loyal (and secret) Bounty lovers out there, there’s still a chance they’ll make a return after the trial.’