Mars Wrigley helps consumers celebrate Halloween with candy, but this year, the company seeks to help them recycle the leftover wrappers.

The company has partnered with Rubicon Technologies to introduce Trick or Trash bags, which will allow consumers to properly dispose of Halloween candy packaging.

Tim LeBel, chief Halloween officer, recently spoke to Candy Industry about the partnership, the inspiration behind some of its spooky sweets, and what Mars Wrigley expects for the holiday.

CI: How did the partnership with Rubicon Technologies come about?

TL: We understand that wrapper waste is a challenge during the Halloween season. And to help combat this, we connected with Rubicon, which had seen success with its Trick or Trash box program. Collaborating with Rubicon allowed us to offer specially designed, recyclable, trick-or-treating bags as an expansion of its existing Trick or Trash campaign.

CI: Why was Mars Wrigley concerned with offering recyclable bags?

TL: This year, more than three-quarters of people will celebrate the 2022 Halloween season, with many returning to trick-or-treating or trunk or treats. As the authority on Halloween, we understand that wrapper waste can be a challenge of the season. Our program aims to give Halloween lovers a simple, fun and free way to tackle wrapper waste by providing a trick-or-treat bag with a prepaid postage stamp and simple three-step instructions on how to return it for proper recycling. This leverages one of our biggest moments to support Mars’ ambition to test innovative solutions to help contribute to a circular economy where packaging never becomes waste.

CI: How would you describe last year’s Halloween sales? What do you expect to happen this season?

TL: We’re very excited to see the full return of trick-or-treating this year. According to National Retail Federation, participation in Halloween-related activities will resume to pre-pandemic levels. With the spike in participation, total Halloween spending is expected to reach a record $10.6 billion, exceeding last year’s record of $10.1 billion. Our products are central to most celebrations, as 93 percent of consumers participating in the season will purchase candy for their celebrations.  

CI: What was the inspiration behind the Ghoulish Green products? And the M&M’S Mad Scientist Mix?

TL: Seasonal cues like flavors, colors and packaging always drives consumer excitement for the season, which is why we incorporate it into our innovation. The inspiration behind M&M’S Mad Scientist Mix and the Snickers Fun Size Ghoulish Green Bars came from leveraging consumer favorites during the Halloween season and leaning into fun twists on some of our most iconic brands. 

CI: Did Mars Wrigley face any supply chain or production challenges heading into this Halloween season? If so, how did the company overcome them?

TL: Knowing that the entire industry is facing supply chain disruptions, we made a very conscious decision early on to prioritize the season and have worked internally on scheduling to ensure our products were available when consumers started to think about the season, which data is telling us is starting earlier. 

CI: Is there anything else you’d like to add?

TL: In addition to the Trick or Trash bags, Mars is bringing back Skittles Shriekers, which was ranked No. 1 in both fruity confections Halloween innovation and the best new novelty product for Halloween in 2021. We’re also excited to share that M&M’S Treat Truck will once again be making stops in both Newark and Toronto.